Have you ever tried to talk to your aging parent about finances and been told to take a hike? “Just mind your own business. I’ll be fine”.
Taking care of an elderly loved one can be difficult, especially when they are nervous about meeting of their own future needs. It’s worse when the issue is money, either for current finances or future planning. Has your elderly loved one ever told you to butt out and not worry?
This is a position many adult children with aging parents will have to face. If you’re in this situation (or fear you may be one day) a recent article in Forbes titled Has Your Aging Parent Told You to "Mind Your Own Business"? is worth a read.
For many Depression-era survivors and baby-boomers, money is an important symbol of control. In addition, for elderly parents who don’t have “enough” money, talking to them about their financial futures can be troubling. In essence, it disempowers them. Ironically, this is all the more reason it should be discussed (especially if they will be in need of medical care).
As with every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. Discussions about assets can easily segue into revealing concerns over the meaning of money, and the proper disposition of family assets, or even a family business.
In the end, there is a psychology to old age and money. I recommend the original article and the examples therein. Practically speaking, however, your parents might have a point – have you taken care of our own (estate planning) business yet? Perhaps if you have your own house in order, you will have more credibility when addressing these issues with your parents.
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Reference: Forbes (April 17, 2012) “Has Your Aging Parent Told You to "Mind Your Own Business"?”