When Ameriprise released Money Across Generations II, a cross-generational survey of economic perceptions in 2012, the study revealed that only 28 percent of boomers’ parents say they regularly discuss money and finances with their family, and 41 percent feel they haven’t discussed their financial situation adequately with their children. An article in Daily Finance on that same report sites Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, as stating the responsibility may fall on boomers to approach their aging parents about money-related issues. Here are the four questions de Baca poses in that article:
- What do you want? If your parents are hesitant to open up about their finances, this may be a good place to begin. Ask them what they want and expect for the future – financially or in general. Reassure them of the value in communicating now while both parties are still able.
- Have you thought about long-term care? Perhaps the most important part of this conversation is understanding your parents’ wishes if they can no longer care for themselves physically. Ensure you and your parents understand their health insurance and Medicaid benefits, and ask if they have any type of long-term care coverage.
- What do I need to know? Be sure you know where your parents store their important financial and legal documents and if they have a will or written power of attorney in place. Ask for contact information for any financial and legal professionals they’ve worked with along the way, and confirm you have the updated contact information for extended family members who you may need to reach in the future.
- Is your retirement income still sufficient? It’s possible that your parents may be struggling to make their retirement savings last. They may have lived to be an older age than they expected when they retired, could be facing expensive health care bills, or their investments may have been affected by the recession. Being aware of their financial situation can help you both set expectations for the future.
These questions remain relevant to today’s boomers and even those in the sandwich generation. Starting conversations about senior care with aging parents can be challenging but it’s one that is needed to reduce costs long-term while maintaining independence and what we call ‘a sparked life.’ Lifesprk Navigation answers many calls on these topics from people exploring and asking questions related to senior care costs and options. Setting up a free discovery consultation is a great place to start the conversation and get proactive with funding senior care. What are your senior care funding questions? Ask On!