Are Seniors Children Concerned With Their Parents Financial Situation?

image In the past few months I’ve been hearing more about children or caregivers of seniors being the people who do the initial research on reverse mortgages for their parents.  Are they doing this because a senior has asked them or are they doing it because they are worried about their parents financial situation?

According to a recent survey conducted by Crestwood Associates on behalf of Golden Gateway Financial, half of all senior citizens that participated said they haven’t had an in-depth conversation about their financial situation with their adult children.  In total, only twelve percent of all seniors surveyed had spoken with their children and developed a sound plan to address their financial challenges. According to Crestwood Associates, this reveals a critical need for a more open financial dialogue between older Americans and their children.

Other highlights of the study include:

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  • Approximately half of all senior citizens and adult children surveyed responded that they had not spoken about their parents’ financial situation
  • Roughly one quarter of seniors who have spoken with their children still have not found a solution to their parents’ financial difficulties
  • Two thirds of senior citizens who had not spoken with their children declared that they did not want to discuss finances with them in the future
  • Only a third of adult children surveyed reported having confidence in their parents’ retirement finances

With housing pricing dropping across most parts of the country I can understand why a seniors son or daughter might be more concerned than before.  Are you starting to see seniors children play a more active role in their parents financial planning than before?  Leave your comments below.

Finances Taboo Topic for Senior Citizens and Their Children, Finds Reverse Mortgage Firm

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  • Most recently I have had two referrals for a reverse mortgage that involved adult children.

    At a meeting with one of referrals, a senior couple, were their two adult children; one of them a woman who is head of a large corporation. She was concerned because her parents had confided that they were using credit cards to buy prescription drugs. She is promoting the reverse for them and helping them understand their financial situation better.

    The second was an inquiry from an adult daughter that came in to our national sales desk. The daughter requested information to educate herself so that she could speak to her Mother about the reverse mortgage more intelligently. In a followup call over this past weekend, I learned from the daughter’s husband, that the daughter was at her Mom’s house, for the express purpose of reviewing all the materials.

    I have had other adult children involved, in the past, but not a lot of them. I don’t know if these two recent referrals are showing a growing trend. Thanks for what you do each day!

  • We have always had adult children involved in the process with their parents. Our company encourages this for the peace of mind of the adult children and the parents. And we have almost zero resistance from adult children to a reverse mortgage for their parents. Although we have not tracked the percentage of adult children making the initial inquiry I beleive it to be around 2-3%.

  • This is a topic that hits very close to home for me. My 79-year-old father, who until December, worked 35 hours a week has been suffering from the effects of advanced Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

    A year and a half ago my mother contacted me because my father was having difficulty managing the day-to-day finances. Since my father had managed the household finances for 52 years my mom was completely unprepared to take over. So I spent two days going through mom and dad’s finances, tracking down assets, making sense of the investments they had. I discovered that, while my father was doing the best that he could, he had been victimized by investment advisors and annuity schemes over the last 10 to 15 years that were not my parent’s best interests.

    Adult children of seniors often don’t ask their parents about their finances, and seniors are often reluctant to talk about them. Seniors are concerned about privacy or not wanting to burden their children with such matters. Children fear to ask would be prying and parents will see it as an intrusion to their privacy. For most seniors and their children this is a serious mistake.

    Your parents grew up in a different time, and unless they been very diligent it is likely they have not kept pace with the changes in modern investments and finances. The result is they can often be victimized by smooth talking investment advisors who are not necessarily looking out for their best interests.

    Children benefit by gaining perspective on not only their parents retirement and their own as well by gaining the wisdom of a person who’s lived through the many financial ups and downs of the last 50 or 60 years.

    In the end, over a period of five or six months, I restructured and simplified my parent’s investments. I consolidated accounts (several earning less than 3%) into three institutions, all providing online access. I reviewed their health insurance plans, researched alternatives, and save them more than $5,500 a year in health insurance costs.

    I took over paying all the bills through an online bill payer account. I encouraged my mom (a frugal woman) to use a single credit card for all purchases which I pay off in full each month. This allows me to easily keep track of where the spending is going. The result is, I now have to invest less than an hour a month and managing my parent’s finances. While I keep my mother involved, she has the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of.

    So what’s the moral of the story? Get involved!, even when your parents protest. Let them know that in the end all decisions are theirs, but two heads are better than one, and each of you will benefit from the other’s perspective.

  • Mr. Stephen Kenny has written an excellent response.
    Being a Senior with four grown children and a Wife raised by Parents who believed that Children should be seen and not heard (involved in financial discussions
    NOT AT ALL!!!!), I have spent most of our married life educating everyone. The Kenny response is one
    I would like to have permission to pass on to my Senior Reverse Mortgage customers who need to read and comtemplate its content. Thanks for the thoughtful
    writing.

  • I’ve been originating reverse mortgages for over 7 years and have always had adult children involved in the process. Maybe it’s because I live in the south, but I would have to say that at least a third of the over 100 reverse mortgage loans that I’ve personally closed, had the children involved in some capacity.
    Sometimes the first call comes in from the child getting information and then the parents take it from there or the children get involved after the parents have inquired and are wanting to move forward with the loan.
    All but two of my interactions with adult children have been positive and supportive of the parents getting the loans. Of course, thats only from my perspective. Who knows how many homeowners have changed their minds and not gone through with the process after speaking with their kids about it. I did have a client recently who’s kids talked him and his wife out of doing the loan two years ago, whose now come back and gotten the reverse mortgage. Also, if you are talking about the kids, you can’t forget the grandkids. I’ve had a few of them with concerns of their own.

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