Ask Your Aging Parents These Questions About Their Finances

Nine Topics that Can Provide You and Your Parents Peace of Mind
Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Ask Your Aging Parents These Questions About Their Finances

As your parents age, you may find yourself tackling new roles and responsibilities in your relationship with them. Perhaps you are helping them around the house, attending appointments with them, distributing their medication, or even managing their finances. In many ways, it may feel as if the parent-child role has inverted itself with you now in the position of caretaker.

Even if you are not yet in this position, you may be in the future as your parents grow older. Having a solid understanding of your parent's financial situation is critical if you are to ensure that they are going to be able to pay for their expenses and receive proper care in their later years.

Of course, this is no easy topic. Discussing finances can be tricky in any relationship – and it can be even more complicated as an adult child trying to broach the subject with your parents. Try using the nine questions below to cover the most critical aspects of your parent's finances, and you’ll be in a better position to provide care for them in the future, should you need to.

Dividing Assets in Your Will

Writing your Will and dividing your estate among your children can be a challenge. But even if the process is challenging, it’s vital that you do it.
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Monday, 16 September 2019

Dividing Assets in Your Will

Only 1 in 5 Americans over 55 have a will/trust, healthcare directive, and durable power of attorney.[i] If the reason you haven’t done it is the difficulty of divvying up the assets, then the obvious answer would be to just divide everything up equally and call it a day--plenty of people do that. But there are other ways to divide an estate that may not be identical but may be of equal value. In this article, we will look at different ways to divide your assets in an equitable way to your next generation. Hopefully, this will help make writing your will easier and leave you with the peace of mind that you have created something fair for all of your children.

An Inverted Yield Curve and You

By Jay Pluimer, AIF® CIMA®

Friday, 16 August 2019

The big news on August 15th announced an impending recession due to an inverted yield curve. Some clients may have been surprised to see that as a major headline since there have been other headlines over the past few months saying the exact same thing, just without an 800-point drop in the market. The goal of this update is to explain what an inverted yield curve is and what it means for your investments.

What is an Inverted Yield Curve?

It’s important to start by differentiating the stock and bond markets from the economy. The markets react to what is happening in the economy and then try to predict what will happen next. In this case, the bond market has been reacting to slower global growth by paying less interest for long-term bonds. Usually, an investor expects to get paid more (higher yield) for buying a long-term bond because there is more risk and uncertainty than with a short-term bond. The headlines on August 15th reflect that 10-year Treasury bonds are paying less interest than 2-year bonds (which, for perspective, was accurate by 0.022% and lasted for less than a day). However, the yield curve isn’t 100% accurate in predicting a recession, nor can it predict when the recession will start or how long it will last. The yield curve inverted in late 1966 right before an extended period of economic growth and there was also a brief inversion in 1998 when the yield curve was very flat, similar to our current environment, which also didn’t accurately predict a recession.

When an Elderly Parent is Being Taken Advantage Of

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA

Friday, 09 August 2019

When an Elderly Parent is Being Taken Advantage Of
A note from Kathy:

This is a hard topic. No one wants to think that a family member could take advantage--perhaps even steal from or willfully mislead--their parents. This article will help you wade through this challenging time. Rest assured, you aren’t alone. I was motivated to focus on elder financial abuse because so many of my clients have dealt with it.

Talking to a sibling or relative about the abuse will no doubt be very hard. But, in some cases, open communication and transparency may be enough to fix it. It may be as simple as putting limits in place and creating boundaries. Even in the simplest situations, people will get defensive and people will choose sides. You may need to take legal action, or even involve the police. This won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. Follow the important public safety slogan: If you see something, say something. 


An Aging Population 

Two things are happening at once: people are living longer and more of that population suffers from a mental impairment. In fact, 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and between 2000 and 2017 Alzheimer’s deaths increased 145%. Over 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s in America and by 2033 it’s estimated that an additional 3 million will be diagnosed. What that means is we have a large pool of Americans who are impaired and need help to manage themselves. Unfortunately, like all vulnerable populations, that opens them up to abuse.

Elder abuse, especially to those with a mental impairment, can be hard to police because this is often an isolated population. Even more challenging is that 60% of elder abuse is committed by a loved one or caregiver. Elder financial abuse and fraud loss can range from $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion annually, and considering that it tends to be self-reported, the numbers are most likely higher. 

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