Our parents aren't getting any younger. They might not show signs of slowing down today, but they could suddenly fall ill tomorrow.
Talking to your parents about their retirement, long-term care, and inheritance wishes is likely the last thing on your mind. But we have a duty to help them plan ahead so they can enjoy their twilight years.
The earlier you do this, the better off you and your parents will be.
In my next articles, I will talk about 5 action items that you should discuss with your parents. Subscribe below.
Here's a sneak peak:
1. Discover Their Retirement Goals
Your parents probably don't want to spend their retirement in front of a TV waiting for you to call. But that’s the reality for most people. Your parents need to have retirement goals, whether it’s a second career or traveling the world.
I’ll show you simple things you can do to help your parents live the second part of their lives with passion and purpose.
2. Identify Available Housing Options
Where will your parents live if they can no longer afford to live in their home or take care of themselves? Will they have to move in with you? Your parents’ housing options require advance planning that involves you, your siblings, and your spouses.
I’ll help you identify alternative housing options, such as home care services and assisted living communities, so you can help your parents decide which options they prefer and can afford.
3. Plan For Their Long-Term Care
If your parents are on track to live past their 70s, they will likely need financial assistance for in-home service, nursing, and hospice care. These high-cost services aren't covered by health insurance and can wipe out your parents’ savings, force them to rely on you financially.
I’ll introduce you to the pros and cons of Medi-Cal benefits, long-term care insurance, and annuities that can help your parents pay for those expenses. I’ll also show you how you can legally manage your parents’ finances and make their medical decisions without going to court.
4. Determine Where Their Assets Will Go
Without advance planning, you and your siblings might spend one to two years in probate court to collect your parents’ assets after they die. Probate is expensive. If your parents’ home is worth $500,000, probate in California will cost your family $26,000 at the minimum.
I’ll show you what your parents can do today to make sure they control who gets what and how they can avoid probate to leave a lasting legacy.
5. Organize What They Own (And Owe)
It’s important that your parents organize all documents related to their assets. The government is currently holding over $32 billion dollars of unclaimed assets because surviving family members have no idea certain bank/investment/retirement/insurance accounts exist.
Don't forget to help your parents organize documents related to their debts; their home mortgage needs to be paid to avoid after-death foreclosure.
I’ll show you easy ways to help your parents get organized and make their financial accounts accessible so you can pay their bills if they can't.
Start The Conversation
It might be awkward, but you need to sit down with your parents to make sure they have a plan. If you have siblings, they need to be part of this conversation.
Like it or not, you're a big piece of your parents’ future. The greatest gift you can give them is to help them plan ahead. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Don't let that happen to your parents.
If you have any questions, email Edmund Yan, The Modern Family's Attorney, at email@example.com.