Help­ing par­ents man­age money in their re­tire­ment

As par­ents age, it is im­por­tant that, as their chil­dren, you help them or­ga­nize their money with­out at­tack­ing their in­de­pen­dence

Mint Asia ST - - Views Otherviews - BSY UNITA A BRAHAM

It is a mat­ter of time be­fore you may have to add man­ag­ing your el­derly par­ents’ fi­nances to your list of money re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Don’t wait for a cri­sis to hap­pen be­fore you get in­volved. It is bet­ter to ini­ti­ate the con­ver­sa­tion as early as you can. The trick is to be able to do it with­out mak­ing them feel in­com­pe­tent or tread­ing on toes.

First steps

You can­not swoop in one day and take over your par­ent’s fi­nances. They are likely to see it as an at­tack on their in­de­pen­dence. Ap­proach the is­sue in stages. The first step is about earn­ing their con­fi­dence. And from your point of view, it is about or­ga­niz­ing their fi­nan­cial af­fairs so that it is eas­ier to man­age later when you have to take a more ac­tive role in it. This step is best taken when the par­ents are still ca­pa­ble of man­ag­ing their fi­nances.

Dis­cuss your own money mat­ters with them so that they see you as some­one who is fa­mil­iar with these mat­ters. Re­tire­ment of­fers a good op­por­tu­nity to get in­volved. Offer to help them or­ga­nize their fi­nan­cial af­fairs as they start on this new phase in life. Most peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate help. These in­clude: con­sol­i­dat­ing bank ac­counts, list­ing in­vest­ments and as­sets so that they know the ac­cu­mu­lated wealth at that point, or­ga­niz­ing all the doc­u­ments re­lated to the in­vest­ments and as­sets, bring­ing to­gether all the in­sur­ance poli­cies and elim­i­nat­ing those that are no longer nec­es­sary, and putting all the doc­u­ments re­lated to re­tire­ment and re­tire­ment benefits to­gether.

Once this is done, it is easy to up­date it as an an­nual ex­er­cise. It also gives you an op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with them on a


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