In the previous blog, we looked at how we can help our children with their retirement, or financial independence, as many in our profession are starting to frame it. But the reality is, as the sandwich generation, we can’t only be thinking about our own and our kids’ financial futures; we also need to be thinking about our parents’ financial futures.
Living at a time when fewer and fewer people can afford to live without working for their monthly income, we need to accept that we may need to help our parents with their expenses and living costs when they can no longer earn an income.
The good news is that it’s not just about shelling out more cash from our pockets; rather, it’s about building a collaborative and conversation-driven process to establish a healthier financial future for all involved.
The Real Simple lifestyle website offered several ways to start engaging with your parents on a journey of planning and providing for their senior years.
- Talk to your parents about their money (but skip the blame game)
- Get other family members on board.
- Dig into financial details and get started on a budget.
- Can you encourage them to consider phased retirement?
- Look for new sources of income.
If you were lucky enough to have parents who were able to provide well for you, discovering that they haven’t saved for their golden years may be really tough to find out – but it’s better to find out now rather than later.
The fact is, what’s done is done. But it’s never too late to put a plan in place that allows you to find a way to help your parents without putting your own financial future at risk. When we bottle up our problems, they will make us sick and stifle any chance of growth or healing. If we are open to talking about tough subjects, we might find that our parents will also find it easier to open up.
In the first above, avoiding blaming or making anyone feel bad is crucial. It’s good to talk about how we’re feeling, and it’s okay if there are some negative emotions, but we have to be willing to move past those and focus on what will result in a positive outcome for all of us.