This post is part of our series for advisors to pass to their clients to help them understand life settlements. Aging doesn’t have to be scary, and we here at Ashar want to help you provide the resources that policy sellers need to flourish in this chapter of their life.
When it comes to difficult topics for families to discuss, finances and the prospect of death top the list. And when you put them together, as all of us who are aging or caring for aging parents inevitably must, it can lead to some highly uncomfortable — even contentious — conversations.
But thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of planning and a lot of compassion, conversations about financial options like life settlements can go smoothly. Here are four ways to help make that happen.
1. First, acknowledge that this is a difficult subject. Whether you’re talking with a family member who is struggling to cover costs during retirement, or requires long term care for an illness, it’s important to acknowledge that this isn’t like talking about what the grandchildren have been doing in school lately, or the last good movie you saw. Most parents and children, and even some married couples, have trouble talking about finances and aging, and that’s OK. What’s not OK is avoiding the subject when it really needs to be discussed. The good news? A life settlement could end up being a highly effective solution to whatever financial issues your family is facing.
2. Remember that money can be a highly emotional topic. If only money were as simple as numbers on a spreadsheet! No matter how objective we try to be, finances are almost always tied to our emotions. Parents, especially, may want to avoid discussing their finances with adult children because they don’t want to burden them — especially if the parents are facing something as potentially worrisome as the high costs of home care, or not having enough saved for retirement. If you find yourself getting frustrated because your family member won’t engage with you on the topic, try to remember why they might be acting that way. If you need to let it go and try again another day, do so.
3. Get creative. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of another family member or even a professional. According to a New York Times article, one good way for adult children to get the conversation going is to go with a parent to a meeting with their financial advisor. Or maybe you have a sibling, aunt, uncle, or another family member who would be willing to help you initiate the talk. This can be especially helpful if you are already serving as your spouse or parent’s caregiver, which is already emotionally exhausting.
4. Approach your family member with compassion and respect for his or her dignity. Admittedly, this can be difficult if you’ve attempted to have this conversation multiple times, only to be ignored or pushed aside. And if you’re a caregiver, as mentioned above, your emotional reserves might already be quite low. If possible, pick a time to discuss financial issues when you and your family member are likely to be rested and relaxed. If you find your well of compassion is running dry, and you have some time before the issue absolutely must be discussed, give yourself permission to step back and try again later.
When and if you do have to have this kind of talk with someone you love, we hope these tips are helpful to you. At the Ashar Group, we pride ourselves on helping financial advisors find the true market value of their clients’ life insurance policies so that the client can decide whether a life settlement is something they want to pursue. And the first step is easy: to see whether your policy qualifies, take our free quiz