July: Have the Talk
For those of you with camp-age kids, July no doubt involves a Parents' Day full of festivities. I'm proposing a different spin on Parents' Day: Take time to talk to your parents about their financial well-being. First, confirm that they have the key estate documents: a will, a revocable living trust, and durable power of attorney for both healthcare and financial matters. Have they reviewed their beneficiaries recently? If not, they should do so now. Next, look into long-term care insurance at www.LongTermCare.gov. Finally, help them formulate an advance directive—a document that spells out the medical care an individual wants in the event he or she becomes physically unable to communicate. It may be a difficult conversation to have, but it lets your parents know that if the time comes, you'll make sure their exact wishes are followed. That's a great way to honor what they mean to you.
How to help aging parents get by
Advice for navigating family money matters
What you need to know about long-term care insurance
August: Teach Your Children a Lesson
This school year, think about instituting new money rules for you and your kids. I'm a big advocate of a work-for-pay setup rather than an allowance that isn't attached to chores—it's a great way to impart the value of money to your children.
Timely Tip: If you need a new car, August is the time to shop—dealers are eager to make room for next year's models.
Should you give your kids their own credit cards?
The best way to finance a new car