Interview with Tim Prosch, Author of “The Other Talk”
We spoke recently with Tim Prosch, author of “The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking with Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life.” The AARP book has been ranked at or near the top of Amazon’s Best Seller List for retirement planning and aging since its publication in September 2013. Here is an edited version of our conversation:
FR: How did you come to write “The Other Talk?”
TP: I am a marketing guy and I was interviewing hundreds of Baby Boomers over the years to determine their attitudes towards end of life decisions. One clear message to me was that they didn’t want their kids to suffer through the same frustrations and arguments that they did. Like everyone else, I saw the disastrous results of the Terri Schiavo case, which could have been avoided if a roadmap for decision-making had been built when she could have expressed her wishes. And finally, I lived through four years of my own parents’ declining health, and the financial and emotional crises that set off. So “The Other Talk” became my version of a catalyst to help people talk to their own adult children about their need to plan and prepare.
FR: In the book, you talk about ‘four facts of life’ to address:
- Taking charge at the end of life
- Financing your uncertain future
- Living in your home
- Getting the medical care you need.
Is there any one of these that seems to resonate more than others with people you talk to?
TP: Financing the future seems to be the biggest jumping off point, since it underlies all the other factors as well. But they all seem to intersect at some level.
FR: How are people using the book?
TP: I wrote the book so that people would have a way to talk about these ‘other’ facts of life, especially because I knew as both a child and a parent, that it was no easier than discussing the traditional facts of life relating to sex. What I’ve found was that the book became what I call a ‘third party’ in the conversation – a way of reducing the confrontation between us and our children by providing a structure for the talk. It’s not me as a parent trying to retain control, or children grasping for control; it’s all of us having a conversation about the way we want things to be.
FR: What else has surprised you about the reaction to the book?
TP: The biggest surprise has been the emotional response from readers. I’ve had people write or say to me, “I’m so glad we’ve read this. We’re now having ‘the conversation’ at the right time.” It’s been extremely gratifying. I hope everyone finds something that will help them start "The Other Talk.’
To find out more and purchase “The Other Talk” click here: http://theothertalk.com/