One thing I was taught growing up was to never talk about money to anyone. Not how much money I saved, spent, or made. Any information about my money I needed to keep close to the chest and not share with anyone. Thinking about having a money conversation with my parents just frightens me, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are some useful tips to having the money conversation with you parents.
Don’t give advice – Saying that you know someone who did this or who did that can really turn your parents off from talking about finances. Saying to your parents they should do something is like saying we need to talk; it automatically puts the other person in a defensive mood. Don’t give advice and remember to stay casual with the conversation.
Don’t think you know better – Having a bad attitude and going into the conversation like you are the know-it-all on money advice will not get the conversation rolling. Have an open mind and listen to what your parents are saying.
Helpful conversation starters – It can be hard to get the ball rolling with talking about money. It’s best to start the conversation about something casual or say that you saw some helpful information about saving money. For example you can say you read or saw something on TV about saving on a bill you know your parents are paying too much for. Giving a source and the helpful information will sound like a suggestion not a command.
Give compliments – Giving a complement to your parents as you give them advice will give them a confidence boost. For example you can say something about your parents being able to spot a scam but you wanted them to be aware of a new one you heard about. It will sound more like a tip than sounding bossy.
Metaphors can go a long way – You know when you have a conversation with your friends and someone uses a metaphor, you remember their point a little easier and it just makes better sense. Metaphors are perfect for talking money to your parents. For example you can say that wouldn’t buy a house or a car without an inspection from a professional right? Then you shouldn’t invest in something unless you speak with a financial planner. It makes sense and your parents really can’t fight you on that logic.
Don’t delay – Having this conversation now will be much better than being forced to have the conversation when times get really tough and bills are far past due.
Pick the right time – Talking money with your parents needs to be in the right setting. Some may suggest having the conversation in a public place so if an argument occurs it won’t get heated. This may not be true for everyone. Weigh your options and determine what would be the best time and place to have a conversation, but do not make a big deal of the conversation, you are looking to help not cause a fight.
Money can be a touchy subject but if you go in with the right frame of mind you can get your points across without ruining your relationship. If you do have the conversation with your parents about money and are concerned about if they will have enough money for the rest of their retirement, a reverse mortgage could help. If you are worried about having the conversation about a reverse mortgage with your parents check out the caring for an aging parent page to get tips about how to have the conversation with your parents.
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800) 401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.