Having the “Money Talk” with your Parents
Having the “Money Talk” with your parents can be very uncomfortable. However, it is necessary to have now, before it becomes a problem in the future. People tend to not like talking about money or death, so when you combine the two it can cause some discomfort. Another reason for avoiding the conversation is that maybe your parents could be embarrassed because they didn’t handle their money well. Also, as the child you don’t want to come off as greedy or nosy.
Whatever the reason, we’re going to outline some steps you can take now to avoid some serious problems down the road.
Request a meeting
Don’t just dive into the money conversation immediately. Talk about your intentions; you don’t want to just start in on a line of questioning that may make your parents think you’re just out for money. Request to meet with your parents and siblings to go over your parents expectations for their estate.
Focus on your Parent’s wants
Keep the focus on your parents wishes. Tell them you’d like to understand what their wishes are so you don’t have to guess. This is great to do if you have siblings because it can avoid future conflict.
Money conversations make people nervous. Be sure to validate and affirm what your parent’s are saying. Mirror what your parents say, endorse what they say, and show empathy for the way they feel. This can be an emotional process, be sure show understanding.
Ask, Confirm, Encourage
Ask your parents about their wishes for their estate. Then, confirm what you heard. Finally, encourage your parents by reassuring them and letting them know that you’re there to help. Avoid asking “why” questions, this could make them defensive. Work hard on listening to your parent’s desires and not jumping to your own agenda.
Ask for Help
Expressing your own vulnerability can jump-start the conversation. Come to your parents by asking them for advice with your own finances. You can also explain your concern for your future if you would have to take care of them financially.
Skip the details
Let them know that specific dollar amounts aren’t important. Just try and come up with a general plan for when the inevitable happens.
Look in the Mirror
If you’ve had money troubles in the past, your parents may be hesitant to talk with you about money. Let them know you’re in a good spot financially and you are not asking for money.
Listen to the audio below!