Talking to your family about care in later life can be a very sensitive subject, and sometimes taboo in the black community. We’ve probably all been told by older loved ones at some point or another, “Don’t you put me in a nursing home!” Still, the conversation doesn’t go much farther than threats. Many families find themselves unprepared when it comes to caring for aging loved ones. This is why it’s so important to be proactive about discussing how your older loved ones wish to handle financial matters and living arrangements should they require help later in life.

Being proactive is paramount, so talking to your loved one early on about things like retirement savings, life insurance and long-term care insurance (which covers things like nursing homes, assisted living communities and home health care) is something that we all should do before the need arises – regardless of how uncomfortable the subject makes us.

Involve your loved ones in the planning process by working with them to create a financial profile that includes their income, expenses and retirement savings.  Also, make sure you are aware of their benefits coverage, including healthcare and life insurance. This will give you insight into your loved ones financial picture post retirement.

Decide together on future living options, including where they would prefer to live. Perhaps with you…and if so, have you planned for that? Engage your siblings or other relatives in the process so the responsibilities are shared, and all are aware of future plans.

Michelle Thornhill, Senior Vice President, Diverse Segments, Wells Fargo & Company. Visit for more information. 

This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed and is subject to change. Since each individual’s financial situation is unique, you need to review your financial objectives to determine which approaches might work best for you.