How to Help Seniors Stretch Their Income During Retirement
January 20, 2019
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
For many of us, there comes a time in life when we begin to see our parents struggling, be it physical, emotional, or some combination thereof, with once simple, everyday tasks.
They may acknowledge such newfound challenges, in which case most of us will try to assist or seek professional advice and assistance as the situation warrants. But more often than not, unless the problem is severe and immediate, there is a natural reluctance to admit to themselves, or anyone else for that matter, that “I can’t do it alone any longer.”
This can be especially challenging when the ability to manage one’s own finances comes into question, particularly as income becomes more fixed as we get older. Convincing a parent to allow you “in” to their financial world, to help them effectively manage their assets, can be difficult, particularly if they haven’t come to terms with the notion of needing help.
How to Talk to Senior Parents About Their Finances
One approach you may want to consider is to begin discussing with them your own financial concerns about the future, not to raise their level of worry, but to ease them into the topic in a manner that will often have them sharing insight into their own financial situation and related thoughts. As for their “worries” about whether they’ll be able to support themselves the rest of their lives, such angst in later years often has little to do with their level of wealth and everything to do with getting older.
Once you establish a dialogue and comfort level on the topic with your parent(s), it’s important to gain a thorough understanding of where things stand for them financially today, before being able to advise, or seek advice, to help them plan for tomorrow. During this review and pre-planning stage, and for more strategic long-term planning, it’s imperative to seek out the counsel of a qualified financial advisor to ensure that you’re serving your parent(s)’ best interests. With a better understanding of your parent(s)’ financial situation, your qualified financial advisor will be able to assist you and them in ensuring a prudent course of action for the future.
5 Tips to Help Seniors Stretch Their Income During Retirement
As post-retirement income becomes more fixed, it’s important to work with a qualified financial advisor to create a budget that works for you or your loved one. Even with trust assets available, there is understandable reluctance to touch principal and risk “having enough to live on” or “having anything left for a beneficiary.” Separating fixed costs from variable costs is a good starting point. But what next?
1. Home vs. Retirement or Assisted Living Facility
The difference in monthly costs can be significant. The desire to maintain total independence might be outweighed by the need to create an easier, more fulfilling, and often less expensive quality of life.
2. Food & Entertainment
Coupons and other discounts are there for the taking, even at the finest restaurants, if you take the time to look.
Do you really need that very expensive vehicle for your primarily very short road trips to the bank, store, salon, or golf course? Today’s gas prices are making everyone take a second look at their driving habits, as well as where they “fill up.”
If your timing is now more flexible, consider off-peak travel to save considerably.
Smart use of secondary health insurance to your Medicare coverage can greatly reduce your medical expenses.
Long-Term Care insurance as a complement to your life insurance coverage can add comfort to your future needs while reducing your health care costs.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care Services in Florida