Your parents have always taken care of you, but it’s time to switch roles. Older individuals will need more assistance as the years pass after they retire. This guide explains what to consider when your parents are retiring so you know how to best care for them. See if any of these tips may help their transition while making life easier for everyone.
1. Offer Your Help
It isn’t always easy to ask for help, especially when you’ve always cared for yourself. Your parents might not know how to ask for your assistance or even think to consider it as an option. Offer your help when they discuss retiring. Even if they can live on their own and have no health concerns, you can still lift heavy moving boxes when they downsize to a smaller house.
2. Talk About the Fine Details
You may need to handle some financial situations for your parents later on. After they retire, have a conversation about their finances and savings. If something happens to them, you can act on their behalf. Talk about things like:
- How much money they’ve saved in retirement accounts
- How many properties they own, if any
- What they spend every month and if passive income supports that spending
You should also discuss how their will relates to their finances. They may have already listed you as their power of attorney, giving you the right to handle any financial transactions on their behalf. Without it, you won’t be able to manage their money should they end up in the hospital or become otherwise unable to take care of themselves.
3. Research Retirement Communities
Old age makes it challenging to live independently. Your parents may require constant medical care or supervision while getting around the house. Research long-term communities while learning what to consider when your parents are retiring. Nursing homes or retirement neighborhoods could include nursing support, 24/7 care, and enrichment opportunities for residents that make their lives more enjoyable.
Specialized care could also make your parents more comfortable. Something like memory care would be essential for anyone retiring because of a dementia diagnosis or those who have it in their families. The community’s professionals will understand how to assist current behavioral challenges related to memory loss and confusion, along with any other personal care needs that are more difficult to manage on your own.
4. Break Down Their Budget
Retirement is an excellent opportunity to cut costs and save money. Flip through whatever bills your parents pay every month. They might save a chunk of change by reducing their cable bill or refinancing their mortgage. Put the extra money into their savings or use it to pay for the experiences they waited their whole lives for, like traveling.
5. Set Up Their Healthcare
Without a monthly income, your parents might have to switch their healthcare plans. Standard premiums could be more than they can afford on their Social Security or pension checks.
Look into long-term care that’s budget-friendly and covers everything they need. That might include coverage for in-home care, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. Government assistance through Medicare is also an option for those who can’t afford a hybrid or traditional insurance. Your parents can apply when they’re 65 and have full coverage if they’re a low-income household.
6. Adjust Your Schedule
You may have to visit your parents more often during retirement. Memory loss, exhaustion, or brain fog could keep them from getting their groceries, keeping up with their yard or taking care of themselves. Consider helping them move to your town if you can’t visit. If they ever experience a fall and need immediate help or care after a hospital discharge, you’ll be right down the road.
7. Check for New Benefits
Many retiree benefits grant local, state, and federal assistance. Your parents might qualify for a home energy assistance grant to cover their electricity bill every month. The Federal income tax credit, known as the Tax Credit for the Elderly and Disabled, could reduce their annual taxes if they make a specific amount of income.
Your parents can also look into getting Medicaid or signing up for Meals on Wheels so they don’t have to worry about paying medical bills or cooking for themselves. Checking for any benefits they might qualify for during retirement could significantly improve their quality of life.
8. Educate Them About Scammers
Older adults often don’t know how to learn about senior scams or report them. Scammers target retirees through emails, phone calls, and even letters. Educate your parents about typical fraud schemes so they know when someone’s trying to steal from them.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) updates its senior scam alert page whenever fraud cases show a new trend. It’s the best place to learn about exploitation methods like calls requiring social security numbers, emails from tech companies offering virus protection, and calls regarding your parents winning the lottery.
If your parents are confused or can’t remember the many types of fraud, remind them of a singular safety rule. They should never give their personal information like their social security number or bank accounts to anyone trying to contact them. Banks, police departments, and tech companies will never reach out to cold call them and ask for private information.
Things to Consider When Your Parents Are Retiring
When your parents decide to retire, throw a celebratory party and reflect on their lives. Afterward, sit down and talk about these things to consider when your parents are retiring. If you’re on the same page about their finances, safety, and how to take care of their wellbeing, you will all enjoy this next phase of your lives together.