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Aging Parents: How To Prepare

Becoming an empty-nester can leave you feeling mixed emotions.  Some of our clients tell us they miss their kids when they go off to college or move out of town for the first time.  Others are thrilled to finally have a clean and quiet house again and perhaps are getting excited about having grandchildren soon.  If you’re at this stage of your life, you’re probably close to retiring (or at least thinking about it) and you may be considering setting up an in-law suite for your parents instead of downsizing as many retirees do.  No?  You don’t want your aging parents moving in with you?  You better get planning.  This piece of financial planning often goes untouched until it’s too late.  It’s normal to want to avoid thinking about losing your parents even though it is inevitable for every one of us.

Although it may not be your responsibility to plan for your parents’ needs as they age and require living assistance, it certainly can feel like it is.  If you don’t help them prepare for their future, who will?  Will that burden land on your plate? At some point they’ll need things like day-to-day help with household chores, perhaps taking care of themselves, and things like paying bills and selling their home.  Do yourself a favor and start thinking about these things before they occur.  

Set up a meeting with your parents and offer to help.  They’ll appreciate the effort and you’ll be doing your future self a huge favor by being proactive.  

 Here are a few important topics you should discuss and plan for with your aging parents:

  1. What are their plans for housing later in life?  Do they want to stay in their house or live in an assisted-living facility?
  2. Is there money saved or insurance in place to pay for in-home or nursing home care?
  3. Who will manage their bills, bank accounts, and investments?
  4. How will assets be divided after their death?  Is there an updated will and trust in place?

By getting this conversation started, you’re showing your aging parents and inlaws that you care.  Share resources with them such as your Financial Advisor’s contact info if they don’t already have one.  A Financial Advisor should be able to help with beneficiary documents, long-term care insurance, and referring out to partners such as Estate Attorneys and other resources like www.newlifestyles.com.  New Lifestyles allows you to search for senior living and care options in your zip code and is a great way to learn what options they’ll have.

There is a lot to think about with your aging parents. Getting organized sooner than later is your best bet.  Work with professionals who can make this task more manageable. 

If you need help with getting the conversation started or want to learn more about how we can help, please shoot us an email and we’d be happy to assist:Contact@TheStockSisters.com.  We love working with our clients’ parents and we believe it’s a necessity for a strong advisor-client relationship. They’ll be glad you took the initiative too!

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information presented here should only be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. Neither SagePoint Financial Services, Inc., nor its registered representatives, offer tax advice. As with all matters of a tax-related nature, you should consult with your tax professional

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