Through a son’s eyes
Chartered articled planner, Tom Brukman, would like his parents to know how he views them in anticipation of their retirement. Here is what he says … it may lend perspective regarding how your children are feeling about your life transition.
I want my parents to relinquish the gnawing concern that many parents of adult dependents share: do my children have enough money?
Freeing parents from this potentially debilitating worry can only happen through honest and open conversations about their money and mine. The opening of dialogue allows parents to understand, not only the financial position their children are in, but also and more importantly, their own financial position as adults as they move ever closer to retirement.
How so? Parents need to know what financial commitments are to be included in their planning. My parents have a financial plan, and supporting me and my brothers is not viable (or expected!) in that plan. There is a marked difference between the following two scenarios:
- My parents being financially stable, but having to support their sons when they are called on to do so; and
- My parents being financially stable because they follow the provisos of their financial plan, free of shifting obligations to dependants.
The substantial gap between these two outcomes, and the peace of mind that accompanies the second situation, motivates me to plan for myself. I can thereby free my parents to enjoy their retirement after they have sacrificed so much to get me to a place where I can be independent.
The most effective way we found to create this positive outcome was having that crucial conversation – the lifting of any guilt or animosity has been a welcome and unifying result. It is a matter of overcoming any perceived awkwardness around the topic of money, and simply being honest.