Sunday, November 05, 2006

I had "The Talk" with my Mom

Whenever you think of the talk, you think of safe sex right? The birds and the bees? Well, when it comes to personal finance and talking to your parents, the talk is when you talk about how they plan to handle the difficult stuff like what to do when they retire and all of that.

Yesterday, I gave my mom a call and she was not busy and thought it would be a good idea for me to come over and we would talk about "money stuff". So, when I got over there I was totally impressed.

Without even asking, she had written out exactly what her income and expenses were. She had a paystub to show me what she is currently contributing to savings and retirement accounts and was quite at-ease about the whole thing. This made me very happy and comfortable because I know that despite some of the debt hurdles and other issues she is facing, there is a reasonable plan to deal with them.

We talked about how she would handle her debt and also discussed a couple of small steps for her to do. Next time when I visit her to discuss this stuff in a couple of months, we are going to start working on getting her setup to pay bills online and such. I love online bill pay and I think that now that she realizes how much of a pain it can be to write out checks, she is more interested in doing that.

It matters to you. If there is anything that you can do for yourself it is this: discuss these issues with the people you care about. If they are older, especially if you might end up being some kind of caregiver, it is extremely important. Bills and expenses for a parent or loved one can be difficult to absorb if you haven't planned for them. Having "the talk" can help you remove any surprises way before they become a factor.

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