A 2016 Fidelity study found that 38% of parents say they don't talk to their adult children about retiring, because the conversation never comes up.
Motley Fool says in its recent article, “3 Tips for Talking to Your Parents About Retirement,” that the importance of having retirement talks with your parents can't be overstated.
A Fidelity survey found that 93% of adult children and 95% of parents had greater peace of mind after having "any" detailed conversation about the parents' estate planning.
These conversations can be difficult, but here are a few ideas that may help when talking with parents.
Listen First. Some families still see conversations about money as taboo, and some parents may not think they need to discuss their finances with their adult kids. It is, therefore, important to listen to what your parents are saying when they do talk about the subject. Try to listen first and figure out what they want. Sometimes, they want input on their decisions. There are other times when they just want to let you know what decisions they've already made.
Research. If your parents talk to you about their retirement plans, it can be tempting to immediately offer your opinions. It’s quite possible that your parents and you need to do some more homework before finalizing any retirement plans or offering advice. It’s also possible that they have done a lot of research on their own.
It's Their Money, Not Yours. Remember that you can't dictate how your parents spend their money. If they want to blow their retirement savings on big vacations or assisting family members to their own detriment, it’s their decision.
This definitely gets more complicated, if you're the one who might end up financially supporting your parents as they get older. But you can't and shouldn't be trying to control your parents' financial decisions.
You should also have conversations with your parents about their estate plan. If they don’t already have wills and other estate planning documents in place, talk with them about making an appointment to see an estate planning attorney.
Reference: Motley Fool (March 31, 2018) “3 Tips for Talking to Your Parents About Retirement”