Money Talk with Aging Loved Ones

You may be at this stage of your life where your parents are aging and you are wondering if they have in place what they need to help them through a crisis, and yes, beyond.

No one wants to talk about it. In fact, how do you event start the conversation? Isn’t it taboo to ask your parents about their financial situation, their Power of Attorney, and their Will?

Meet Janet Gray, CFP and Money Coach, who has helped families through these difficult conversations for over 20 years. She knows how challenging it can be to even think about starting the conversation. During out interview for the Living Fully Show, now available on iTunes, she provided some very helpful tips and advice to guide you through starting the conversation, and making it work, for you, and most importantly, for your aging loved ones too.

Here are her three key tips:

1. Do an assessment of the current situation: In all situations, Janet recommends starting with a full assessment of challenges and needs that are and are not being met. Here are some questions to ask yourself and/or your loved ones:

• What are the current challenges? Make a list.
• What do they currently have in place that will help in the future or in the event of a crisis?
• Where do you see yourself or your loved one in next year to 5 years? For example, if you have a spouse or a parent that is ill and it’s impacting your day to day life, what will you need to ensure they, and you, are fully supported in the years to come?

As Janet says, it comes down openly talking about some of those eventualities. The “what if’s” that could happen. What do you currently have in place to support you and your loved ones? What is missing?

2. Ask for help. This is not something you should expect to know or have to do on your own.

• Talk to a financial advisor, like Janet
• Reach out to your local bank or financial institution
• Reach out to a local resource centre
• Enquire about tax credits or supplemental benefits, or community grants
• Reach out for respite care or volunteer visitors if you need physical help caring for your loved one

Janet says that people are very used to looking at situations as black or white. It’s either all or nothing. They also wait too long to find out the answers to very important questions. Instead, reach out and ask for help. If there’s another set of eyes, or an expert, who can offer resources that can guide and help you along the way, that just may be the answer, the solution you are seeking that can help you and your loved ones.

3. Start asking questions and come from a place of love, respect and wanting to be a support, rather than demanding, forceful and overly-concerned:

• Come from a place of love
• Pick a time that is not emotionally charged. Make it more matter-of-fact.
• Make it conversational.

For more information about Janet, go to her website at Janet Gray, CFP, Money Coach.

You can join the Women Living Fully community and listen to more Living Fully Shows on iTunes too. For additional information and resources, check out the blog and the Living Fully Show video episodes.

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