With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time for you to check in with your mother if she is still living and make sure things are financially sound. There are thousands of articles out there on the perfect gift, advice from mom, and how to save money on buying a Mother’s Day gift. This is not about any of that.
Of course, you should get your mother a gift! After all, she raised you so at least get her something, or better yet spend time with her if she lives close to you. You don’t need to break the bank either, but c’mon, buy or make a decent gift. Beyond that, check in with your mother about her finances, insurance, and estate planning. You don’t need to personally understand all of these areas yourself, but have a frank conversation to get a better understanding of where your mom stands financially and what she is planning for her golden years.
You should discuss topics with your mother such as her retirement savings, Social Security plans, insurance needs, retirement activity goals, and even estate planning and end of life decisions.
Another idea is to gift your mom an important documents binder. It can come in handy in emergencies. Let your mom customize this binder and have her put all of her important documents inside such as her Will, insurance contracts, Durable Power of Attorney, Social Security statement, and maybe even a farewell letter to the family. It’s her binder, let her personalize it all she wants, but make sure it contains all of her vital documents. You can read more about what to put into her binder at my blog post Do You Have a Special Emergency Binder.
Again, you don’t have to understand all of these areas but you do need to understand your mom and her goals and plans. Discussing these points should be done open and honestly. Areas that you (and your mom) don’t understand should be noted and both of you should make a plan to get answers. As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you with the unfamiliar areas, set a timeline and put that plan into action to help mom get ready for retirement and beyond. Oh, and call your mother!
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