Seniors must plan their financial futures and prepare for many situations. Unfortunately, a lot of elderly individuals make specific plans for their lives and do not consider unexpected events or difficulties. It may become apparent that these elderly relatives may need some help with their financial future. However, these discussions can be difficult to approach.
Choosing the Best Time to Talk about Finances
Elderly relatives must have a plan for their senior living options in the future. Illnesses, losses, and other complications may make it impossible for them to care for themselves. Contingencies should be put in place and finances discussed before these things happen. However, the right time must be chosen to make it easier for such a conversation.
Holidays, family events, and other major get-togethers are never the right time to have such a conversation. Stress levels are often high during these events. In addition, there may be children and other family members around that make these conversations more intrusive. Alcohol may also be used at such events, posing further risks of complications.
It is better to choose a time when the elderly family members are relaxed and comfortable. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to see those family members outside of holidays. At least waiting until the day after the event could help prevent arguments and may be less stressful for the family member.
Find Common Ground
The best way to start a conversation about finances and future planning is to ease into the subject by finding common ground. Simply jumping into a conversation about assisted living options could cause tension and shut down the conversation before it starts.
A suggested method for broaching the subject is to discuss news stories that the relative may have heard about. Stories about health care or the economy could be a great place to start. Easing into the conversation could prevent apprehensions and concerns about the intentions of the questions.
When dealing with a married couple, such as parents or grandparents, it may be a good idea to speak to one of the relatives at a time. Bringing up options to consider if the other would pass first. Often, senior couples depend greatly on one another’s income to maintain their lifestyle. The loss of one income could greatly impact the other’s ability to support themselves.
Discuss with one relative about community living for seniors as an option if their spouse passes. Help them to see that financial planning now is important. If one relative is convinced of the need to plan, they may provide a valuable ally in speaking with the other.
Warn of Risks When Failing to Plan
Some elderly relatives may simply want to believe that they will be able to live in their own homes without help for their golden years. They may be so set on this that they refuse to even try to plan for the future or the possibility of complications in the future.
Providing the elderly relative with warnings and even stories of others who have faced difficult challenges may help convince them to plan for such contingencies. Many seniors do not want to be a burden to their families. Letting them know that planning their finances and future wishes now will help prevent such a burden.
Avoid Touchy Topics
Some seniors do not like to share their personal spending habits with others. It is important to allow the family member to maintain their privacy. Even if there is concern about spending habits, ultimately, it is the senior’s right to spend their money the way they wish.
Letting the senior know and understand the importance of proper planning is important but allowing them to maintain control throughout the process. If they are concerned about sharing their finances, the family-member can share their own financial information and the steps they have taken to plan for the future. These actions help seniors maintain their independence and privacy throughout the process.
Solicit Professional Help
Financial planning can be a complicated process. Although it may fall to family members to convince elderly relatives of the importance, the actual planning can be performed by a professional. There are professionals that can assist seniors in planning their future and ensuring they have the finances to cover those contingencies.
It is hard to tell what the future may hold. Fortunately, elderly relatives have options available to them that may make their futures a little easier. However, it is important to start as soon as possible to ensure they are ready for whatever may come.
At Terraza of Cheviot Hills, our team strives to meet the needs of each member of the community. We utilize a whole-person approach to ensure an enriching and safe environment for seniors. From health and well-being to social and spiritual needs, our community offers compassionate and caring support to allow graceful aging for seniors.