Broker Check

Discussing Finances with Your Aging Parents

May 18, 2023

Recently I was asked, "How much should I be involved in my aging parent's finances?" Well, it's not a complicated answer, but every set of parents is different, and a lot depends on your relationship.

For example, some parents don't want to burden their kids with this information. Others might be too proud to ask for help. 

Bottom line…Parents and children need to establish the following at least:

  • A health care surrogate or proxy
  • A living will
  • Power of Attorney

One thing is for sure, conversation is key. We've helped lots of families with these discussions.

Here are five tips that might help you:

  • Apply the 40/70 rule: As you approach 40 and your parent’s approach 70, it's time to have a conversation. 
  • Begin the discussion with grace: Keep the circle small at the beginning. Consider a one-on-one discussion before having a large family meeting.  
  • Listen first: Listen to your parent's concerns before you impose your agenda.
  • Be positive: Focus on the positive results a solid plan can accomplish. 
  • Simplify: Many times, aging parents resist because they don't understand. The simpler the plan, the better… to keep everyone on the same page.

In the end, remember, it's still their money. As long as your parents are competent, they have the right to choose how to spend it and make their own mistakes. Your goal is to help them retain their independence (and financial security) for as long as possible.  

And finally, perhaps you are an aging parent. Honor your family by initiating the conversation.   

We have often helped facilitate this discussion for both parents and children. Please reach out if we can help.

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Stonegate Financial is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

Any opinions are those of Trey Stilley and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. 

The tax advice and/or services of Trey Stilley are independent of RJFS.