By Louis Mack
Preparing for retirement is something that can be very difficult for many people. With so many financial burdens in our lives, it can be hard to find ways to save that extra money for retirement. Saving for retirement can become even more difficult and complicated if you are also caring for an elderly parent. Although this situation can put a financial strain on your retirement plan, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to help maneuver through this stressful time.
Explore Public Benefit Options
The first thing you should do once you begin caring for your elderly parent is explore the various public benefits available. This information can be easily found online at places like EldercareLocator and are at the very least worth researching. These benefits can provide tremendous helps as many of these programs are free or inexpensive.
Communicate Early and Often
One of the most important things to do in this situation is communicate, early and often. The sooner you and your parent can get on the same page, the better as this will put you in the best position to handle the financial stresses of your situation.
If your parent is unable to continue living at home, it is important to discuss potential living situations and come to an agreement on something that is both comfortable for them and affordable for you. Keeping the lines of communication open will allow you to continuously gauge their happiness and give you the ability to make changes if necessary. Sorting these details out early will give you an idea of your parents’ living costs, which you can then adjust for in your own budget to mitigate the impact it will have on your retirement plan.
Create a Budget and Monitor Financial Decisions
Along with the things mentioned above, while you are communicating with your parent you should take the time to sit down and create a budget for them. This may seem silly at first, but whenever you are trying to save money a budget is necessary and because you are now caring for this person, by creating a budget for them you can better create a budget for yourself. Maintaining an accurate budget, along with using a retirement calculator, will help keep your retirement plan on track.
Along with discussing a budget, it can also be a good idea set up a situation where the person you are caring for informs you of any larger purchases they are considering making. The reason for this is to protect them, and in turn, yourself. The elderly have become targets for scammers and thieves and by having your parent consult you before making these purchases; you can protect them and prevent increased financial pressure.
The financial stresses associated with caring for an elderly parent while also trying to prepare yourself for retirement can be vast. However, following some of the tips listed here can go a long way towards navigating these stresses successfully. Although this can be a difficult situation financially, it is a very noble endeavor and it can create memories with your loved one that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Louis Mack is a seasoned retirement planner who has turned to writing to share the knowledge he has collected through many years of experience with a broader audience. When he’s not writing about retirement, he’s more than likely casting a line somewhere.