Helping our parents plan for a well-lived future
Hello Eagle Wealth Community,
Peace of Mind – it’s something we all want, but it doesn’t just happen on its own.
We do our best to plan for the unexpected, but let’s face it — life throws us curve balls all the time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. The one thing we can do is take some time to prepare, just like we’ve done together by creating your financial plan.
This week though we’re talking about planning for changes involving your aging parents and/or family members. Whether you’ve taken care of a loved one in the past, plan to do so in the future, or you yourself have begun legacy planning, this newsletter is for you.
The first step to helping your aging parents plan is to start a conversation and encourage them to plan for themselves. But sometimes it can also mean tough conversations about things such as extended medical care, their ability to drive, or viability of their living situation. The shifting of roles can be challenging, and emotions often prevent conversations about important information and critical decisions from being made.
When talking to a loved one about their future, it may be helpful to have a strategy for structuring the discussion. Here are some concepts to consider.
Cover the Basics
Knowing ahead of time what information you need to find out may help keep the conversation on track. Download our Peace of Mind Checklist to organize important information. As you work through the checklist, it will give you the opportunity to delve deeper into long-term plans for your parents and learn more about their wishes. And while you’re at it, you might want to set asides some time to go through the checklist for yourself as well!
Remember that if you manage to collect all the critical information, you may be able to save your family time and avoid future emotional discussions. While checklists and scripts may help prepare you, remember that this conversation could bring up future changes in your parent’s life. Be prepared for emotions and the unexpected. Be kind but do your best to get all the information you need.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Hard conversations now are a lot easier than farther down the road. This talk is probably not the only one you’ll have with your loved one about future needs. It may be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. Consider involving other siblings in the discussions. Often one sibling takes a lead role when caring for parents, but all family members should be honest about their feelings, situations, and needs.
The earlier you begin to communicate about important issues, the more likely you’ll be to have all the information you need when a problem arises. Conversations like these can be uncomfortable but waiting for the perfect time can sometimes lead to even more stress. Simply stated, talk it out and have a plan.
Bottom line, have a conversation based off love and respect and take a step toward open communication. Then you’ll be able to provide the help needed during new phases of life.
And remember, we’ll be here for you along the way. If you have questions or just want to talk about your situation, please give us a call.
Your Eagle Wealth Team
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