As a successful working adult, you might find yourself taking on a responsible role when it comes to your ageing parents. When it comes to finances, this could make you part of the sandwich generation or mean that you need to take a vested interest in protecting your parents’ wealth.
Whatever the situation, it is a good idea to know where your parents stand financially as they age so that you are able to help them secure their financial future.
While talking about money can be awkward, these questions can help you get this essential conversation started:
1. Can you afford your retirement?
In some cases, parents will have adequately prepared for retirement – a stage of life that involves daily expenses without an active income. For others, the truth might be that they cannot afford their retirement, especially if they live well into old age. It is important to know early on where your parents stand financially so you can plan to help care for them if necessary, especially if you have significant financial concerns and obligations of your own.
2. Do you have a will?
While inevitable, death is never a pleasant topic of conversation. But neither is having to fight over an estate after the death of a loved one. It is important that your parents have up-to-date wills to ensure that their wishes are executed upon their deaths and that their wealth is transferred correctly rather than simply moving into the hands of the State.
3. What insurance policies do you have in place?
If your parents have life insurance, for example, it is important to know where you can access the information once they have passed away. This doesn’t mean you have to know all the details (such as who the beneficiaries are and pay-out amounts) but it does help to know where to look when the time comes.
4. Where do you keep your financial records?
It is important to know where your parents file their financial statements, account passwords, and financial adviser details. This will make things easier for the family member who must sort through all the relevant documentation on the death of the main member.
5. Have you been approached by an agent or adviser about your money?
The sad reality is that many people fall victim to unscrupulous ‘advisers’ who see age (and its challenges) as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the elderly. It is important to know who has been speaking to your parents about their money and what products they are trying to sell them, especially if they already have adequate insurance and investment options.
6. When can we talk about this again?
When it comes to wealth, things change over time. One conversation about your parents’ financial situation is never enough – it is important to keep up to date on where they (and you) stand. Be sure to schedule regular discussions to address financial concerns. The more you talk, the easier it will become.
Do you need help assessing your parents’ finances or suggestions on how best to manage their wealth? We can help you! At TRG, we are able to offer you professional assessments, experienced advice, and reputable products, based on your family’s unique needs.