Steps to Having a Retirement Conversation with Parents – Discussing money with your parents is hardly ever an easy task. Many families still consider it a taboo subject. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get easier even as your parents get older. However, it is a critical conversation. If your parents are preparing for retirement, here are a few steps to having the conversation with them.
Establish Open Communication About Money and Aging
Both aging and money can be sensitive topics. The first step should be to let your parents know it is okay to talk about them. Ensure that they understand you have good intentions. Introduce the conversation calmly and rationally. Consider starting with a statement like ‘I’d like us to discuss…’ or ‘something I’ve always been curious about is…’ Here are a few questions that could help you get the answers you need:
What do you hope to do during retirement? Are you on the right track?
- Are you currently working with an investment advisor or financial planner?
- Are your life, long-term care, and health insurance policies current?
- Would you be open to living in a retirement community if need be?
- Do you have an estate plan?
Explore Retirement Communities
Even though no one wants to leave their home, retirement communities could be viable options for your parents. Explore a few options before presenting the suggestion to them. Communities like Riverview Retirement Community may improve the quality of their lives. Here are the benefits of such communities:
They are convenient
- They don’t require much maintenance
- They are more affordable than you would imagine
Crunch the Numbers
When your parents start to be comfortable with the conversation, start discussing the numbers with them. Analyze their savings, investments, and debt. Pay attention to the following:
Their guaranteed income sources including pension and social security
- Their monthly spending
- Their IRA or 401(k) savings accounts
- The monthly rent or mortgage balance
Consider working with a financial advisor to estimate how much they will have during their retirement days. When your parents understand the numbers, they will be more open to the discussion. If you don’t have a financial advisor, it may be time to hire them.
Plan to Trim Expenses
Many adults spend a lot of time looking forward to their retirement. However, the retirement days are not always as pleasant as they seem, and they may have to live on a fixed income. Here are a few strategies for your parents to cut down on their expenses:
Sell a vehicle
- Invest in energy-efficiency
- Explore free entertainment
- Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking, eating out often, and drinking
- Get out of debt as soon as possible.
If it is time for your parents to start thinking of their retirement, you need to have a conversation with them. Even though money and ageing can be difficult conversations, they are necessary. It would help if you simply were patient and tactful. Understand that your parents may be having a hard time and that you shouldn’t come off as controlling or pushy.