A Road Map for Helping Your Parents with Their Finances
When I was a kid, my grandfather always said to me, “Philip – don’t get old!”. As a middle schooler, longing to be taller and have a bedtime past 8:30 pm, this made no sense to me at all. However, as I have aged, and watched my own parents (as well as the very same grandfather, now 98) continue to age, the truth of his message has started to sink in. He is not referring to age itself, after all with age comes more freedom and wisdom, what he was warning me about are the parts of aging that are not as glamorous. You’re not as quick as you once were, you become a little forgetful, your eyesight and hearing start to fade, and as a result, some of your routine tasks are not so routine anymore…
So, what happens if you start to notice this with your own parents, specifically around their finances and money habits?
If your family is anything like mine, then your parents and grandparents will graciously welcome your help and be truthful and open-minded at every stage of the process! And now that we are back in the real world and not a Disney movie, let’s walk through how this will likely play out and arm you with the resources and roadmap to help your family. In the roadmap below, I aim to use my background as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ and the personal experience of working with my family to help you and yours. For those of you who do not know, I have been working in personal finance for over a decade. More importantly, I was fortunate enough to have some fantastic mentors in my greener years who taught me the real work we do in our industry should revolve around helping our clients, much less like what we see on TV. If not for their insight and honesty, I may have been misled to think all anyone in this industry does is play golf and pick stocks… I hope this guide helps me return the favor and share some of the knowledge I have been lucky enough to learn over the years.
My grandpa Fox has a lot of sayings – some of which cannot be printed – but one that can is “It takes a cool head, to win a hot game.” Life is hard, and money makes people do crazy things. Watching our loved ones get older can be scary, but being organized, facing your challenges head-on, and getting support can make it a little more manageable. So please don’t be afraid to ask for help. I hope the roadmap in this email will help you and your family as much as it has helped me and mine.