How to talk to your parents about their financial future

At some point, you’ll need to have “the talk” with your parents about their finances and their financial future. Planning ahead is the only way for them to keep their financial future on a solid foundation and for you to prepare yourself to provide the help they might need as they grow older.

It’s about their needs, not yours

It’s not always an easy discussion to have. Parents may see your attempt to discuss their finances as an intrusion ‘ especially in families where talking about money is taboo. They may even fear that you’re trying to take control of their money.

But it’s important, because one or both of your parents may become ill or incapacitated and unable to manage their finances in the future. They should be aware that without thoughtful planning, how they are cared for at that time could be entirely out of their control.

It’s about their needs, their comfort, and how they want to be cared for.

Don’t wait for a crisis. Talking to your parents and planning ahead will help make sure their wishes are carried out and potentially eliminate squabbles among family members if your parents’ wishes aren’t clear.

Help them see the benefits

You can avoid problems and alleviate concerns by showing your parents the benefits of sharing their financial information. Let them know that it will be easier for you to help them in the future if you have the information now. Stress that it’s important for them and their family, financially and emotionally.

Some discussion points to consider include:

  • Do your parents have up-to-date wills?
  • If so, where are they kept?
  • Do they each have powers of attorney (both for property and health care)?
  • Who are the executors in their wills, and has this decision been reviewed lately?
  • Will they have enough funds to continue living comfortably?

To plan, they need to provide details of assets, liabilities, income and expenses, and details of financial accounts — or at least where accounts are held. As well, contact information for financial and legal advisors is necessary.

Don’t be afraid to seek expert advice. We can prepare you for a talk with your parents about finances. And if it will help, we can be part of the discussion.

The information contained in this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot guarantee that it is accurate or complete and it should not be considered personal advice. Credential Securities Inc. is a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. ®Credential is a registered mark owned by Credential Financial Inc. and is used under licence.

For more information on this or other retirement options,
contact Devron at 204-937-6557 or email devron.jakeman@catalystcu.com

© Copyright Catalyst Credit Union - 2014