Mind Your Body TV Episode 36 with Denise Winston.
Maybe you dread having to talk money with aging parents, but you know it may be necessary now or in the future. I’ve come to realize that at a certain point in their lives, seniors including our parents may not actually want to accept the responsibility of managing their money—because of cognitive decline or simply due to all-consuming worries about other matters, including health. It can be overwhelming. It’s just the opposite attitude of those seniors who want to retain independence and control over their money, feeling that if they don’t, they’re somehow “weak.”
In the former case, seniors may willingly hand over control of their lifetime earnings to someone else, like a financial adviser or broker. And they may be talked into doing so after being handed a list of promises about how they’ll benefit from entrusting this critical task to a person who “knows better.” I’ve seen it happen too many times, and now I’m witnessing it again with someone close to me here in California. It’s the second time this adviser has been given control—the last time resulted in major losses. I don’t know how to get through to my dear one, for money is always an emotionally charged issue.
No blank check
My concerns are no less than they were previously, but when I try to bring up the matter, I can tell I’m stirring the emotional pot. The senior in question here doesn’t want to hear it, telling me the adviser “is so nice,” and that I’m “so skeptical.” I’m so sure about what is likely happening that I continue to raise flags only to be told sternly that he is “really good with money.” I believe this senior friend has given the adviser the power to sign her checks, and that she doesn’t even see them, nor does she see her bank balance.
Money management isn’t just about dollars. For example, do you know the location of your parents’ wills? Are they current and notarized? Are you Power of Attorney or executor—and if not, who is? Is their money currently being managed correctly—and are you sure? Are their directives involving Medical Power of Attorney up to date? What are their banks, their passwords and account numbers?
Time to talk
The unfortunate scenario I describe above is occurring because the senior has no immediate family and is prey to the adviser who knows this. It’s far different from you taking care of your parents and also taking care of their money—or trying to. More help is here for that in my newest video, courtesy of the savvy Denise Winston of MoneyStartHere.
She’s an expert on how we baby boomers can manage the discussion about money management with our aging parents—something that’s best to do before it can’t be done. Some experts have likened the “money talk” you must have with the “sex talk” they had to have with you.
Also, if you missed it, make sure to see our first story with Denise with lively, practical tips on how to win at “Financial Four-Play.” You’ll start saving right away.