The millennial generation is getting older – and so are their parents. As the earliest members of the Millennial generation enter their 40s, they may find themselves wondering what kind of money questions they need to ask to ensure that their parents are in a good financial position to handle not only the pension but also what comes afterwards.
We contacted Jim Wang, founder of WalletHacks, to find out what questions were most important to ask. We also asked him how to start these potentially difficult conversations and how to regularly check in with your parents without mom and dad feeling that you are checking them out.
A list of questions to ask aging parents
We have put together a list of questions about money that Millennials can ask their parents ̵1; and while not all of these questions may apply to you and your family, you can use our main list as a starting point.
“These are all good questions to ask,” Wang said. “You definitely want to know where your parents’ financial accounts are – and, more importantly, if they have an older folder. This is a physical document that has all the financial information in one place.”
In many cases, talking to your parents about creating an older folder can be the gateway to more tricky financial issues. It can also be a way for your parents to pass on important financial information, including information about the end of life, without having to have more emotional conversations about specific details. They can simply create the binder and hand it out – or, if they prefer, let you know where it is.
How to ask your parents about their financial situation
While some Millennials may regret the best time to ask their parents about their finances, not to mention their retirement and end-of-life goals, Wang suggests approaching the conversation with as little stress as possible.
“I think the easiest way is to come out right away and ask about it,” Wang said. Instead of having a sitting meeting that can make everyone uncomfortable or defensive, Wang Millennials advises to casually share their latest financial decisions with their parents – and then ask mom and dad if they might be interested in doing something similar.
“A temporary question can spur your parents into action,” Wang explains. “For example, you can tell them that you recently put together an older folder and ask mom and dad if it’s something they’ve looked at.”
Although some Millennials may assume that they need to avoid this type of conversation during holiday visits – and depending on your family culture this may still be the case – Wang reminds us that longer holiday visits are often good opportunities for you and your parents to make simple financials. household chores. “A holiday visit can be a great opportunity to show them your binder and then help them make their own, as they can have a coincident leisure time.”
How to check in with your aging parents
Asking your parents about their finances when they are in good health is one thing. Checking with them over time to ensure they are not dealing with unexpected financial, mental or physical difficulties is another. How can you keep up with your parents’ changing lives without feeling overwhelmed?
Again, Wang suggests that it should be simple. “It’s important to talk to them in general about money and see if anything has changed recently. Just simple check-ins to see if everything is okay. ”
If done right, these temporary financial calls can help you connect with your parents. You are all adults, after all, who handle bills and savings and worries about inflation – and when you share how your family handles the high price of food, you may find out a little more about how your parents handle their financial worries.
More importantly, these types of conversations can help you protect your parents from making serious financial mistakes – like falling for fraudsters.
“Older scams thrive,” says Wang, “and what I can say is that people only discover them by chance during normal boring conversations. They do not find it because they ask for a power of attorney, they discover it when they ask about the person’s day.”
It may be the best question to ask your parents – at least to begin with. How we spend our days has a lot to do with how we spend our money, and the more you know about your parents’ daily lives, the more you can help them with their long-term finances.