Andrea Coombes’ Ways and Means: How to talk to your parents about their estate plan

Have you tried to talk with your parents about their retirement finances or estate plans? If that conversation isn’t happening, you’re not alone.

Thirty-four percent of parents haven’t had a detailed conversation with their adult children about their living expenses in retirement and 43% of parents said they haven’t had detailed discussions about their long-term-care plans, according to a survey of 221 parents (age 55+) and their adult children, conducted for Fidelity Investments. Read the summary.

The barriers to such conversations vary, but tend to revolve around deeply held beliefs — from long-held prohibitions on talking about money or death, to the parents’ fear of losing control over their finances, or even a sense of embarrassment if they haven’t managed their money well, says Susan Zimmerman, a licensed therapist and co-founder of Mindful Asset Planning.

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