Amidst the important details of retirement planning is an item you should not overlook: talking to your family members and loved ones about your needs, expectations and wishes for the golden years.
As an aging parent, you should tell your adult children what your retirement lifestyle needs and wishes are. For example, where do you hope to live as you grow older? Most Americans want to “age in place” and live out the rest of their years at home. But doing so may require certain adjustments. It may entail remodeling to include such changes as ramps, chair lifts and wider hallways. Or it may mean hiring in-home care to enable you to stay at home as long as possible. Another option many aging parents consider is moving in with a daughter or son when they can no longer care for themselves.
In all cases, such needs and wishes often lead to important financial questions: who will pay for these accommodations? Do you expect your children to pay for your care, housing and other needs as you grow older? Have you told them what your expectations are? Are those expectations realistic or will they place an impossible burden on your adult children?
On the other hand, if your retirement plan accounts for such expenses, communicate that financial information with your children. Provide them with as much detail as possible of how you envision your retirement income allocated to support your lifestyle wishes.
Your retirement plan should also include designations, usually amongst family members, for medical decisions should you become incapacitated. Make sure everyone in your family knows in advance whom you have selected to make such a critical decision before anything happens to you.
As you age, you may also find yourself unable to manage your daily finances. Decide whom to give power of attorney to over your finances and who will be in charge of paying your bills and supervising your money. If, like many people, you would still like to be involved, let your kids know. Many seniors need and appreciate help sorting through bills and complicated figures but want to be included and treated as adults.
As part of your retirement planning, your adult children and any other family members who you’ve included in your future care should also become familiar with your financial advisor. In turn, your advisor should be notified about the people you have selected to have authority over your finances and medical decisions.
Caring for aging parents often triggers stress, sibling tensions and financial burdens. Communicating with your children in advance and planning early can help offset family problems and prevent hostility and resentment.
At Silverman Financial, we work with you and your loved ones to develop a personalized and lasting retirement plan that fulfills your needs and wishes.