In the house I grew up in, we had the “Florida Room”, our screened porch converted into second den where my dad would often retreat to after work. I have bad memories of that room because it’s where us kids would always be summoned to whenever we needed to have a mini-lecture from my dad. The talks always seemed a bit forced, awkward, and would leave us trying to avert our eyes as much as possible until we were dismissed.
I thought I was done with these awkward conversations with my parents when I left the house for college. Little did I know that things would come full circle with the roles reversed. As my parents have been aging and dealing with health issues, my siblings and I were caught in the too-familiar position of having a general idea of my parents financial well-being but not much of a clue as to actual specifics. With my father needing increasing amounts of health care services, what sort of position would they be in? How “okay” are they, really? And what conversations needed to happen with my parents and siblings to prepare for the inevitable?
Even though I have financial conversations with folks every single day, my parents’ generation tend to keep financial things very close to the vest and I knew this was going to be uncomfortable for them (okay, for all of us!). But there were a lot of financial and relational issues we needed to address for everyone’s peace of mind.
Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as awkward as I feared, and it turned out to be a huge relief to my mom to have someone to talk things out with and make sure there weren’t big things she was missing. She also had a lot of concerns that she didn’t know what to do with.
Perhaps you could use some help thinking through the things that need to be discussed. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, and in some areas is just scratching the surface, but it can at least give you a starting point for these conversations:
These conversations can be some of the most valuable opportunities to relay truly important things to them. Things like assuring them they won’t be a burden, that you’re not going to leave them in a place against their will, etc. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to ask the much more important questions. What legacy to you want to leave? What do you want your grandkids to know? Are they certain of salvation through faith in Christ?
For my own mom, I can’t solve all of her fears, but we have been able to put together a plan, give her (and me and my siblings) a lot more peace over the situation, and give us a much more clear path forward so that relationships can be the focus instead of finances.
You might start down this path and realize you have some questions that need some technical help. Or perhaps you just need some encouragement to start the conversation. Regardless, we’re glad to help in any way. I can assure you that you won’t ever regret bringing it up, so long as it’s done in love and respect. Blessings on the journey!BACK TO NEWS