SCSA News Release
May 14, 2004
Children of Seniors Can Fill
Parents� Planning Void
DENVER � By a 2-1 margin, professionals who work with seniors say that the most common mistake their clients make is not planning for life�s contingencies � a situation that poses serious risks for them and their children.
Those were the findings of a survey by Society of Certified Senior Advisors� (SCSA), an education organization that has 11,000 members in insurance, accounting, law, social work, nursing and other professions who work with seniors.
�Nobody likes to think of him- or herself as old, but it is a dangerous form of denial for us not to anticipate the challenges we know aging brings,� said Society President Ed Pittock. �Seniors can diminish the quality of their own lives and leave unexpected burdens on their children if they fail to do even rudimentary planning.�
Forty-eight percent of the Society�s survey respondents cited a failure to plan for the potential need for long-term care - and for the certain need of funerals and the disposition of their estates - as critical issues that seniors don�t address.
�Studies have shown that Americans spend more time planning for vacations than for their financial future. The experience of our Certified Senior Advisors seems to show that the average senior spends even less time planning for the possibility that they may need nursing care, or may need for their children to have power of attorney, or may want to have medical advance directives,� Pittock said.
Twenty-four percent of survey respondents cited a lack of financial planning specifically as a mistake seniors make. Fourteen percent said seniors don�t adequately plan for changes in housing needs. Another 14 percent said that seniors need to prepare wills, trusts and other documents before they�re needed.
�While it can be difficult for adult children to talk to their parents about things such as long-term care, wills, financial situations and other deeply personal subjects, doing so is one of the best things children can do for their parents,� Pittock said.
�Set aside time to discuss these issues. Don�t surprise your parents. Involve other siblings. And enlist the support of a professional who understands the challenges we�ll all face. It�s the best thing all of us can do for our parents,� Pittock added.
ABOUT SCSA. Society of Certified Senior Advisors� (SCSA) is the world�s largest membership organization educating and certifying professionals who serve seniors. Its headquarters is in Denver, Colorado.