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Why you should talk to your parents about money, long-term care

Jul 25, 2019 | Long-Term Care Planning

Money is an uncomfortable topic of discussion. Most people would prefer to keep information regarding their income, debts and expenses private, perhaps partly because many were raised to believe that talking about money was not appropriate. This thought prevents Florida parents and their adult children from having important conversations about money, long-term care and estate planning. It could also leave some of those adult children in a financial bind.

A survey from GOBankingRates determined that 73% of adults in America have not talked about finances with their aging parents. Additionally, 22% do not intend to ever bring up the subject. It is possible that some are simply waiting until a parent experiences a financial or health emergency, but by then there is no opportunity to plan or prepare. Considering that approximately 80% of elderly adults live with one or more chronic diseases, some type of emergency is likely to arise.

Talking with a parent about options for paying for end-of-life care — such as long-term care insurance — is important. Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities can cause upwards of $8,000 a month, and Medicare will not cover any costs associated with this kind of care. If a parent does not have enough savings or insurance coverage to afford a facility, an adult child will probably have to take over caregiver duties. These adults might feel initially confident in their decisions to provide care, but many end up experiencing significant financial losses of their own. It is not uncommon for a child to cut back on hours or even leave his or her job in order to continue caring for a loved one, even if not fully equipped to do so.

Of adults older than 65, only 11% have long-term care insurance. That figure drops to 5% for those aged 55 to 60. Even though talking with loved ones about money, estate planning and long-term care planning can be difficult, it is still important for Florida families to have these conversations and take action when necessary.