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Accounting for your parent's financial future

Here you are: the strong, independent person your parents hoped you'd become. You take care of yourself, your family, your finances and you've saved considerably for the future.

Part of your strength comes from your foresight as it relates to estate planning. You appreciate just how critical it is to secure funding for your future. As you look ahead to your golden years, you imagine having everything you need. Just when you think you've taken every asset and liability into consideration, you start thinking about your parents and if they have enough for everything they need.

This is a significant moment in the life of a son or daughter. Will you be asked to financially support your parents? Do they even need financial support?

Accounting for your parents

If you're like most adults, your parents have not disclosed the state of their financial affairs and it doesn't seem right to ask. Alternatively, forming an estimation based only on past and present spending is risky. It's relatively easy for people to live beyond their means and leave a mess of debts.

Now you're wondering: will my financial plans be impacted if my parents haven't saved enough for their future?

Imagine this scenario: Your parents come to you and ask for money. They say they're running quite low and are afraid they won't have enough.

Regardless of how you would answer, this scenario demonstrates the importance of taking a wider look at your finances and encouraging loved ones to do the same. There is often an unspoken agreement that family will support each other during hard times. If you know what to expect, you can better plan for it.

Finding the right words

You don't need to know every detail of your parent's finances to prepare your own, however, it's ok to suggest that they meet with an estate planner. Share that you've done the same and that it's a great way to find out exactly where you stand.

If you can, try to put yourself in your parent's shoes before you broach the subject. Your approach could have a significant impact on how they receive your suggestion.

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