home Commodities Here’s what to do when you take over a parent’s finances

Here’s what to do when you take over a parent’s finances

There is a good chance you will be called upon someday to assist with a parent’s finances.Illustration by Chloe Cushman/National Post files

According to the 2016 census from Statistics Canada, 17 per cent of Canada’s population is over the age of 65. Our senior population will continue to grow, and this will place more responsibility on children to provide various types of support for aging parents.

A 2017 CIBC poll found that 90 per cent of those with parents over the age of 65 feel it is important to have a conversation about how they would like their finances managed should they find themselves unable to do so on their own. However, most children and parents — 62 per cent — have not discussed how to manage their affairs.

Even those who do know what Mom and Dad want may not be very well-versed financially themselves. Surveys frequently show that Canadians have poor financial literacy skills, including those who are confident about their knowledge. I have observed this firsthand with very intelligent, successful people who have sat in my office over the years who are very good at whatever it is they do for a living, but do not understand personal finance.