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Start "The Talk" with Your Parents Today
September 29, 2016
Discuss their medical & financial wishes
Those of you currently in your 40s and 50s are the bulk of the sandwich generation. In fact, 47% are caring for kids and parents according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center.
In other words, nearly 1 in 2 are providing care to someone other than a child. And 77% missed work to provide care for a parent.1 The outcome: more stress with more demands on time.
Additionally, 62% are impacted financially – to the tune of $10,000 annually in fact. Most taking from their retirement savings.1
As our parents age, some conversations aren't easy to start, but need to happen nonetheless.
It's not important until it's urgent
The time is now to start talking, because a lack of information can lead to serious complications.
If you haven't discussed the future, when it arrives unannounced and you're faced with urgent medical decisions or financial implications, a stressful situation could escalate to chaos.
Become prepared to face potential challenges, all while keeping your parents' best interests in mind.
4 Action tips for the sandwich generation
- Download checklist: Use this checklist of important information – financial or otherwise – to help start the conversation and document all sorts of information about your parents, from current medications and bank accounts to email passwords and burial instructions. Simply knowing the location of this sort of information can help provide peace of mind for the whole family.
- Casual conversations: Look for chances to casually ask questions on somewhat touchy subjects that your parents can address if they aren't feeling threatened. For example, if your mother mentions a friend moving to an assisted-living apartment, ask her how she feels about a move like that for herself. Or, if your father says he's been at a friend's funeral, ask him if he's thought about his own memorial service.
- Use parents’ network: Capitalize on the support network your parents have established. Ask about church friends and locate their church's website for future reference. Write down neighbors and friends whose names come up in conversation.
- Legal vehicles: Talk to your parents about a will, power of attorney and health care directive. You want your parents to make key decisions now, because that means you won't have to navigate the legal system later!
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Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent.
For additional information, visit Thrivent.com/disclosures.
1Genworth Beyond Dollars 2015 study: The Expanding Circle of Care – Executive Summary. January 2016.