Dear Mom and Dad: Are Your Finances Ready for Retirement?

Cameron Huddleston was 30 years old when she first suggested that her mother look into getting a long-term care insurance policy. Her mother was divorced, and Ms. Huddleston, a financial journalist, knew that a long-term care insurance policy could help offset the cost of any future care that might be needed. Ultimately, her mother couldn’t get coverage because of a pre-existing health condition, and the conversation just petered out.

“What I should’ve done was sit down with her and say to her, ‘Mom you can’t get long-term care insurance, so let’s look at your assets and see what kind of care you’d want,’” Ms. Huddleston said. “It didn’t even cross my mind to ask her that question.”

Four years later, her mother started exhibiting signs of memory loss. When Ms. Huddleston was 35, her mother was told she had Alzheimer’s, at the age of 65.

Ms. Huddleston immediately went into preparation mode when her mother started having lapses in memory — so by the time the Alzheimer’s diagnosis came, the family had taken care of the legal paperwork and laid the financial groundwork to ensure her mother would be well cared for.

While Ms. Huddleston’s experience may seem an outlier to many, the need to discuss your parents’ futures with them, especially before a potential crisis or inciting event, is true for all.

Initiating the conversation

“It can happen naturally. As naturally as premeditated can be,” said Ms. Huddleston, who wrote the book “Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk” to help others navigate this potentially difficult transition.

How should you bring it up naturally? Ms. Huddleston

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Business.

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