Retirement Answer Man

Today we finish up The Parent Project. This has been an important theme to tackle and fortunately, we had 5 weeks to spend learning how we can help our parents age gracefully. If you haven’t listened to the other episodes in this series you can start here

To wrap up The Parent Project, Christine Benz from Morning Star joins me to discuss how you can help manage your parents’ finances. Not only is Christine a financial expert, but she has had firsthand experience taking the reins of her parents’ finances. 

Stick around until the end to hear how our very first Retirement Plan Live test subject is faring all these years later. 

What does gracefully mean?

At the beginning of this series, we talked about the stages of aging: independence, interdependence, dependence, crisis management, and end of life. We will all go through these steps as we age, but some will pass more quickly than others. Unfortunately, none of us can predict which of these periods may be drawn out over time. As children guiding our parents, we can strive to help them age gracefully.

Gracefully means in a respectful and dignified way. A gift we can give to our parents or elders is to give them the opportunity to pass through the stages of aging gracefully.

Communication is key

There’s that word again: communication. Communication has been a common theme throughout The Parent Project series. The value of communication cannot be overstated when it comes to helping your parents as they age. 

Christine Benz finds it challenging to find one-size-fits-all advice for everyone when it comes to caring for their parents since every family is so different. The only common thread is communication. 

Christine feels that it is important to open a dialogue with your parents and siblings as your parents move through the stages of aging. Have you opened a dialogue with your parents about their finances? If you haven’t started yet, listen in to hear a fantastic tip that Christine shares with us. 

Who will be in charge?

When there are multiple siblings involved sometimes you may wonder who will take the reins when mom and dad need help. Oftentimes there is an obvious choice, but the best option may be to divide and conquer. This way you can divvy up the duties. One sibling could be in charge of doctors’ appointments, another in charge of day to day finances, and yet another could handle the investments. Keep the lines of communication open to respect your parents’ wishes and to keep all interested parties up to date. 

How has The Parent Project helped you?

What have you learned in this series that you want to take action on? Have you begun talking to their parents about their wishes? Do you think you have learned something that you can apply to your own retirement? 



  • [2:30] What does gracefully mean?


  • [4:58] Christine Benz shares her views on managing the parents’ finances
  • [10:23] Have you considered having 2 financial managers?


  • [23:02] Fritz Gilbert, aka Carl was the first Retirement Plan Live test subject
  • [25:08] Is Fritz rocking retirement?
  • [31:02] You leave your identity behind when you retire


  • [40:29] Let’s just get through tomorrow!

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

The Retirement Manifesto blog

Christine Benz

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center


Direct download: RAM358.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT