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Monday, Jan. 5, 2015


When children should talk to parents about money

As Baby Boomers grow older – and presumably wiser about economic matters – more are finding themselves in a position of caretaker for elderly parents. Raising the topic of money with parents can be difficult. But with the right choice of words, timing, and tone, you can open the door to a meaningful conversation.

Select a representative. An initial conversation about finances should be done one-on-one. Involving too many people can be overwhelming and appear threatening. If you have siblings, select one – perhaps the oldest, most financially knowledgeable, or one with whom your parent(s) may feel most comfortable – to lead the way. Remember, this is about your parent’s money, not about yours or your children’s.

Be sensitive. To some extent, our financial lives influence how we view ourselves as independent human beings. For many, old age is a time of coping with a series of physical and emotional losses: hearing, eyesight, mobility, memory, as well as friendships. With any conversation about money, be sensitive to the fears and concerns your parents may harbor about their possible loss of control or independence.

Break the ice skillfully. A subtle opening could involve an anecdotal story about a person you know in common, a news article found in the daily paper, or even about yourself.

• I need help with my will. Who did you use?

• How’s Aunt Mary doing since Uncle Joe passed away?

• What was it like for your parents during the Great Depression?

• Did you watch that TV special on hospitals last week?

Start slowly. Don’t commence a dialogue during a crisis situation or try to resolve all details in one meeting. Raise questions that your parents can consider for a follow-up conversation. You could try something like: “I’ll stop by for coffee next week, and we can continue our talk. Maybe you’ll have those papers by then?”

Your parents may actually enjoy the attention. After several informal conversations, you may want to consider the help of a financial professional.

For more information, contact the National Council on Aging (www.ncoa.org) and AARP (www.aarp.org).


If you’d like to learn more, please contact Denis Poljak at (318) 677-5426 or find more online at www.MorganStanleyFA.com/Poljak. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice.  This material was not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

Article by Wealth Management Systems, Inc.  and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.

The author(s) are not employees of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley.  The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by Morgan Stanley with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned.

Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor(s) engaged Forum Magazine to feature this article.

Denis Poljak may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration http://www.MorganStanleyFA.com/Poljak. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Denis Poljak is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.


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