5 Conversations You Need to Have with Your Parents About Money
It’s tricky, but you got this
For 30-plus years, it’s been your parents' dream: They will retire in Boca Raton. But before they sell the house and the cars and the snow blower, there are five money-related topics you should probably discuss.
THE STATUS OF THEIR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT
Sure, their plan is to retire, but it’s helpful to get a sense together of exactly what they’ll need to live comfortably through their golden years. Sit down with them and assess how much they’ll receive per month from their retirement account versus their monthly expenses and do your best to map out a budget. Your parents may balk at sharing their financial info at first, but be clear that by understanding their bottom line, you’ll have a better shot at anticipating unexpected costs and making adjustments just in case they run short.
THEIR PREFERENCES FOR LONG-TERM CARE
It may feel awkward, but having this convo while your folks are still in tip-top shape can alleviate stress and pressure down the road. The main thing you need to figure out: If living on their own is no longer in the cards, do they prefer a nursing home or private home health care? Their answer will help you research insurance options (FYI, new hybrid policies may offer you a much better deal) and come to terms with how you’ll all deal with it emotionally.
THEIR IN-CASE-OF-EMERGENCY LIST
Your mom mentions "Dianne the financial planner" in almost every single phone call, but in a pinch, you’d never know her last name, let alone her number. That’s why it’s smart to make a list with your parents of their key contacts…not just Dianne but also their doctors, attorney and accountant.
AND THEIR WILL
Remind your parents that designated beneficiaries on insurance policies, pensions and investments actually trump instructions they may have left in their will. (Not that you don’t love Dad’s detailed account of what’s to be done with all of his golf clubs.) If discussing beneficiaries makes them feel uncomfortable, stress that they don’t have to tell you the names; they just need to be sure all of their docs match and are up-to-date.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THEIR PASSWORDS
You know what would suck? Not being able to access their stock information… or online banking… when the time comes. Ask them to make a list of how to actually log in to all of their different financial accounts and stash it in a secure spot so you can find it later…much, much, much later.