We often talk about the need to financially educate our kids and ensure we send them off into the world with the right skills to manage their financial lives.

However, there are other people in our lives that we need to check in on too…our parents.

We often go along and assume our parents are ok, health wise and financially, unless they tell us they’re not.  The problem is though, that our parents (especially if elderly) may not really know whether their affairs are in order.

For example, you might assume that your parents have a Will and have appointed Powers of Attorney, but are these documents up to date?  Have any beneficiaries changed or have the nominated attorneys passed away?  Similarly, do your parents have insurance policies that they no longer need, yet are still paying for?  And is their money invested in the best way for them at their stage of life?

These are not easy conversations to have, especially as older Australians can be quite private about discussing these topics.  It’s almost taboo for some generations.  Then there’s also the fear that if they seek help, and find that things need to change, that they will lose some of their independence.

These conversations are best kept simple.  Explain that you’re not prying, but rather sharing your concerns.  To help you through the process, we have developed a checklist that will help you decide if your parents are financially under control. It’s free and available in the “Tools and checklists” area of our website which can be accessed via the homepage.