Top financial issues adults should consider

We know the importance of planning for major events in our lives and sharing those plans with our loved ones.


But when dealing with finances, sometimes people hesitate to discuss the issue with family members, often waiting until a crisis occurs – when it may be too late.

Even though money can be a particularly sensitive subject, it’s often at the center of many decisions in later life, such as on housing, health and long-term care. So for older adults, talking with their children about future financial arrangements is critical, even if the children are reluctant to do so.

Now is the time to talk with your family members and help them learn needed information so they can assist you through any challenging times as you age. Here are 10 questions to answer that can help you start talking with family members:

1. Do you have a will? If so, where is it?

2. Do you have an advanced directive, such as a living will or health care durable power of attorney, and where is it?

3. Who has your power of attorney or is the executor of your estate, and how can he/she be contacted?

4. Have you selected a funeral home and planned or paid for a burial site?

5. What is the location of essential personal papers (birth and marriage certificates, dissolution of marriage documents, Social Security and military service records)?

6. Where do you keep life, health, property and long-term care insurance policies?

7. Where is your checkbook, and what bank do you use?

8. Do you have a safe deposit box? Where is it, and where is the key? Do you have a list of contents?

9. Have you made a list of investments (savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, etc.)? What are the names and contact information of the financial advisers/institutions that have the investments?

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