Saturday, May 22, 2010

How To Talk Finances

My dad is getting ready to travel cross country on a motorcycle in two weeks...alone. I'm worried for him. As you now know, my dad is my only living parent. I need him to stick around another thirty years or so, but my dad is retired and he wants to go out and do his thing. I totally get his need to Vita Abundantior (there I go again...), but my dad doesn't have a cell phone, and he's going alone. How am I supposed to know if something happens to him? I think maybe he needs to have my name and number tattooed on his chest just in case he ends up in the hospital.

Thinking about his upcoming trip, I started wondering about my father's financial life. Now, this is depressing as hell. I don't like thinking about my dad dying, but I'm starting to see that his financial health is as important as his actual health. Since my mother is dead, I'm assuming that he has already paid for his plot, but what about his savings? If my dad falls and breaks a hip (God forbid) in ten years, does he have the money and the insurance to cover the expenses?

I know we need to have this conversation because my dad is over 60 years old. He is in good health right now, but my family knows all too well that you can be healthy one day and dead the next. I know he has a will because I came upon it one day when I was hunting for my birth certificate, but it was pretty dated. Has he updated his will? I don't know.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to bring up his financial life. I'm worried my dad will think I'm out to ambulance chase him to the grave or something. If any of you have had the "financial health" conversation with your parent(s), how did you bring it up politely without seeming nosey? Any advice would be appreciated.

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