Three Difficult Question's Every Millennial Should Ask Their ParentsSubmitted by Liberty Wealth Management on November 14th, 2016
Question 1: What comes to mind when you hear the words “Long-Term Care”?
Timing is important. Asking your ol man these questions a week after he fell over his golf bag and broke his wrist is probably not the right time. The timing may never feel right but this is a conversation that you don’t want to regret not having down the road. Blame it on me if you have to. Say “Connor wrote this article and he thinks it is important that I ask you these questions”.
Let’s get back to our question though. It’s likely they will think of a nursing home. Their life experiences are all they know and that is probably what they went through with their parents or grandparents. All you need to know is that healthcare has advanced drastically and it will continue to do so. There are a variety of choices now if long-term care is needed. We could all agree that those choices are easier to make if there is plan that has been mapped out. That is why we are asking these questions. Your parents may, or may not ever need care but I have to think being prepared is better than the alternative.
That leads us to the 2nd question…
Question 2: If something like that ever happened to you how would you like for us to handle that?
Before I spoke with my mother about this I just had a list of assumptions in my head. The goal here is to debunk those assumptions that everyone might have and bring some clarity to what your parents would want. Remember, they may never need long-term care but if they do how can we help them control that situation?
Are we coordinating that care? Are we taking time off work to provide that care? Would they like for it to be at home? Would they like to move down to Florida? Is it expected that one parent will provide care for the other and will that take away from their time with grandkids?
You don’t have to have every detail mapped out. That’s not realistic. Just ask the question and start the discussion. When Joel and I have these discussions with clients similar to your parents there is typically a consistent theme. The more questions asked the greater their clarity becomes surrounding their plan for this potential risk. The answer to those questions will lay the groundwork for our last question.
Question 3: How should I be preparing to help with the expenses that could be needed?
In 2013 the average cost of a private room at an assisted living facility in Illinois was $4,050 a month. (longtermcare.gov). “On average women will need care for 3.7 years and men may need it for 2.2 years.” Imagine adding a $4,000 bill to your current financial obligations right now.
I have seen lives dramatically altered as a result of these expenses. Homes sold. Jobs being quit. Estate auctions where everything you grew up with is moved out to the lawn and auctioned off. This is the type of stuff that no one should have to go through.
We either need to start preparing to help with these expenses or continue to ask these questions until a plan is mapped out. Taking no action at all is failing to plan. Failing to have a plan is like planning to fail.
Start having the discussion.