How much do you know about your parents' financial situation? Their goals and hopes for the future? This month's money group questions will help you and your fellow members get a handle on what you know, what you need to find out and the feelings you may be dealing with as your parents age.
- What's your biggest fear about your parents' future? (Jean's take: Fears about your parents becoming frail, ailing and dependent can paralyze you and stop you from discussing important issues with your parents. Once you voice these fears, you'll find it's easier to go forward.)
- When you ask your parents about something money related, how do they react? What clues can you glean from their responses?
- How do your own attitudes toward money affect your attitude toward your parents' finances?
- Have your parents made any plans for when they can't take care of themselves? (Jean's take: Many older parents assume they'll take care of each other or that you'll take care of them, without ever broaching the subject.)
- Do your parents have enough money to last for the rest of their lives? If not, it may fall to you to fill in the gaps.
- Where is your parents' money invested? Are they making the most of the assets they have?
- How much insurance do your parents have for health care, prescription drugs and long term care? Is it enough to cover their needs? If not, how will the shortfall be covered?
- Where do your parents want to live in the future? Do they want to age in their own home with help from you or home health care? Or, are they willing to move to assisted living or another type of retirement facility?
- Have your parents made up a will and health care proxy? Have they selected who will receive power of attorney when the time comes? (See three tasks you can do this month for more details.)
- Who can help you get your parents to open up and take care of the things they need to? Do you have siblings or other close relatives? How about a trusted financial advisor or an estate planning attorney?
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.