It turns out that the silent generation may still be living
up to their name.
Recent researchreveals that only 28 percent
of boomers' parents say they regularly discuss money and
finances with their family, and 41 percent feel they
haven't discussed their financial situation adequately
with their children.1 The responsibility may fall on boomers
to approach their aging parents about money-related issues.
Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at
Ameriprise Financial, suggests four questions to provide a
starting point for these conversations.
1. What do you want? If your parents are
hesitant to open up about their finances, this may be a good
place to begin. Ask them what they want and expect for the
future - financially or in general. Gently inquire about the
legacy they want to leave, including their wishes for their
home, other property and valuable possessions, as well as any
charitable causes they'd like to support. Your parents
may be reluctant to discuss these things, and might not have
even thought about some of them. Reassure them of the value
in communicating now while both parties are still
2. Have you thought about long-term care? Perhaps
the most important part of this conversation is understanding
your parents' wishes if they can no longer care for
themselves physically. Begin by asking if they expect to live
in an assisted living facility or nursing home, or if they
hope to live with family under these circumstances. Be sure
your own expectations and abilities are communicated if they
choose the latter, or if you may need to pitch in financially
to support their medical needs. Ensure you and your parents
understand their health insurance and Medicaid benefits, and
ask if they have any type of long-term care coverage.
3. What do I need know? Be sure you know
where your parents store their important financial and legal
documents and if they have a will or written power of
attorney in place. Ask for contact information for any
financial and legal professionals they've worked with
along the way, and confirm you have the updated contact
information for extended family members who you may need to
reach in the future.
4.Is your retirement income still sufficient? It's
possible that your parents may be struggling to make their
retirement savings last. They may have lived to be an older
age than they expected when they retired, could be facing
expensive health care bills, or their investments may have
been affected by the recession. Being aware of their
financial situation can help you both set expectations for
Having these conversations with your aging parents can
be difficult, but often the biggest challenge is approaching
them in a way that encourages honest dialogue among multiple
family members. Consider working with a financial
professional who can help facilitate these and other
conversations while keeping your overall financial plan and
goals in mind.
1Money Across Generations IISM study. The Money Across
Generations IISM study was commissioned by Ameriprise
Financial, Inc. and conducted by telephone by GfK in December
2011 among 1,006 affluent baby boomers (those with $100,000
or more in investable assets); 300 parents of baby boomers;
and 300 children of baby boomers at least 18 years old. The
margin of error is +/- three percentage points for the
affluent boomers segment and +/- six percentage points for
the parents and children of boomers segments.
Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not
provide tax or legal advice. Consult with your tax advisor or
attorney regarding specific tax issues.
Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services
are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services,
Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may
not be available in all jurisdictions or to all
© 2012 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights
This press release was issued by Ameriprise Financial Inc. and was initially posted at http://newsroom.ameriprise.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1656 . It was distributed, unedited and unaltered, by noodls on 2012-03-29 16:46:03 PM. The issuer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.