For the first eighteen years of your life, your parents were your supporters –most likely financially, physically, and emotionally. Hopefully, you have come to respect the sacrifices they made for you along the way.
There’s also hope that you will remember those sacrifices as your lives begin to change places. As you start building your career and family, your parents will be completing that which you are in the process of doing. There is a real possibility that by the time you hit your thirties or forties, your parents might be in the process of transitioning towards being the ones in need.
That begs the question, what have you done or are you doing to position yourself to help your parents if and when they need it? Realistically, now is the time in your and their lives to start making plans. Of course, you might have siblings that are in the exact same situation. If so, part of planning for your parents’ care should include coming to a consensus about which each sibling is willing and able to contribute as far as time and financial resources.
Let’s review some of the things you might want to start planning for now if you are willing to take on this responsibility.
Bringing Your Parents into Your Household
If the situation called for it, would you be willing to let your parents live with you in their twilight years? If so, this is something you should start planning for now.
Not everyone is comfortable putting their parents in a nursing or retirement home. Furthermore, not all parents are interested in living under those conditions. The reality is there will come a time when your parents are no longer fully capable of caring for themselves and will need help. It would be a loving gesture for you to be willing and able to give them the same kind of care in their last few years that they gave you in your first few years.
Of course, there will be extenuating circumstances. You’ll likely have a wife and maybe children still living at home. Your career may require you to travel a lot. There might even be financial restrictions you have to address. The size of your living quarters might be an issue. You’ll have to factor these issues into the decision-making process. Whatever you decide to do, you have to be all in, and the situation has to be comfortable for all concerned parties.
While on this subject, there’s something else you must consider. Your partner might have living parents as well. There’s going to be a presumption that whatever you would be willing to do for your parents you will need to consider doing for your partner’s parents as well.
Helping Your Parents Manage Their Responsibilities
If you’re lucky, your parents might be in a financial or physical position to provide basic care for themselves. It might be that all they need is a little help from a visiting nurse or live-in caregiver.
Assuming your parents can live on their own but still need help in some areas, you might want to help them move closer to where you live. Easier access to helping them will keep a lot of pressure off you and your family.
Some of the key areas your parents will likely need help with their medical issues and finances. At a minimum, these are things you should be willing to handle. As far has helping them with their medical issues, that should include helping them pay for insurance, making sure they make regular visits to the doctor and being by their side when things health becomes tenuous.
As far as finances are concerned, it might be incumbent on you to make sure their finances are in good order. You could be interacting with their investment advisors and making sure they are getting all the benefits they have coming from the government.
Your motivation to help in this area might well be their financial situation will be tied directly to your inheritance.
When Times Get Tough for Your Parents
Regardless of how well you plan, taking care of your aging parents will likely place a financial burden on you. In worse case scenarios, you may find this ongoing burden exacerbated by an unexpected accident, like a trip to the emergency room after a slip and fall. These unexpected emergencies can come with hefty fees that not everyone is prepared for. If you find yourself facing a short-term unexpected emergency but are short on savings, you may want to consider online payday loans as an option. As long as you have a plan to pay these kinds of loans off without issue, it’s one way to handle the short-term crisis while getting back on your feet long-term.
No matter your relationship with your parents, getting old is a fact of life, and families should stick together. If you foresee yourself in a situation where you may care for your elders, you consider making plans sooner than later. It’s part of the cycle of life.