This short post is designed to give you a heads-up on the challenges of aging parents. Many people leave this crucial piece out of their financial planning puzzle.
And it can be a costly oversight, especially for the so-called “Sandwich Generation” who are simultaneously providing for their children and have parents aged 65 and up.
That can stretch a couple very thin if:
● Their parents face health problems
● Or the parents have not saved enough for their golden years
*Roughly 1 in 7 people in the Sandwich Generation are financially supporting both an aging parent and a child. (Pew Research)
5 Key Points to Note
Below you can see a quick view of 5 things to watch for with aging parents and the associated challenges.
At the very least, the info-graphic on aging parents will prevent ‘gotchas’ you never considered.
After all, it’s kind of tough to envision our parents as becoming frail, mentally or physically, when these strong people raised us and have been self-sufficient for decades.
But it is wise to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
Biggest Mistake with Aging Parents?
Even the most financially-prepared couples often can’t help their elderly parents as much as they want. The reason?
The older parents, or one of them, may be unwilling to accept help.
Remember, they have spent their entire lives being independent.
So I can’t stress how hard that mentality is to shake off. They have always been in control of their lives so why should things change?
This can make having conversations with parents in their 60s and 70s awfully difficult. That’s why families put these talks off. For years in many cases.
Then by time the adult children take the initiative for a serious talk, problems have ballooned from molehill to mountain.
The thing is… change can come quickly and life turns on a dime. From fall-related injuries to snowballing mental declines.
*Over 16 million Americans provide 17+ billion hours of unpaid care annually for family and friends with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. (CDC)
What other challenges could await?
Other Concerns to Note if You have Aging Parents
Some bullet points to keep you from being blindsided by issues that can affect your parents later in life.
● Driving safety
● Taking medication properly
● Caregiver burnout
● Trustworthy caregivers
● Loss of one parent leading to survivor loneliness
● Extreme costs of long-term care
● Understanding Medicare & supplemental coverage
● Getting to doctor appointments
● Resistance to care (big concern if you live far away)
● Financial shortfalls
These are real concerns with aging parents. Not meant to incite worry. Rather, to prompt you to include these concerns in your financial planning and to discuss your parents’ financial situation.
Even the most diligent couples can see their retirement plans go up in smoke if they ignore issues related to their older parents.
Thankfully, many of these problems can be mitigated by talking about them long before the problems grow beyond your means to handle them.
A good reminder for talking with our older parents and also… for talking about finances with our children. Because we want them to be prepared for when we become the parents who are ‘aging’, right?
Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor.