Monday, January 25, 2021

Creating the Best Retirement for Your Parents

 As your parents get older, the tables turn and you start to think about how you can best care for them. While it's not guaranteed, you know that they're likely to experience some health problems as they age. They're going to slow down and they might need extra support to help them. Even before that happens, though, you want to make sure that they are able to have a comfortable retirement. After working and raising a family, it's their turn to get some rest - or maybe spend some time having as much fun as possible. So how can you help your parents so that they can have the best retirement?


Discuss Their Retirement Plans Openly


Have your parents ever discussed their retirement plans with you? Some people may be ready and willing to tell their adult children about their retirement plans, while others might be more private and reluctant to share. If your parents do talk to you about their retirement, do they just discuss the fun stuff that they want to do or are they willing to talk about some of the harder stuff, such as money or care needs? It's important to be able to have an open discussion about what they expect from retirement and how prepared they are.


If you have yet to talk to your parents about their retirement, you should think about how to bring up the topic. It doesn't have to be a very serious conversation at first. Start by asking them what they picture their retirement looking like. Do they have plans to travel, take up new hobbies or take it easy? Maybe they're even thinking about starting a small business or continuing to work part-time. One of the first topics that should be on the table is where they might live. Some people are determined to stay in their own homes no matter what. Others might have an idea of living with their children or moving to a retirement community.


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Helping Your Parents Financially


A lot of people worry about their parents' retirement, and money is one of the biggest concerns. You have to think about not just whether your parents have the money for the retirement that they want, but also whether they can afford to pay for any care needs that might arise. Talking about money with your parents isn't always easy. Some people do talk about finances with their parents, but it can often be in more general terms, rather than specifics of how much you have or your financial position. However, it is sometimes necessary to get into this subject in more detail if you want to help your parents plan their retirement.


You can help your parents financially in a couple of ways. Firstly, you can help them review their finances and find ways to save money, budget, or make more money. Secondly, many adult children provide financial assistance to their parents by regularly sending them money or perhaps paying for some of their expenses. While not everyone may be able to afford this, it's one way to support your parents and ensure they can have a more comfortable retirement.


Look at Assistance Programs


When you're looking at your parents' finances for retirement, it's a good idea to consider what assistance programs might be available to cover certain costs. Some government programs, as well as private programs, can help to pay for things such as food, utilities, and other essential expenses. For anyone over 65, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) might be an option and can top up Social Security. These kinds of assistance programs can help to cover your parents' costs so you don't have to.


Settling on the Best Living Arrangements


One of the most important things for your parents to consider when planning their retirement, as well as during their retirement, is their living arrangements. They might own a home that they want to stay in for as long as possible. If they require care, they might prefer that home carers can provide it for them. A variety of other options exist too, from downsizing to a smaller home, moving to a retirement community, or even moving in with you. Some families consider multi-generational living that ensures parents and adult children have their own space, but still technically live together.


A retirement community or senior living village can be a great compromise for many people who want to remain as independent as possible. They can enjoy independent living but still receive support when they need it. A resort-style community like La Posada gives your parents the opportunity to enjoy their retirement like they're on vacation. They'll live somewhere safe and secure, where they have their own home and plenty of opportunities to socialize. With activities on offer and healthcare offered, they can get everything that they need in one place.


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Check on Insurance


Making sure your parents are adequately insured in their retirement is smart. As people get older, they can experience a range of health problems, so having enough insurance to cover medical costs is essential. Other types of insurance can also help to protect them and you, taking care of various unexpected expenses. Life insurance might be a possibility, although it can depend on your parents' ages. When one parent dies, the other may have some extra financial support from a life insurance payout.


Putting a Will in Place


When your parents write their wills, it might not improve their retirement directly, but it can provide some benefits. It can alleviate worry about what will happen to their estate when they die and help them to fulfill their wishes. If they already have a will, you should review it to make sure it still follows their desires. While you can create a will without a lawyer, it can be helpful to have one to help you if you want to make sure everything is watertight.


When your parents are preparing for retirement, and even when they've already retired, you can provide them with assistance to help them create the best retirement they can have.


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