Thursday, May 7, 2009

Family Finances

Americans don’t like to talk about money or finances. There’s an attitude that it’s none of anyone else’s business. Which may be true, but money is a major factor in successful aging.

My mother is a very independent woman. I trait I appreciate, but also drives my brother, sister and I crazy. She is reticent to share her financial situation with us, which has made it difficult for us to help her. Now that she’s in her mid-eighties with memory issues it would be nice to be able to have a open dialog about her financial situation.

As my siblings and I continue to try to figure how to help my mother, my husband and I are discussing how we might avoid the same trap. While our children have a vague idea about our estate the plan has been to have a yearly meeting to let them know about our financial and estate situation. We’ve been intending to do this for over a year, but have failed to schedule a time to have the conversation.

I’ve decided Mother’s Day is the right time to have the call. While not the most sentimental of topics, it is for the benefit of all of us that we have the discussion.

My husband and I live in Southern California, daughter is in San Francisco and son is on the east coast. Everyone can call into Instant Conferencing # for free. They will have to pay any toll charges for the long distance call.

I’m still working on the agenda, but we want to let them know where financial information is kept. We have a trust, so we’ll answer any questions they might have about that. We’ll also let them know where our money and an overview of our financial situation. In addition, I’m hoping we can answer any questions they may have.

Aging and finances are intricately intertwined. Families should learn to work together for successful retirement living. Not everyone can have this conversation, but I’d like to hear how other families deal with finances and family as they get older.
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