Adult children and their parents recognize the need to talk about inheritance, eldercare and retirement planning issues, but nearly one in two adult children do not feel like they’ve had sufficient conversations with their parents about these issues …
Discussing retirement and elder care planning with aging parents can be difficult for all parties involved. For many parents and adult children, these conversations can be awkward and potentially emotional. A study by Fidelity Investments documents the extent to which the two generations are failing to communicate on this topic, as conveyed by Forbes in an article titled “Generations Apart: Talking Retirement And Estate Planning Over Turkey.”
According to the study, 89% of families agree that health and elder care discussion are important. But only 10% of adult children believe the conversations they have had with their parents have been “very detailed.” Similarly, only 19% of children say the same about estate planning conversations, and only 11% of adult children feel they have discussed retirement readiness with their parents in detail.
There are several implications of inadequate discussions. For example, nearly 25% of adult children believe they will have to help their parents in retirement while nearly all of the parents in the study said they will not need financial help from their children. Similarly, some adult children underestimate the value of their parents’ estates by more than $100,000. On the other hand, however, some adult children may not save enough because they expect a large inheritance from their parents. For more on this matter, you can consult the article “Parents and Adult Children Not in Sync as Many Families Still Struggle with Financial Conversations” on Fidelity.com.
To help facilitate these discussions, Fidelity also offers conversation starters on their website. However, an easier way to facilitate the conversation may be for both the parents and the children to sit down with the parents’ financial adviser and legal counsel. Advisers can structure those conversations to keep focused on the essentials and keep the emotions out.
References: Forbes (November 21, 2012) “Generations Apart: Talking Retirement And Estate Planning Over Turkey”