Bird's eye view of an elderly couple figuring out their financesAs your parents get older, financial planning becomes an important aspect within their lives.

Good financial planning and investment can help alleviate stress in the long run. Protecting your loved one as well as yourself from poor financial decisions is important and avoids any anxiety caused by financial problems.

Here are a couple of tips to help you and your aging parents navigate financial investments.

1. Know what organization supervises the professional you are talking to. By simply asking this question, you can ensure that your investment is backed by a reliable authority independent from the broker or professional you are speaking with. Professionals who offer investment advice are supervised by the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission or a state securities regulator, while brokers are supervised by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

2. Know what you’re investing in. If you don’t understand what the product is, don’t buy it. Know what the benefits and risks are of the investment you’re considering. If you don’t understand, ask questions!

3. Keep your public and private life separate. Don’t allow professionals to visit your home. If you are considering partnering with someone, meet in a public location. Consider taking a friend with you, to listen to the conversation and discuss it later.

4. Get everything in written form. Especially when considering the risks and benefits of any investment you are making, it helps to have those outlined in a visual representation. It also holds the professional or broker responsible for the deal they are presenting to you as investors.

5. Make sure to completely fill out paperwork and don’t leave blanks that can be filled in without your knowledge or consent. Additionally, after any deal has been solidified, make sure to request a copy of the document that has been stamped as “FINAL” for your personal review and records.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask the professional you are working with how they benefit from the investment you are considering. It’s important to know the motivation of the person you are working with, as this can provide a better understanding of whether the benefits of the investment really do outweigh the risks.

7. Refer to larger authorities to protect yourself and your investment. For example, if you are considering a reverse mortgage make sure it is backed by the Federal Housing Administration. This information should be available through the broker or professional you are working with.

Thorough research now can help your aging parents make the right decision that will provide them with security and peace of mind. By taking care of their financial business, their futures will be less filled with worries and more concerned with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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