Help your parents to help themselves.
Recently Chester was talking to a Client who had lost their Dad, Phil. Phil had passed away about 18 months ago and he left behind his wife, Marie. Phil and Marie were like two peas in a pod and they had always gotten on well no matter what life threw at them.
Marie was in her 70’s and she was finding it very difficult to get on life now that Phil wasn’t around anymore. They had been together for 50 years! It was the simple things … having Phil manage their money, having Phil taking care of the bills, having Phil help in the garden, let alone having Phil to talk to.
Marie’s sense of loss was horrific; and it was made worse because she had never learnt how to manage their money. Now there were bills coming in left, right and centre and Marie didn’t have a clue how to pay them or what some of them were even for!
While the learning curve for Marie was not an easy one, you can soften the impact on yourself and your parents by learning the basics:
Learn where the bank cards are kept
Know what bills the household pays each year
Learn how to pay the bills and to write a cheque, if necessary
Find out how to set up direct debits for regular bills
Understand what investments you have
Find out where your superannuation accounts are held
Seek out support agencies such as Lifeline, Financial Counselling Australia or Solace Australia to assist with the grieving process.
Losing a parent is really tough and losing your partner of 50 years would be gut wrenching, so the earlier you can start learning what is involved in managing the family finances the better.
If there is ever anything that Harvard Wealth can do to assist you in this regard, we are here for you. Just call us on (07) 4922 4548 for a confidential, obligation free chat.