The older you get, the more you may want and need to help your parents. As they approach retirement, it’s a good time to know more about their daily life and the kinds of problems they may face so you can help before problems snowball. Being an adult child, here are six things you can do that will help your parents make a smooth transition into retirement. These actions will give all of you peace of mind.
1. Help with a Financial Plan
People entering into retirement mainly worry about two things; wealth and health. When you were young, you probably never knew the actual state of your parents’ finances, but now you need to get a clear picture of what your parents have and don’t have so you can help create a financial retirement plan for them.
You might need some professional help from a financial or retirement expert to guide your parents to create a retirement budget and prioritize their spending habits. If they don’t have enough money for essential things, you can wind up having to pay for them. Also, make sure your parents update their insurance policies; especially health insurance. It’s crucial that they have enough coverage or else even non-threatening health conditions can chew up a huge part of their retirement money.
2. Tally up Debts
If you notice there is an excessive amount of debt, you have to intervene. You might be the one able to negotiate with creditors, or have a debt counselor deal with this matter. The last thing you or your parents need is to enter retirement with a huge amount of debt that will ruin their retirement plans.
3. Be Far-Sighted
Once your parents retire, they can still manage on their own very well, assuming they are in relatively good health. The average retiree is expected to live around 20 years after retirement. At some point, a retiree may not be able to live alone or manage day-to-day activities. It’s not possible for you to leave your entire life behind to care for an aging parent. You have to think about how you will handle that time when it comes.
Think in practical terms and come up with hands-on solutions. It could be in everyone’s best interest to find an aged care provider or have your parents receive care at their residence. These types of options have come a long way since they first came into being. Seniors receive excellent physical care while also living in comfortable surroundings and maintain their independence for as long as possible. This type of comfort puts your mind at ease.
4. Keep Them Healthy
We all have the power to take preventive measures to help us remain healthy. If you see your parents are not living a healthy lifestyle, approach this matter logically and sensitively. Make them aware of some of the things they may be doing wrongly, such as poor eating habits, lack of or no physical activity, and such and encourage them to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
Encourage them by joining them in some physical activities and sports for elders, and introduce them to new activities that they may enjoy.
5. Make the Home More Accommodating
The family home is precious to everyone. It’s not always easy to convince a parent to downsize their house or to move closer to you. If it proves too difficult to do, you can help them make some home renovations to suit their new lifestyle of retirement and aging. For instance, if there’s a staircase it will be better to remove it now since getting up and down the stairs will get more difficult for them eventually.
There are also lots of changes you can do in the bathroom and kitchen to make these areas of the house safer for them. You can install a proper security system in the home as well.
6. Keep Track of Who They Talk to
Unfortunately, retirees and seniors are often a good target for scammers and con artists. Older parents are of a different generation and are often too trusting of others. You have to step in and see who your parents are in contact with, besides their close friends and relatives. It’s normal that they try to seek ways to increase their nest egg, and could fall into financial problems, or worse because of scammers and the likes.
Your role is to help your parents make serious decisions, know how they manage their daily life, and encourage them to enjoy life and join them when you can. Your role is not to treat them as children or show them that you don’t trust their decision making. They might be sensitive about some topics, so talk to them in a calm manner, explain things clearly, be patient, and make sure they know you love them and want the best for them.
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