How to Have a Financial Management Conversation with an Elderly Loved One

Older man sitting and talking with son while they touch hands

Guest Blog By SilverBills

Having a conversation with an older adult relative about financial matters may be challenging. However, conversations such as these are essential as they provide an opportunity to talk about what a loved one may need help with as he or she ages.

Starting these conversations can sometimes be problematic, as the idea of allowing others to help manage one’s finances is not an easy decision. However, with proper preparation and staying mindful of certain dynamics, having a conversation about financial management with an elderly loved one can prove to be very productive. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when having a conversation about financial issues with a family member:

Plan the meeting ahead of time

Invite the necessary people who could potentially be involved with helping your loved one with aspects of his or her finances. This is necessary as it will ensure that everyone involved can share their input and agree on a plan. Additionally, have a prepared checklist including items that need to be discussed. These could be general financial obligations such as bills or specific areas that are unique to the individual’s situation. Lastly, decide if a professional mediator is necessary to make communication more efficient and ensure that all important information is covered.

Prioritize conversation instead of criticism

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox of AARP suggests that instead of starting the conversation by critiquing a loved one’s financial choices, you should instead talk about the importance of certain financial choices he or she will have to make. It is imperative that you do not “dictate what they should do financially” as this can be a quick way to make the conversation confrontational rather than productive. Above all, make sure that the conversation is respectful of your loved one’s financial choices and independence.

Identify and discuss areas where help may be needed

An elderly family member may not need help with every financial decision, or at least not right away. This is why it is important to discuss with him or her the specific areas that he or she is already struggling with or might in the future. Some areas to discuss might include bills, a will, taxes, and other financial obligations. It is important to again remember that giving up any amount of financial independence is difficult, so be sensitive about being too heavy handed.

Why having a financial independence conversation is important

As financial abuse of older adults continues to become more prevalent, considering external help both from professionals and family members in order to assist elderly family members with their finances may be prudent. This can help reduce fraud, scams, and simple financial errors and make it easier for older adults to attend to other important aspects of their life.

Additionally, those who have an older family member who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s may find it advisable to help with finances proactively. It is often difficult for older adults who have these conditions to manage all their finances effectively, and outside help can be essential in avoiding missing deadlines, scams, and other financial problems.

One area that an elderly family member might need help with is paying their bills. SilverBills is a high-tech solution to household bill management, empowered by professional account managers whose activities are monitored using robust A.I. fraud detection, and audited by licensed CPAs. Computer use on the part of clients is optional. SilverBills helps individuals outsource the job of managing household bills to trusted, vetted professionals with whom they can form personal relationships.

To get started with our service, give us a call at 866-653-4427 or visit silverbills.com.