This past October, as I was flying back from Florida, I was trying to wrap my mind around how a family birthday party turned into tears and surprise over my Mom suggesting that she and my Dad wanted to move in with my brother and his family. Shortly after returning to Buffalo, I called my mom to thank her for having the courage to start a conversation about later life planning. I asked what had caused her to make a 180 degree turn, going from ‘We will take care of each other’, to having an honest discussion with the family. The bottom line was that she was afraid; afraid of running out of money and maybe of not having options.
Since I had plans to visit Florida again, I asked my parents if they would like some help looking over their finances and talking about what was on their mind. They surprised me with how eager they were to meet and forwarded to me their financial information, including budget, investments and last tax return. It is hard to imagine the day will come when I may have to go to my kids for help. As I looked over my parent’s information, I did so fully aware that my parents are very independent and have a stubborn pride (that’s where I get it); therefore to be helpful I needed to be both honest and gracious.