How Should Millennials Have the Money Talk with Aging Parents?

Family Organization, Financial Responsibility, Planning & Money Management | Thursday, May 18th, 2017

One of the most difficult talks that each child has to have with their aging parents is the one related to finances, i.e. the famous “money talk”. No matter how difficult or awkward it may be, this conversation is extremely important, since it should result in the protection of family assets, elimination of redundant red-tape and hopeful avoidance of future disputes relating to inheritance.

As you are probably aware, this conversation is too significant to be avoided or taken lightly. Most children feel very uncomfortable discussing such issues and dealing with affairs, documents and procedures related to the death or disability of their parents, which is why many of them avoid taking action altogether.

Since death and disability are inevitable parts of life, all we can do is prepare well for such moments when our parents are no longer able to handle their affairs. So, what is it that we can we can do to be as prepared for this conversation as possible?

Announce the talk

The worst thing you can do is have a conversation on such important matters without giving your parents and yourself enough time to prepare. It’s always a good idea to schedule a time and announce it as gently as possible. You might want to make up a story how you met the family financial advisor who mentioned that it was time you sorted out some financial issues. Make sure you announce the talk in a form which sends a message that you need your parents’ advice and assistance.

Eliminate possible distractions

Try to have the conversation in an atmosphere where nothing can distract you or make it difficult to cover all the points you wanted. That means you should make sure kids and pets are out of the room and that they won’t be coming in and out every few minutes. The quieter the room, the more efficient you’ll be.

Watch their mood

You don’t want to discuss such important issues with an agitated person, so if you see that your parents are getting frustrated or weary, give them a break and postpone the meeting. You don’t have to finish everything in one conversation and you most definitely don’t want to rush your parents.

Cover all important issues

Make sure that all relevant financial issues are covered and that there are no unresolved matters. Also, discuss alternative options for some major expenses, such as university tuition fees, with your parents and let them know how institutions like Bad Credit Loans can help you if they haven’t managed to save up or are unable to help you for any other reason.

Let them know how it affects you

No matter how old they are, a great majority of parents like to help their children as much as they can, which is why you need to clearly show them the connection between their financial decisions and your plans. This concerns possible monetary gifts for grandchildren’s education or leaving a vacation home to you or some other child of theirs. Let your parents know that you wish to honor their intentions, but that you need to know what they are.

Not carved in stone

Once you’ve had the money talk with your parents, you can occasionally check with them if there are any changes they’d like to make. You never know what life brings and you need to be prepared as much as possible for the inevitable.

Final remarks

If prepared and executed properly, this talk might even bring you and your parents closer, because they’ll see that you care about their opinion and respect their intentions, while they’ll also feel needed and important when you ask them for advice or help. So, why not use the opportunity to turn a potentially unpleasant event into something that is productive, creating benefits for both parties?

Raul Harman’s is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has master’s degree in finance and banking and is currently doing financial consulting for various tech companies. Lately, Raul has been mostly concentrated on start-ups and helping them seek the resources to build their company. Raul is a passionate runner and adventure seeker. Every spare moment he loves to spend in nature. Currently writer for Technivorz, and BizzMarkBlog

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