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How a Financial Advisor Can Help Your Aging Parents

Written by Angelike Gaunt
 about the author
2 minute readLast updated March 29, 2023

As your parents age, it can be stressful to witness a decline in their physical and/or mental health. Their needs will inevitably evolve, and it’s important to seek help navigating all aspects of these changes, including the financial implications. Unfortunately, many families fail to plan for the higher medical expenses, long-term care costs, and changes in cognition that often come with getting older. Encouraging your parents to meet with a financial advisor can be a wise choice. These professionals can help you and your parents navigate these challenging issues and plan for the future.

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If you have parents in their 70s or 80s, you may have begun to notice subtle changes that could signal a decline in their overall well-being. You may feel the need to check in with them more frequently, maybe even doing a little reconnaissance when you visit to surmise how they are really doing. You’ve found that asking questions directly sometimes earns you a lecture on them being the parent and their desire for you to mind your own business. You certainly aren’t trying to pry or mettle in places where you don’t belong, but you are becoming increasingly concerned that things might be slipping through the cracks.

Let our care assessment guide you

Our free tool provides options, advice, and next steps based on your unique situation.

At first, it may be a late fee on a bill they forgot to pay. It may be that the same conversations with your parents are occurring again and again, without them realizing it. They may have more anxiety about recurring or recent problems. It may be the fact that your mother’s typically immaculate home is suddenly looking disheveled and unkempt. Whatever initial red flag you see, there comes a realization that you are going to need to be much more involved in your parents’ day-to-day lives, possibly while also getting a heavy dose of resistance from your parents.
How do you navigate this changing stage of life with your parents, without losing your mind or your relationship with them? Is there an easier way to work through these aging phases with your parents, while still allowing them to be in control of their own futures?

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This can be a difficult phase for both parent and child, but it can be manageable if approached in the right manner. If you’ve never been down this path before, locating the right resources to fit your parents’ needs can be both time consuming and confusing. You may not know what the realistic options are for your parents based on affordability, as they may be hesitant to share their financial information with you, their child. Many adult children are finding that a good approach is to engage a trusted financial advisor to work directly with their parents and act as an intermediary for many of the issues they will encounter. This trusted advisor should act as a fiduciary for your parents and should be well-versed in aging issues. This can be especially helpful if you do not live in close proximity to your parents and need someone local to assist them.
The advisor can become a trusted resource to your parents, engaging them in a non-confrontational manner and having conversations about aging well in advance of any serious issues developing. They can look at your parent’s entire financial picture, educate them on the financial implications of their choices or inaction, as well as help them communicate their decisions to the whole family. While having your parents work with an advisor will not eliminate all the tough conversations, it can give you peace of mind knowing your parents have an advocate who serves as the unbiased intermediary, allowing your main focus to remain on nurturing the ongoing relationship with your parents.


Meet the Author
Angelike Gaunt

Angelike Gaunt is a content strategist at OurParents. She’s developed health content for consumers and medical professionals at major health care organizations, including Mayo Clinic, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the University of Kansas Health System. She’s passionate about developing accessible content to simplify complex health topics.

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