Once an adult reaches the age of 50 and above, retirement plans will suddenly be at the forefront of their minds. Questions like “how am I going to save more money for retirement?” or “do I need to secure my place now in the best assisted living in Palm Springs?” will plague one’s mind as they near their golden years.
Fortunately, retiring seniors can count on the guidance of their adult children or any trusted family member in helping them prepare for retirement.
One of the most important aspects that you need to get on top of is your parent’s finances. As a loved one, it is your unspoken duty to manage their bank account, more specifically, on how to save up and reduce their daily expenses.
However, it’s really not that easy to broach the subject of “retirement” and “money” with your senior loved ones, right? Often, conversations like these can make them uncomfortable for many reasons, such as feeling like they are being stripped of their independence.
So, here are some helpful tips on how you can talk to your parents about saving up and budgeting their hard-earned money.
- First off, pick the right timing. Make sure to broach the subject when your parents are calm and in a good mood. Also, it would be better to time it when your parents would have no plans for the rest of the day so you won’t have to rush the conversation.
- Avoid doing the “talk” with your other siblings (if you have any). This would only make your senior parent feel like they are being ganged up on, which would make them more defensive straight away, whatever the topic may be.
- Use a friendly and positive tone. Set the mood right by starting the conversation with a positive vibe or a friendly approach.
- Be direct. Tell your parents that it’s really not their money you are after but their overall welfare. Let them know your intentions and casually bring up the big picture topics, like their plans for a senior living community or other activities they want to focus on during their retirement.
- Bring focus to their retirement plans. Make sure to start the conversation with their retirement plans and NOT about their money. Some good conversation starters to try include: “Mom/Dad, have you given much thought about how you want to spend your retirement?” “Do you have a bucket list of wishes that you want to fulfill during your retirement?”
Once they open up to you about their wishes and plans, you can offer to help make it come true by assisting them in saving more money, managing their finances, or looking into other sources of income.
Let your loved ones know that you want to provide the best retirement for them, which is why you’re extending help on anything that they might need assistance on.
4 Tips on Saving Up for Retirement
Of course, your parents would want to get into the best assisted living in Palm Springs when they become older. Not to mention some of the other activities included in their retirement bucket list.
But all of these would require saving up enough money that would last them for years to come. So it’s understandable that you want them to save as much money as possible to live comfortably in the future.
Now that you got their “go” signal to help them save up for their retirement plans, here are four helpful tips that you can help them do:
1. Make a Budget Plan Based on Retirement Goals
The first thing you need to do is help your parents set their goals. It can be anything from a specific destination they want to spend a week in or their target senior community. List it down on a piece of paper, then place it on their fridge or whiteboard to-do list.
Next, help them research further about the tentative amount needed to achieve their wishes. Once that’s settled, it’s time to set a monthly budget that can help your parents save up more for their retirement.
2. Cut Back on Expenses
A great way to save more money is to cut back on unnecessary expenses. This includes shopping for things that are more of a “want” than “need” or splurging on costly insurance policies.
However, reducing expenses does not mean your parents need to get ready for enormous sacrifices. Instead, they just need to make little adjustments, such as opting for a wireless cell service rather than a major carrier or reviewing some of their subscription services linked to their bank account.
Additionally, you can help them shop for more affordable insurance coverage, cable service, Internet provider, and other low-cost utility services.
3. Utilize All Benefits and Discounts
US senior citizens become eligible for specific benefits when they reach 55 to 65 (eligibility varies depending on brands and services). Some examples of senior benefits include:
- Tax relief or lowered taxes in particular states.
- Social Security and Medicare
- Food assistance (check on your local government)
- Healthcare benefits
Furthermore, senior citizens are also given discounts by certain brands when they avail their products or services. This includes restaurants, retail stores, travel packages, cruise trips, hotels, resorts, car rentals, groceries, prescription drugs, eye care, and even some utility rates.
Make sure to check out the percentage discount offered for seniors on the government’s website or the National Council on Aging.
4. Other Sources of Money
Pension funds are not the only possible source of income for your parents. There are other ways to help them earn money through other means, such as:
- Selling or listing online some possessions they are not using anymore.
- Teach them to partake in online surveys that pay a bit of extra cash.
- They can babysit or house sit for some friends around the neighborhood.
- Do something they are passionate about (e.g., baking cookies, crocheting, painting) and sell them online.
- Plan a garage sale.
Other siblings and close relatives can also help chip in a few bucks to grant your senior loved one’s wish of residing in the best assisted living in Palm Springs.