Instead of rambling about the weather, you would be wise to take this opportunity to have a frank chat with your dad about money.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the economy, and millions of Americans’ financial situations have changed as a result — particularly those who are nearing retirement.

Though you might feel awkward speaking with your dad about money, it’s never been more important to check in with him about his finances and make sure that he’s prepared for the future.

Here are six questions you should ask him this Father’s Day.

Is your retirement plan still in shape?

Cheerful African American mature couple with arms around at the beach
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock

The pandemic has put a dent in many Americans’ retirement funds. If your dad is ready to retire soon, you’ll want to double check that his plan is still solid.

If his retirement savings took a hit when the market dropped, you’ll want to recommend that he speak with a financial adviser about how to get back on track.

You can find financial planners online that will build your dad a personalized retirement plan based on his goals for the future. He won’t ever need to visit an office or meet with them in person to get their advice.

Even if your dad is already retired, speaking to a financial planner will ensure that he’s maximizing his savings and making the right investments to sustain him for many years to come.

Bill Gates made a splash in 2017 when he bought $520 million worth of U.S. farmland, and he’s continued to invest since. What’s in it for Gates?

Read More

Have you taken steps to protect your income?

Senior as executive chief with smartphone at carpentry shop
Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

If your dad’s still working, ask him whether he has taken any steps to protect his income in case he gets sick.

Many companies offer short-term disability coverage as part of their benefits package, but your dad may not be covered if an injury or illness lingers.

The most effective way to ensure your dad can support himself in the face of a chronic condition is to suggest he buy disability insurance. Long-term disability insurance will replace a hefty portion of his income if something unexpected happens and he becomes too sick to work.

Today, you can find several companies online that make buying a policy surprisingly simple, providing a quote in just minutes without a medical exam.

Are you staying on top of your bills?

Senior couple at home calculating bills
Federico Marsicano / Shutterstock

Fighting the high interest of credit cards can be tough at any age, and if your dad is getting older the hassle of managing multiple due dates and minimum payments might be a lot to deal with.

If your dad is finding it tough to keep track of all his bills, talk to him about setting up autopay on his accounts to make life easier.

You can also look into services online that will keep track of all your dad’s bills for him, remind him when his payments are due and tell him which cards to prioritize so that he’ll save money on interest.

They can also consolidate his bills so he only has one regular payment to take care of each month. That’s one more weight off his shoulders.

It seems like a tricky time to get into real estate, and being a landlord isn't as passive as you think. Look at these low-stress options instead.

Read More

Do you have a life insurance policy?

Portrait Of Multi-Generation Chinese Family Relaxing In Park Together
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

This one will be tough, but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to expect the unexpected.

The best way to breach a morbid subject is to be as direct as possible. Ask your dad what kind of coverage he has and whether he feels confident it will cover the cost of his family’s needs when he’s no longer around.

If there have been any big changes in his life since he took out his policy — new children or grandchildren, for example — he may want to update his coverage to make sure they’re accounted for.

Many Americans receive life insurance coverage through work, but if your dad is nearing his golden years, he may need to purchase a new policy once he retires.

If he does, tell him not to worry; these days it’s trivial to compare rates online and find a good deal.

When was the last time you updated your will?

Senior old man elderly examining and signing last will and testament
Casper1774 Studio / Shutterstock

Like life insurance, wills can be a touchy subject with aging parents. Start by simply asking your dad whether he has a will. If he doesn’t, gently encourage him to make one as soon as possible.

Your dad may worry that the process will be a hassle, but reassure him that it’s quick and painless. In fact, he can go online and create a legal will in a matter of minutes.

If he already has a will, make sure he’s been keeping it up to date. As a general rule, you should update your will whenever there’s a big change in your life, like moving, remarrying or welcoming a new child or in-law to the family.

Remind him that updating his will is the easiest way to protect his legacy and ensure that his assets are divided up according to his wishes.

Where are your important documents?

Portrait of stressful sad senior
paulaphoto / Shutterstock

Once you’ve talked to your dad about his will, it’s a good idea to ask him where he stores his important documents in case you need to access them during an emergency.

These documents could include his will, his social security information, his powers of attorney and anything else related to his estate.

You might also ask him to provide copies for yourself and any other important family members so they can be easily accessed. The last thing your dad would want is panic and confusion about his wishes in the middle of a crisis.

Are you thinking about saving? Well, stop thinking about it!

Take the change out of your piggy bank and make it work for you.

Acorns is a financial wellness tool that automatically rounds up your card purchases to the nearest dollar and puts those savings into an investment account. It takes the worrying out of investing and matches you with one of five investment portfolios.

Take five minutes to sign up for Acorns today and collect a $10 bonus.

About the Author

Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy

Reporter

Shane is a reporter for MoneyWise. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from Western University and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Scriptwriting program.

What to Read Next

Biden Extends the Long Student Loan Pause While Debt Forgiveness Still Waits

Here's how to take advantage of the new reprieve — in case debt cancellation never comes.

If You Owe $25K+ in Student Loans, This Site Could Help You Pay Them Off Faster

If student loan debt is dragging you down, this company can help.

Personal loans vs. credit cards

Personal loans and credit cards can be used as tools of growth or tools of destruction.

States and cities are the new source of pandemic stimulus — is money available where you live?

There’s a catch: Critics say the relief to help with high prices could have an unintended downside.

Disclaimer

The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.