Two men, one older than the other, are sitting on a couch engaged in conversation.
Financial Health
December 20, 2022

How to talk to your parents about their money

Here are 3 questions to start the conversation.

Two men, one older than the other, are sitting on a couch engaged in conversation.

If you dread having money discussions with your parents, you’re not alone. According to a recent Wells Fargo/Ipsos survey, 42% of Americans would rather talk to their parents about funeral plans than financial ones.

Michael Liersch, head of advice and planning for Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management, says talking to aging parents about their financial situation can help the entire family normalize money conversations. “While it might be an uncomfortable conversation, it will help you understand your parents’ intention,” he said. “It helps bring to the surface what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not working.”

Ready to talk finances?

Start with these questions:

  1. What do you want to accomplish with your money?
    This will help you understand your parents’ intentions.
  2. Do you feel like you have enough?
    Now your parents have an opportunity to share their true feelings.
  3. How can I help you achieve this?
    Show you’re a partner in helping your parents stay in control of their finances for as long as possible.

About the study

Online survey of 1,201 Americans who have a parent at least 70 years old and have some relationship with that parent. Survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Wells Fargo from Nov 1-4, 2022. The margin of error is +/-3%.

Tune in to the About Money podcast for more everyday strategies. Michael Liersch, head of WIM's Wells Fargo Advice and Planning, helps listeners have productive conversations about money.