That doesn't mean it's impossible to ask for financial aid. "Adult children will often say 'yes' to anything that will help their parents," says Elle Kaplan, CEO of LexION Capital, a wealth management firm.
"You can avoid tension and help out both sides by having a clear plan in place already," Kaplan says. If you know what you need, spell out the terms and time frame, such as how much you'll need and for how many months.
Your children will be able to gauge if they can afford to offer that level of financial help.
Ask for information
If you're struggling to sort out finances, ask your child to sit down and review issues like the qualifications for Medicare and Medicaid with you.
Also, the members of the younger generation are often up to date on new technologies and personal finance trends. Use this to your advantage. Your child might be able to find ways to help you save on various items, from insurance to car loans to cellphone plans and monthly utilities.
Look at how to do it
The IRS allows a gift exclusion of $14,000 every year per individual, or $28,000 for a couple. If you need money, see if your child can write out payments directly to the source, such as the creditor or medical provider, so they are not counted as gifts.
Think outside the box
Consider setting up a consultation for you and your children with an attorney or accountant. You might find options available that you hadn't considered, such as a private reverse mortgage.
With this type of mortgage, your child extends you a loan that is secured by an interest in your home. You might receive a lump sum, monthly income or line of credit through this setup.