With improvements in health and medical advances, people are living longer than ever.1 As we age, certain costs may go up while our income may not follow. A few ways you can help your loved ones economize for the long haul:
Save on space: Assisted living, retirement communities, shared housing and other similar options may meet your parents’ financial and physical needs while avoiding the costs of maintaining their own house.
Change modes: Instead of keeping their car (and its associated costs), help them make use of public transportation or the services possibly offered by the community. The AARP can be a good resource.
Tax smart: Look to professional expertise to create and implement a tax-efficient retirement distribution strategy for your parents. Move them in: It can be difficult to help your parents from afar. Still, you need to prepare for the emotional, financial and physical challenges of having them move in with you.
Go on auto pilot: Automatic bill pay tools can be set up to ensure your parent’s bills are paid regularly and their lights don’t get turned off.
Be aware: Creditors and scammers often target seniors. Be on the lookout for large expenditures or changes in spending behavior, and have frequent conversations to make sure they don’t become a victim. Take advantage of any available community resources to get extra assistance on a budget. Working with a financial advisor is a solid step toward making sure your parents’ financial health stays on course.
1 Source: Key Findings and Issues: Longevity, 2011 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report, Society of Actuaries, June 2012.