As you see your parents age and retire, you are probably feeling a variety of different emotions. You probably feel excitement for them to step out of the workforce while simultaneously feeling a bit of anxiety about how the next phase of life will treat them. Thinking about all the main aspects of a successful retirement will help you have peace of mind.
Maximize Social Security Benefits
Helping your aging parents navigate the process of accessing their social security benefits can be challenging. Start by helping them figure out when they actually want to start collecting the benefits—most individuals will be eligible to collect social security monthly checks once they retire and turn 65. However, if an individual was born after 1960, they have to wait till they are 67.
Deciding on the right time to actually access the funds will vary from situation to situation. But the longer you wait to access your benefits, the more money you tend to get.
Account for All Assets
In addition to helping your parents make decisions about their social security, you should also help them understand their total assets. Understanding all the assets available to them can help you best determine where to allocate those assets to ensure they have a comfortable retirement.
And in fact, some non-liquid assets can actually be used for a variety of services that are important for elderly individuals. For example, home equity can be used to pay for long-term care expenses like an assisted living facility.
Figure Out a Quality Care Plan
Figuring out a quality care plan should be one of your main priorities when it comes to helping your parents be prepared for retirement. It’s essential that you talk with them about how they want to be cared for as they near their later stages of life.
Be willing to ask the hard questions about their situation—is there someone in your family willing and able to take care of them as their needs become more demanding? Is there a plan B in case that isn’t possible? Think through the different options to ensure you can really help them through the aging process.
As you watch your parents retire, make sure that they have the care they really need. Ensuring they will be comfortable in their latter years requires early preparation and thought. Don’t put off these conversations too late.
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