Talking Finances With Aging Parents


Older gentleman using tablet

Finances are a subject many families are hesitant to discuss, especially between parents and children. But as your parents age, there’s a chance that they may become less capable of managing their finances. This can be a delicate subject to approach for everyone involved. While you may be met with some resistance when bringing up the topic, it’s important to have open discussions with parents about their finances and potential issues they may face as they age.

You don’t want to wait until past due notices start piling up or your parents fall prey to a scam to have these discussions. It’s easier to talk about it in advance than to fix an issue after it’s happened.

Here are some suggestions for preparation steps you can take right now.

Be responsible with your own finances

If you plan on helping your parents, you should be in a financially secure place yourself. Make sure that your own financial strategy accounts for your aging parents.

Find the best way to approach the subject

You probably know best about how your parents may react to a conversation about their finances. If they wouldn’t react well to a formal meeting, try to work finance-related topics into your regular conversations. Be patient, as they may not open up initially.

Is there an existing plan?

Talk to your parents about their needs and priorities. Determine if they have an estate plan in place, or if they are working with a planning professional. If they haven’t done so recently, they may want to look into doing so.

Some of the items that may need to be addressed include (but are not limited to):  

  • Current will
  • Living trust
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Medical directives
  • Insurance policies
  • Credit card and loan documents
  • Bank and investment statements
  • Social Security information

Don’t go it alone

Be sure to include your siblings in your conversations. They can help ease some of the burden on you and provide support while you talk to your parents.

Be respectful

It can be hard for parents to feel like they are letting go of their independence. They’ve spent most of their lives running a household and being in charge. Many of these suggested steps can be taken gradually, and you can make adjustments as your parents become more comfortable with discussing their financial picture.

If you have questions or are interested in discussing further, please contact your American Federal Banker.

Financial Tips for College Students


Female Student on Laptop

As we near the starting season for colleges and universities, it’s a great time for students to brush up on their financial know-how. These 10 tips from the American Bankers Association are designed to give students an edge on mastering personal finance.

You are in charge.

You are responsible for your finances, and you should act accordingly by creating a realistic budget or plan and sticking to it.

Watch Spending.

You control your money, determining how you spend or save it. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping so that your money can last throughout the semester.
Use Credit Wisely. 

Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. 

How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs.

Utilize Your Bank Account. 

Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from like check cashing, debit cards, online banking, personal loans, direct deposit, financial education and more.

Lookout for Money. 

There’s a lot of money available for students, you just have to look for it. Apply for scholarships and look for student discounts.

New is Out. 

Consider buying used books or ordering them online. Buying books can become expensive and often used books are in as good of shape as new ones.

Entertain on a Budget. 

Limit your hanging out fund. There are lots of fun activities to keep you busy in college and most are free to students. Use your meal plan or sample new recipes instead of eating out.

Be particular when it comes to money. 

Don’t just trust anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends or salespeople that have ideas for your money.

Things happen, and it’s important that you are financially prepared. 

When your car or computer breaks down or when you have to buy that unexpected bus ticket home, you need to be ready. No matter how small the amount you should start putting some money away immediately.

This is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. 

Your parents or your banker are a good place to start, and remember, the sooner the better.


If you have questions or are interested in discussing your finances in-depth, please contact your American Federal Banker.