It’s easy to assume our parents are self sufficient and fully able to care for themselves, after all they are our parents. However how well do we really know them? Consider how often you see your parents; once a week, every other week, once a month, less often? And how close are you in conversation, really? Most children have superficial relationships with their parents that equate to visits, outings or meals. Conversations revolve around polite talk or other subjects. Even though I completed my parent’s income tax each year, I never thought to ask if my mother knew how to balance the checking account. I just assumed this occurred on a regular basis. It wasn’t until she passed away and I became deeply involved in the finances of my parents that I realized the checkbook was never balanced. Fortunately whatever system she had worked. Your parents may balk if you bring up personal subjects like their finances; however doing so can save issues as their age advances and health worsens. Offer to help with small things like balancing the checking account each month or helping them write out checks for bills. They might surprise you and accept the offer.

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