Aging parents can be difficult to talk about money with, but starting the conversation sooner rather than later is important. Understanding your parents’ financial situation makes it easy to ensure they have the best possible retirement. If you live in North Carolina, a few resources are available to help make the process easier. Here are just a few of them.
Have the Conversation
For many adult children, initiating a conversation with aging parents about their finances can be daunting. For example, suppose the parent is considering senior living options. In that case, they could benefit from having you join them in the conversations to review the costs associated with different communities and outline how the financials of paying for it may be covered by insurance or other sources.
Start by having an honest conversation about finances and respectfully providing information and guidance. Be sure to have all the facts beforehand to have a productive conversation that answers all the parent’s questions and leaves them feeling informed and respected.
Understand Their Needs
When navigating financing with an elder parent, it’s important to understand their needs. Has the aging parent identified whether they intend to remain in their current home or need help transitioning into an assisted living community? Examining these needs will make it easier to accurately assess what resources are necessary to make things like this happen.
It’s also essential to remember that finances may be one of many factors the parent considers. For example, some may prioritize finding a more social atmosphere over financial necessity; others may feel most comfortable in their existing home environment, even if it’s more financially demanding.
Make a Plan
To navigate the topic of finance when dealing with aging parents, it is important to create a plan that fits their needs. For example, it is worth considering assisted living options if they require more help with activities of daily living. In North Carolina, there are various ways to finance this option.
For elderly parents unable or uncomfortable managing their finances independently, it is important to look into safe and reliable automated payment systems. Making a clear and well-informed plan can be overwhelming but taking it one step at a time will help come to the best solution for the situation.
Review Their Assets
Another way of navigating the topic of finance with an aging parent in North Carolina is to review their assets. This means obtaining the necessary information needed to understand estate planning and other investments that have been made. A family member or close friend needs to become familiar with any property, brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and debts and outstanding mortgages/loans with associated balances.
This will enable the aging parent to create plans for potential financial hardship scenarios such as medical costs, independent living services, and even long-term health care options should they arise. While this can be a sensitive topic, it is important to have an open dialogue and provide them with the assistance they need to ensure their financial security.
Staying involved is key. Do the best to stay abreast of what is going on financially with the parents and be available if they need advice or help. Regular check-ins will allow for quickly identifying any potential issues they may be having. Check-ins can be done over the phone, online, or in person, depending on the situation and location. Showing an active interest in their financial well-being will also give them a sense of comfort that someone is looking out for them.
Be Prepared for Change
When discussing finances with an aging parent in North Carolina, it is important to be prepared for change. There may be a need to adjust the course of action or conversation as their needs and opinions shift over time. It is not uncommon for elderly individuals to change their minds suddenly, and this should not be taken as disrespect or anything personal – it is often simply a function of age and having difficulties expressing the correct words at the moment.
Thinking and making small changes can help ensure that these conversations remain productive. Furthermore, it will prevent misunderstandings between both parties, which is especially important in financial matters.
Discussing the topic of finances with aging parents is a conversation that needs to take place. Having this talk cannot be easy, but it is important to do what is best for them. Use these tips as a guide to help you navigate this tough topic with ease. Remember, open communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with the parents now and in the future.
At Heritage Woods, we offer a full-service Independent Living and Assisted Living rental community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Contact us today to find out more.