It can be a lot of work helping people get ready for retirement, especially if they are your parents. Most children don't even think of helping their parents for retirement, but the more you prepare your parents for retirement the less burdensome it will be on you.
Sitting down with your parents and talking about their nearing retirement is a vital step to creating a plan to keep your parents safe and happy through their retirement years.
Fidelity recently came out with an article stating that a couple retiring in 2013 will need roughly $220,000 just to pay for medical expenses. You better hope that your parents have at least $220,000 saved up for their retirement just so they can cover their more than likely medical bills. If they have that much money or even less how are they going to pay for everything else? Hopefully this stirs a little in you to think about your parents financial situation so you aren't shocked when they tell you that they need help.
Not only do you need to make sure your parents are prepared, but maybe helping out your parents will also remind you about your own readiness for your retirement, and frankly your readiness for your parents retirement. Let's take a look at a few things you can do to help your parents prepare.
Do they have a place to live for the long haul?
Making sure that your parents have a roof over their shoulders is very important! More than likely they are going to want to live on their own for as long as possible. Is that home paid for? What are their bills and costs to keep that home a safe haven for them? The older they get though there is a good chance they'll need assistance.
Planning for when your parents can't care for themselves is a great idea as well. Talk it out together to come up with the best option for both parties. What options are available for someone needing living assitance? Assisted living, moving in with you or if things get worse a nursing home.
According to a survey by MetLife the national average for assisted living base rates was $3,550 per month in 2012.
Elderly Scams Alert
- The older your parents get the more likely they will be presented with a scam. Scammers love targeting the elderly because their likelihood of giving in to the scam is much higher. Some of the ones your parents should be aware of are:
- Telemarketing fraud
- counterfeit perscription drugs
- health insurance fraud
- Unnecessary investments
Making sure your parents' beneficiary information is up to date and accurate can save you from getting many headaches and prevent any potential hard feelings.
Watch Out For Yourself
During this whole process it is vital that you watch out for your immediate family. You do not want to put yourself into a situation where you cannot afford the roof over your own shoulders or food for your family. Nor is it a wise decision to crack open your own retirement savings to help your parents out unnecessarily.
I am not saying you shouldn't stretch a little to help your parents out but if they aren't able to pay the bills for their home because it is too big then it might be time for them to downsize. Use your best judgement, go with your gut and always take a minute to think and plan. Never make these vital decisions on impulse.
Have a happy holiday season and a great retirement!
Author: Nick Barker