Helping your parents to be financially prepared for retirement and beyond
Seeing your parents getting older and needing help can be tough, especially because you may have always seen them as the ones who looked after you and made sure that you were okay.
But chances are, at some stage, you are going to have to give some extra care and assistance to ensuring that your parents are safe, protected and financially stable.
If your parents are at the age when they are beginning to consider retirement, or perhaps they have just retired, then it might be worth sitting down with them to go over a few topics that could really help them in the future.
Here are a few ways that you could help them out…
Talk openly about money
It might not be an easy topic to venture into for many of us,but having an informal chat with your mum or dad about their finances could help them to consider certain things that they might not have thought about previously.
Chatting about different savings solutions, pension plans and monthly budgeting options could open their eyes to opportunities they might not have even been aware of. There are so many financial apps available that make budgeting and money management much easier nowadays, so spend a bit of time helping your parents find the best apps to suit them and give them a handy demo of how to use them.
Make sure they are living in the right place
Your parents may have been living in the same family home for many years, with spare rooms (just in case you ever needed to move back home!), but now’s the time to assess whether their home is right for their current and future needs.
If their home is in the middle of nowhere, might it be better for them to re-locate to a town centre where they can walk out to stock up on groceries without needing the car? Do they really need a four-bed house, or could they move into a modern two-bed apartment, which would be easier to upkeep and much cheaper to own?
Assess their monthly outgoings and subscriptions
Just like many of us, your parents may have ongoing monthly payments leaving their account that they set up many moons ago. But occasionally, it’s a good idea to sit down with them and work out if all their outgoings are still necessary.
They may still want to pay for Sky Sports — especially now that they may be spending a bit more time at home — but perhaps they no longer need their landline (in favour of a mobile only), their work-related magazine subscription or their monthly Oyster travel pass. Sit down with the last three months’ worth of bank statements and highlight payments that might no longer be relevant.
Don’t let them fall for scams
It’s a sad truth, but many fraudsters and con artists prey on the elderly, who they deem as being vulnerable and more likely to fall for their lies and scams. Therefore, it’s your job to be there for advice and to ensure that this doesn’t happen to your parents.
Warn your parents about bogus callers and tell them never to give away any financial or personal details over the phone.Also advise them about unsolicited emails from organisations that appear to be their bank or insurance provider, but who turn out to be scandalous thieves. Perhaps suggest that if they see an interesting deal or email offer that they send it over to you first to research and inspect, so that you can investigate whether it’s genuine or not.
However healthy, happy and in-control your parents may seem at present, there is no harm in helping them to plan for an even happier and healthier retirement. Now is the time to step in and offer your best assistance.