Despite feeling stressed about money, many American adults support their parents in retirement.
According to a recent study by AARP, about 32% of middle-aged adults offered regular financial assistance to their aging parents last year. But that's not all.
Over 40% of these adults expect to continue doing so in the future. However, meeting the needs of retired parents isn't their only financial concern.
Most of them are struggling to cover basic expenses for their own families, save for retirement, and repay debts. Experts warn that if the trend continues, most of them will not achieve their financial goals.
We don't want that to happen to you. So in this blog post, we share five ways to help your parents in retirement and remaining focused on your financial goals.
Know What They're Going Through
Some parents may feel uncomfortable sharing what they're going through with their kids. They don't want to worry their kids or feel ashamed of their financial situation.
Therefore, it may be wise to first have a good idea of what your parents are dealing with. If you've never talked about money before, prepare for some awkward moments.
SThe most practical strategy is to avoid putting your parents on the defensive. You may need to wait until they first ask for help to bring up the subject.
And while at it, don't focus on what they're doing wrong but rather ask how they want you to help. When you work together to find suitable solutions, you're more likely to succeed.
Establish Boundaries Upfront
Most people tend to quickly say yes when parents request for help. But that may not be a good move. After getting a clear picture of what your parents are going through, take a moment to examine your budget to determine whether you can help or not.
If you choose to help financially, be specific about how much you can give and how the money will be used. Without having clear boundaries, you can easily end up sinking financially trying to support your parents in retirement.
Talk About Harmful Financial Habits
It is not uncommon to see adults lamenting that their parents are not spending money wisely in retirement. Some even say that the little they give gets spent on unnecessary things.
If you notice your parents have bad financial habits, take action immediately. Most people recommend doing direct bills so that money doesn't pass through their hands.
But if you feel they can correct that habit or mistake, talk about it together. Just make sure you don't appear to be scolding. Keep it positive by encouraging good behavior.
Offer Other Kinds Of Aid
If your budget can't allow you to help financially, don't feel guilty. Find other ways to help. For example, talk to your siblings or close family members about it. Ask them to contribute. But don't stop there.
You can also offer other kinds of aid such as helping with home repairs or maintenance. That way, they can save the money they would otherwise spend hiring someone else.
Aging parents might consider selling their house, or renting out spare rooms to make some money. So if you run out of options, advise them to consider these options.
Don't Stop Your Savings
Helping your parents in retirement can be a huge responsibility. But no matter what you do, don't forget to save for your future. The last thing you want is to end up in the same situation as your parents. As you help them, learn from their mistakes.
Are you supporting your parents in retirement? What other strategies do you employ to remain focused on your financial goals?