It can be hard to watch our parents grow older, but it's also an important part of life that should be dealt with proactively. By discussing practical matters with your elderly parents, you will help avoid many potential financial and lifestyle difficulties for both your parents and yourself. Discussing these matters in a frank, helpful manner can also help relieve your aging parents from feeling overwhelmed.
It's important that you and your parents have a solid handle on their finances. Sit down with your parents and copies of their bank statements, bills, credit card statements, and retirement account statements.
Go over everything together in order to determine if they have enough savings to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. If they do not, help them come up with a plan for managing their expenses, which may involve them moving in with you. If their financial situation is complex, you will probably benefit from hiring a financial planner to help.
If your parents do not already have life insurance, you will want to help them purchase a plan. Rather than thinking it's too late for life insurance for seniors over 80, it's important to realize the risk that comes with not having insurance. If both of your parents are still living, life insurance will help the surviving spouse live much more comfortably in their twilight years. Life insurance for seniors should also help pay for funeral costs as well as outstanding debts.
While no one likes to think about their parents dying, it is important to address the sensitive subject of your parents' funeral wishes as soon as possible. Knowing if your parents would like to be buried or cremated, what kind of funeral they would like, their preferred burial location, etc., means that when they do pass away you can make funeral-related decisions much more easily. Your parents will also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their funeral-related wishes will be honored at the time of their death.
If your parents do not already have a will, you will want to help them create one. You can either hire an estate attorney to set up the will, or create one yourself online. In either case, sit down with your parents and go over this checklist of items to include in a last will and testament. Having the details of where and how your parents' assets and property will be distributed after their death, as well as how any debts will be resolved, will help avoid messy legal and financial problems for you and your siblings.
What are your parents' preferences for where they will live as they get older? Will they continue to live independently at home as long as their health allows? Or would they prefer the convenience and socializing opportunities that come with living in a retirement community? It's important to know what their preferences are, as well as how they plan to continue paying their rent or mortgage (if they don't own their home outright), or alternatively, how they plan to pay for a retirement community.
You should also discuss the possibility of in-home care or assisted living should their health begin to deteriorate. In some cases, the possibility of your parents living with you or other family members may also be a great option. The important thing is to discuss the possibilities openly and come up with a plan.
By openly discussing these practical details with your elderly parents, you will be able to help them smoothly navigate this time in their lives.Share