Aging parents can be a major retirement risk even to those who are seemingly on track in preparing for their later years. The care for aging parents can be an additional consideration to supporting children, and can come with new burdens, both financial and emotional, Forbes columnist Jamie Hopkins writes this week.
Among major challenges associated with aging parents are time, cost, work and health, Hopkins writes. Caregiving can be time consuming and expensive. Plus, work-life balance can be difficult, or impossible, and the health of the caregiver is a major factor that many families are not prepared for.
One of the potential solutions addressed by the column: a reverse mortgage.
“Your financial wellbeing and retirement security is often tied to your family, especially your children and parents,” the column notes. “So, what can you do to reduce the impact on your own retirement? First, have a discussion with your parents about a long-term care plan. This might include long-term care insurance, purchasing an annuity to help provide income, considering a reverse mortgage to pay for care, or moving into a continuing care retirement community.”
Whatever the solution, communication is key, Hopkins concludes.
“In some cases, just having the discussion can be an important step to setting up a plan for care in the event that the parent needs help. It is much better to be proactive in this area and have the discussion when the parent is still in good health and mental standing. Far too many people wait until the care is needed and end up scrambling for help.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker