Can Your Parents Retire?
Not everybody is as good about getting ready for retirement as others. When you are growing up as children, you always had trust that mom and dad always had good control over their finances. But as we grow older, the roles of child and parent are often reversed. When you and your brothers and sisters grew up and moved out of the house, it was natural that you would become absorbed in your new lives of raising families of your own and getting your careers established. You may know that there is coming a time when you will take on the responsibility to help your parents make that transition to retirement. Sadly, as much as you would suspect that they did prepare for retirement, you should not take that for granted.
The trials of raising a family with all the financial demands can take its toll on any budget. So it’s appropriate to ask the question, can your parent retire? And if there is any doubt, you should begin looking into how you as their children can help them. This is a natural first step toward you and your siblings being more involved in mom and dad’s life as they age. Many times the toll that aging takes makes older people less able to plan and perform financial maneuvers with the same skill they had when they were raising you. Be sensitive when you are around them to find out if they can speak intelligently about their retirement and the next step along the way of living a full and rich retirement lifestyle.
One service you can offer to your parents that may be more welcome than you could imagine is for you to start helping them plan their finances and organize their money. It might be true that in many ways, your parent has already started that path into retirement. If dad has stopped working or Social Security is starting to be collected, they may be in that category. But they need some help to lay down the worries of adult life and make the transition to a lifestyle where life’s worries are not such a burden and they can relax and enjoy their golden years. You might take advantage of the sibling with the strongest financial skills and start to move the handling of your parent’s accounts to a child so they can let that area of worry go. This is where you would work with your parent to get that child the Power of Attorney so they can sign on their account, pay bills and do business on behalf of their parents. And once that is all in place, an organized evaluation of your parent’s retirement preparations can be most revealing. By helping your parents simply organize the assets they may already have, they may be able to step into a much more worry free life and really start enjoying the fun and relaxed lifestyle that retirement can really mean for them. Along with organizing their finances, there is a lot the kids can do to help mom and dad get ready to become retired people not just in a financial sense but in terms of lifestyle. The biggest transition they will go through and the one they will be the most resistant about will be giving up the house and moving into an assisted living center or retirement community.
But as your parents continue to age, having them somewhere that they can get care if it is needed will give everyone more peace of mind about their future. The best approach to helping mom and dad transition to this move is to put it in the most positive of light. If they are experiencing some physical decline, they may already aware of the danger living alone in that old house might pose. You can use that to get their interest in living in a place where there is always someone to come running in the event they fall or have a medical problem. But also emphasize the social side of living with other seniors and enjoying their company. By helping them see that retiring in every respect possible is the best thing for them, they will eventually embrace the change. And when they are happily “retired” and enjoying that life, you will know that you kids did the right thing taking good care of your parents the way they took good care of you. PPPPP Word Count 746 .
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