Dawn Crouch, an insurance agent, noticed a trend in her industry: People would put off buying insurance that could be used in their golden years because they didn’t know when the right time was to start talking about it.
In order to help people begin those conversations with loved ones, she brought together a panel of experts called the Aging Parent Answer Team.
Here are four of the team’s frequently asked questions:
- How do I start my estate plan when I just feel overwhelmed? Focus on the goal. Maybe it is to provide a stable home for a minor child; maybe it is to ensure that a personal relationship is protected; or maybe it is to pass on a charitable legacy. Remaining focused on the goal simplifies the decision-making process.
- When should we start thinking about care options? Plan early! Broach the subject of senior living when conversations can be casual and perceived as nonthreatening. Ask your aging loved one what their wants/wishes are and openly discuss “what-ifs” as their level of care changes. Overall anxiety will be lessened if this is done before a crisis.
- My parent is downsizing — how do I say no to their “special gift”? It might be their train collection or an antique armoire; either way, you can decline the gift by politely saying no. You can still honor the gesture by admiring the item, taking a photo or video of it with the giver and asking for their story about why it has been important to them.
- At what age should I consider long-term care insurance? Usually between the ages of 45 and 65. That is when many households are able to redirect some of the dollars that were being spent on mortgage or college expenses toward the new goal of planning ahead for great care. The best answer, of course, is to buy it before your health changes!