Giving Back to Our Seniors
Giving Back – to all the fantastic older people who have left an impact on our lives
I was fortunate enough to have three of my four grandparents live well in to their 90s, and one, in fact, was 102 when she passed away. Growing up, I had the benefit of their experience, wisdom and interest to guide me.
Today, I watch my parents in the role of grandparents and marvel at the connection they have with their grandchildren. My mom constantly shares with them her love of nature, her ecofriendly attitude, and her cooking expertise. My dad has passed on his fine carpentry skills, car maintenance skills, and his nutty sense of humour. And even though their grandkids are now young adults, they are still very connected to them via text messages, phone calls, family dinners, and the occasional impromptu visit.
As I see my parents age, I ask myself, with all they have done for me what can I do to give back to them. Because November is Financial Literacy Month, I want to share with you some of the ways that we can support the important seniors in our lives through a financial literacy lens.
First, I want you to know that it is ok to talk about money and finances with our loved ones. There may be some initial discomfort, but don’t let this deter you. Be respectful and caring as you navigate the conversation.
Talking about money:
- Helps older people stay actively involved in how they want to live out their retirement years.
- Reduces their risk of becoming victims of senior financial abuse
- Helps ensure their financial wishes are respected.
You are probably wondering what types of financial matters you can discuss. Below are some ideas:
- Ask them if they have a will, a power of attorney, and a health care directive in place. If not, assist them in finding a reputable lawyer whose focus is estate planning.
- Is there someone they would like to name as a Trusted Contact Person for their investment accounts? If there is, naming one and passing this along to the financial professionals they work with is very important.
- If something unexpectedly happens to them, will a family member or friend have access to critical information such as bank accounts, household bills, insurance policies or investment accounts? You can download or request a hard copy of My Personal Affairs Record Keeper to help them safely store all this detailed information in a single place.
Join me in celebrating all that our parents, grandparents (any older person in our lives) and special friends have done for us over the years. Participate in Financial Literacy month by talking to your families about finance #talkingfamilies.
– Ainsley Cunningham
Founder and Project Coordinator, MoneySmart Manitoba
Manager, Education & Communications, Manitoba Financial Services Agency