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As people get older, many must begin to rely more upon their children for care and support. Even the most independent retirees often chat with their kids to discuss finances, medical concerns, and housing plans for their golden years. Some people wait until they experience an accident or health scare to share their plans with loved ones, while others put off these conversations until it is too late. People with aging parents (or retirees with adult children) should be proactive about discussing these difficult topics and life decisions. If you are an adult with aging parents, consider sitting down with them to discuss retirement planning, estate planning, and their wishes regarding housing and end-of-life care. 

What is Your Retirement Planning Strategy?

If your parents are retired or are nearing retirement, discuss their financial and housing plans. Hobbies, trips, and the other fun things they’ve been waiting to do will likely come up in conversation, but be sure to address where they will live, what liabilities or debts they have, and what their retirement savings look like. This information can give children an insight into how well prepared their parents are, and it can make parents take a second look at their retirement planning strategy.

Is All of Your Paperwork Up to Date?

When it comes to retirement and estate planning, paperwork is the name of the game. See which of your parents’ accounts need updated information, which policies need to be revised, and which account beneficiaries are out of date. A crucial part of this discussion is the location of the paperwork. Many aging adults put together a dossier of sorts. This typically contains all relevant paperwork necessary in the event of an individual’s incapacitation or death.

Who Should Handle Things After Your Injury, Incapacitation, or Death?

Collecting documents related to retirement planning, end-of-life care, and estate distribution is a vital step, but parents should also make clear who should be in charge in the event of their injury, incapacitation, or death. Many parents choose a spouse, sibling, or responsible adult child. An estate planning attorney can help your parents draft a will and advanced medical directive, as well as the documents necessary to establish power of attorney. The more precise these decisions are early on, the easier it is to manage a parent’s finances later. While some retirement planning strategies include plans for significant medical expenses and end-of-life care, it would be wise to discuss these matters with your parents before these decisions must be made.

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