Pass the Turkey and the Financial Planning Please

Mom, please pass the sweet potatoes; pass the turkey; pass the financial planning?

You survived Election Day, Halloween and curriculum night at school. Next up are Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (they won’t overlap for another 80,000 years!) and St. Lucia Day, St. Nicholas Day, Christmas, school pageants and winter school holidays. The Chinese New Year begins at the end of January, on the 31st. Will you be seeing a lot of family in the next 8-10 weeks? I reckon so.

The 1996 Hanukkah USA 32 cents stamp

Sometimes you will see family members once a year; others you see more regularly and its your siblings that ‘pop in’ for a Turkey/Game Hen/ Tofu/Field Roast dinner. Lots can change with your parents or other family elders in a year, even six months.

2006 Christmas stamp, Ukraine, showing St. Nic...

2006 Christmas stamp, Ukraine, showing St. Nicholas and children. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some things to consider:

  1. 1.If your relatives are asking for some help, or ruminating about how they are having trouble “keeping up with the paperwork” this year, pay attention.
  2. Listen carefully to any stories about telephone fundraising for groups you have never heard of. Be patient so you can get the entire story.
  3. Urge relatives to never give quickly to groups they are not familiar with, or who have called them first, or groups that sound like established non-profits (but aren’t).
  4. You can help check groups out here at or at Charity Navigator  or another charity evaluator organization.

My state’s Department of Financial Institutions has an informative PDF called Fighting Fraud 101 that you may wish to read or share this year.

Another turkey dinner topic is a family member’s health, or deaths of other loved ones. This can also be a good opportunity for you to ask some hard questions of your elders. (It is often hard for both parties, but you are doing it because you wish to respect their values as much as possible).

  1. Where is your will located?
  2. Who is your doctor and do you have a current Health Care Directive (they are different for each state-here is the WA one)  or POLST on file?
  3. Do you have a Long Term Care insurance policy and what company is it with?
  4. What are your thoughts on “heroic measures”, “a ventilation tube”, quality of life and palliative care?

While the old saying is sharing is caring, so is listening and observing.

Please take the time to add a financial planning course to your holiday meals and visits this year.

Your mom and dad may thank you and it is time well spent.


1 Comment

Filed under Be Prepared, Family Lessons About Money, Learning About Finance

One response to “Pass the Turkey and the Financial Planning Please

  1. Good reminders. Happy Thanksgiving!

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