It can be very difficult to help your parents. After all, they gave birth to you and changed your diapers, and taught you everything you know. At least, that is how they see it. Your parents love you very much. But they don’t necessarily respect your expertise. It is difficult for them to imagine you knowing anything significant about life that they don’t. These are just a few of the reasons why:
- They will always see you as their baby
- They have much more life experience
- They may also have a good education
- They have a hard time recognizing their own need for help
Don’t take it personally. You wouldn’t take financial advice from your 7-year-old. Some part of them will always see you that way no matter how many degrees you have. It is also a matter of pride. Few people are comfortable admitting they need help.
We want to be seen as independent and competent. Once you understand why seniors feel so vulnerable, you will better appreciate why they don’t want to admit they need your help. There is also the fact that when the children help, it sometimes results in them losing freedoms such as driving or living independently.
This may be the help they need. But it is seldom the help they want.
Don’t despair, there are good ways to approach offering help to your parents. Once you master those approaches, these are a few areas where they could use your help:
Insurance has gotten a lot more complicated since your parents opened their policies. It has probably been a long time since they considered their insurance. They might not even know where their policies are. What they need is a good insurance review.
If you are a little more up to date about insurance, you might want to help them go over their various policies to make sure they still represent the best options for your parents’ current needs.
Be sure they review the beneficiary and contingent beneficiary. If they bought term life 10 or more years ago, that term might have run out. Depending on their age and health, they might have a hard time renewing. You will need to help them find a company that will work with them at a price they can afford.
Insurance is easier for the young and healthy but gets much more complicated for seniors with questionable health.
Help With Financial Tools And Applications
If your parents are on a fixed income, you might be in a position to help them financially. But there are other ways you can help your parents with finances. That said, it is not just a matter of giving them money. Their greater need will help navigate the new financial landscape.
The simple act of paying for things has changed significantly. They can now pay for things with their smartphone or watch. For people with accessibility needs, that can be a lot better than fumbling with cards and reading printed currency.
We also live in a world where almost everything can be automated, including payments. There is almost no reason to keep a checkbook around. Many investment accounts are balanced automatically. Tax preparation can be done more accurately and with just a few mouse clicks.
From making payments to the very nature of money, a lot has changed in the last decade. They will likely appreciate the help.
Gone are the days when VCRs flashed the noon hour. Now, it is smartphones that never get fully set up. The iOS setup process has gone from being so easy, a child could do it, to being so convoluted, it takes a comp-sci expert.
Thanks to feature overload and security concerns, all tech setup processes have gotten much more complicated. But there are also a lot more accessibility features for all the platforms. One of the best things you can do for them is to show them how to resize the system fonts and connect hearing aids to their devices. This, alone, could rock their world in the best of ways.
You will always be their baby. And there is nothing you can do to change that. But they are also very proud of you. Help them navigate this brave new world via an insurance review, a financial and payment update, and tech support.
Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.