We all relied on our parents when we were young. They were there to help us with homework, taught us how to drive, and did their very best to get us all off on the right foot in the world. What’s rather unexpected, is that in turn, our parents will come to rely on us as they enter their senior years. And most of us are not prepared for that.
What I want to make clear is that your parents don’t have to reach a certain before you start helping them plan. You yourself can be just entering your 30’s, and you can approach the topic over Sunday dinner with your folks only to realize that they’re poorly prepared. And that’s where you can step in.
In the world of retirement, the sooner the better.
Get Informed and Involved
It’s never too late to start. Start today, and start off right. Get educated together, but realize where your own limitations are. There’s just simply going to be some information that goes over your head, and the best day to remedy this is to talk to professionals. Do you know what percent of your parents income is going into their 401k? Should you open a self-directed IRA, and if so, what can you, or should you invest in? These are all complicated questions with even more complicated answers, so you need an expert on your side.
Ask the Right Questions
Be prepared for everything. The last thing you want to do is seek out professional help, and either not ask any questions, or ask the wrong questions. Both are unacceptable, so let’s get you prepared! Let’s make sure that you know what’s going on at all times, and have all the information you need.
- How much money will I need a month to live off of comfortably?
- Do I currently have enough saved up?
- What if funds in my retirement run out?
- Can I keep working if I choose?
Get Started on Your Own Retirement Planning
After it’s all said and done, let’s talk about you for a moment. What can you do to best prepare for your own retirement? Given it’s further in the future, so you might not think you have to start planning, but that’s not sensible or responsible.
When should you start planning? Experts say 25 is the absolute best time to start. Out of college for a few years, maybe starting at your first “real job” and before too many bills are finding their way to you.
How much should you start out with? That kind of depends on your income. Say you make $50,000 right now, ideally, the amount you should be putting into your 401k a month is about $900. Use an online calculator, or seek the advice of a professional to best determine how much you need to save.
In today’s economy, you want to be prepared for anything. You want to be able to care for yourself and your loved ones when you retire, and you want to feel confident and proud. Invest in yourself today, invest in your future.