Every Mother’s day, we are always faced with the challenge of what to give our moms for a gift. Here are my suggestions of things you can do as a gift for her financial confidence. As our mom’s age, especially if they are single, they do appreciate knowing one of their children is looking out for their financial well- being.
- Ask her about her goals? Where does she want to live as she gets older? Having meaningful conversation about what she thinks will be her best living arrangement is important to understand as well as plan for. Do you need to help her research different living options? Doing this early helps the family know what all the choices are based on finances.
- Ask her if she has completed a Health Care Power of Attorney as well as a Property Power of Attorney. While an attorney can assist with these, each state typically has these available online. The Illinois forms can be found here: IL Power of Attorney form. Discuss her healthcare wishes with her so she knows her wishes will be honored. I have had clients with short term illnesses that required money out of their accounts. Without prior authorization, this won’t be possible.
- Ask her if her beneficiary documents are current. If she has been divorced or widowed and these have not been changed, the family could have a lot of complications if mom passes. Worst case, the money will go to the wrong person.
- Review her social security benefit. If she is divorced, she can be getting half of her ex’s benefit. If her ex has passed, she can get the full amount. My mom was recently in this situation. Her own benefit was higher than half of her ex-spouses but when he passed she qualified for his full benefit, of course each person’s situation is different. This increased her monthly benefit considerably. Ask a Certified Financial Planner™ professional to assist you if you are not aware of the rules.
- Consider hiring or encouraging her to hire a Fee Based Financial planner to help her set goals and understand how she will financially meet them. Many of my single women clients like to know that they do not have to burden their children with their financial questions. They like having a partner in this planning.
- If your mother is aging and she has a financial professional, ask if you can meet them. In my practice, I enjoy meeting my client’s children. If I become concerned with any aging issues, I will have the ability to reach out to a trusted family member.
Your mom may not be open to all of these ideas but I am certain she will appreciate that you cared enough to ask.
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