Conversations with your aging parents about finances

There are other conversations that are far more serious such as those of illnesses and of life changes – all very important to have dialogue with those important to you.

There are other conversations that are far more serious such as those of illnesses and of life changes – all very important to have dialogue with those important to you.

I love conversations with fun people. As an extrovert, it gives me energy. I think I have discussed every appropriate and inappropriate topic under the sun through the years. I even recall briefly discovering the meaning of life during one fascinating chat after a Mardi Gras parade, then immediately forgetting what we discovered. What hurricanes give, hurricanes take away.

Conversations are the things that start businesses, families, they create new inventions and discoveries – they are what make our lives meaningful. One of my favorite things to do is to brainstorm a topic where each person offers their best and the group continues to take each nugget of an idea to a new level and by the end a new idea has been generated – those conversations keep me energized for days. There are other conversations that are far more serious such as those of illnesses and of life changes – all very important to have dialogue with those important to you.

So, why is it so hard for us to talk about money with our friends, families and other connections? What is it about money that causes us pause? I think money creates a “have” and “have not” dynamic potential in a conversation that causes the faint of heart to avoid. Also, fear of where the conversation will go — will the other person be able to figure out my compensation, will they judge me, what if they ask me a question I can’t answer?

I am learning new ways to talk about money as we continue to care for aging parents. That offers a very tough conversation because you have to talk to someone you love about what will happen when they die, but that is a crucial conversation.

When was the last conversation you have had about money? Did you feel equipped? Here are ways to prepare for important financial conversations:

  1. Write down what outcome you are hoping for in the conversation – to share information to learn – and state that intention up front
  2. Whenever possible prepare the other person in advance to know you want to discuss finances

What other ways have you prepared for the money talk?

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