How to Talk Money with Your Husband
"If our parents need financial help, how will we handle that?"
The financial issues around caring for aging parents can create intense conflict in your marriage, says psychologist Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD, author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers. Some couples avoid discussing the issue of their parents' financial well-being until there's a foreclosure notice or a broken hip and no money for nursing care. But it's vital to have discussions with your parents and your in-laws before there's a crisis.
First, broach the subject with your spouse by asking broad questions, Dr. Jacobs suggests: "Do you worry about your parents running out of money? Would we be able to help?"
Then it's time to get specific. "Both of you need to talk to your parents, even though the idea of barging into their pocketbooks makes most people squirm," says Craig Reaves, president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ask them how much money they have, what their expenses are, and whether they have healthcare directives and a current will or living trust.