Parenting Your Parents and Their Finances - 4/28/08
INTRO: Baby boomers are part of the sandwich generation too. We're spread-thin caring for young children and again parents. And when it comes to managing our parents finances, we can find ourselves in a real jam.
1. THIS IS A SENSITIVE ISSUE JONATHAN, THE IDEA THAT A CHILD MIGHT NEED TO APARENT@ THEIR PARENTS REGARDING THEIR FINANCES?
A. Yes it is. First, let me clarify that we are talking about the Baby Boomers Aparenting@ their parents who lived through the Great Depression and several wars.
B. This older generation has certain traits regarding their financials that we tend to find over and over again. They do not live extravagantly; and they tend to save better than the younger people do today.
C. They also do not trust anyone, not even the banks, with their money and tend to keep their finances very private.
2. WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THIS THEN POSE FOR THE BABY BOOMER CHILDREN?
A. The Boomers are concerned about whether their parents will have enough to live out their lives comfortably. Sometimes the parents aren't paying their bills on time, and may be not be managing well. Children wonder, once their parents pass away, how will they know they have found everything, and how will they ever straighten it out?
B. Did Mom & Dad have the correct Estate Planning in place so they don't have to pay taxes?
C. And worst of all, if the Boomer asks their parents any of these questions, they are concerned they will be perceived as hungry for their money instead of just wanting to plan ahead.
3. THAT'S A REAL PROBLEM, TALKING TO PARENTS ABOUT THEIR FINANCES. HOW CAN WE APPROACH THIS SUBJECT?
A. We've talked about the Same Page System before on the show. This system is something our firm created that helps to organize financial information.
B. The Boomer may be able to approach their parents a little easier if the parent is not revealing anything to their children, but only to a professional there, ready to help. Parents might be more willing to talk to that guy they see on Golden Opportunities.@ Typically, we can go to a person's house to help them organize their stuff.
4. LET'S SAY YOUR PARENTS AGREE TO THIS. HOW WOULD YOU KNOW WHERE TO EVEN START?
A. We also say the mail is a good place to start because of dividend checks, bank statements, tax notices, etc. Check the mail to find clues of parents assets.
CLOSE: You can make sure your parents' financial life is in order without being intrusive.