People are a lot more conscious of how they talk about money and how it is used today. If you want to keep your loved ones safe, you need to ensure that you are respectful and understanding when speaking with them about money.
Many seniors are interested in the details of their finances but feel hesitant to ask about them. Additionally, many children give up discussing finances with their parents because they don’t know how to approach the topic without angering them or upsetting the family dynamic. This article provides information on how to talk about money with your aging loved ones experiencing these feelings of insecurity or discomfort when discussing financial matters.
- Use words of wisdom and assurance.
- Avoid being negative and making statements, such as “you are spending too much money on this” or “you are throwing your money away.” Make statements that show you understand the choices your loved ones are making. Mentioning that you can completely relate to their feelings, desire to purchase something specific, or create a particular decision that evokes happy feelings will encourage positive communication.
- Keep the topic limited to feelings and emotions. If you are making a suggestion, do not make it in a controlling way. The goal is to allow your loved ones to feel free to make their own decisions while respecting the financial situation. To talk about finances with your aging loved ones, you need first to be aware of some common stereotypes and misbeliefs about senior citizens and money.
- Your tone of voice should be gentle
- Try to keep a calm attitude. Speak slowly and with a tone of reassurance. If a comment is negative or critical, do not interrupt.
- Acknowledge the feelings by saying, “I can completely relate to your frustration.” At times it may be essential to make suggestions; in such cases, use general statements such as “it seems like you are having feelings of anxiety or overwhelm right now” or “it sounds like you would like some help figuring out what steps to take next.” To offer to help with finances, you can say, “what can I do to help?”
- Empathize with their worries.
It is natural for your loved ones to be worried about their financial situation. Remember that they are not feeling this way because they have done anything wrong or are irresponsible. They may have had ups and downs in life, lost a spouse, and now feel overwhelmed by bills.
- Talk to them privately.
Spending some time alone together will create a more intimate atmosphere where your loved ones can feel comfortable sharing their feelings. Taking them to a quiet place in the house where they can sit comfortably and have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate can help calm them down. You may also consider going out to dinner or taking them to the movies. Go somewhere that they enjoy, to help make it a positive experience.
- Share the details of your finances.
If you feel comfortable sharing your financial information with your loved ones, do so honestly, and positively that shows that you support them in their financial decisions. For example, if you have savings or a pension plan that provides for a basic monthly income, let them know about it to feel more confident about having some security in their lives.
- News of the family or friends might affect your loved ones.
Be aware of how your loved ones might be affected by personal news from family or friends. Try to get them to talk about their feelings about the secret information. Similarly, your loved ones may want to share their feelings about a business transaction, such as a store closing or bankruptcy, that you will not talk about directly.
When talking with your loved ones about financial matters, remember that they might not have a solid financial knowledge of their own, but they still cherish the information they have heard from others.
Family members are becoming more aware of their parents’ and grandparents’ feelings about financial pressures. Many worry about whether or not they can do what they need financially to live dignified lives.
Seniors may be very uncomfortable discussing finances with loved ones because of the many stereotypes or misinformation about money that have been passed down. But the information given in this article will help you have a more successful conversation with your loved ones. Remember, always use a nondirective approach when talking about money and connect with their feelings and needs.
Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, a company that offers web design services, maintenance, and Internet marketing. She specializes in content marketing, social media, and SEO. She also serves as a blog contributor at Serenity Senior Care. She’s an avid personal development enthusiast and an expert in the field of health and fitness. When she’s not writing she can be found running hills or hiking trails, rooting for her favorite team (the Pittsburgh Steelers), or watching a good Netflix series.