Like so many things in life, money management becomes a bit trickier as we age. Managing health care costs, calculating retirement savings, investing in our family’s future and working to retire debt-free all take on new meaning as we near the end of our years as revenue generators. And seniors approach the new challenges of managing their money in all different ways. Some people begin a retirement savings account as soon as they start working; others wait until they are closer to retirement. Some people choose to take Social Security payments as soon as they retire; others wait until they are fully vested.
No matter what your approach to managing money is in your golden years, it is helpful to have a plan. Having a plan in place allows you to set goals, make corrections if things get off track and make the most of the money you have.
The Benefits of Financial Planning
Financial planning is the process of creating a map for how you will save, spend and manage your money. Throughout their lives, many people use the services of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) to help them make investment decisions, to make spending decisions and to help them save for retirement.
Even without working with a CFP, there are benefits to taking the time to make a financial plan. Some of these benefits include:
- Achieving individual financial goals
- Financial security in the case of emergencies, accidents or illnesses
- Higher standard of living
- Increased understanding of financial decision-making
- Financial independence
- Earlier retirement
Financial Planning for Elderly Parents
If you are concerned about an elderly parent and their money management, a financial plan can be an easy answer for the entire family. Financial planning for a senior loved one is best done with open communication and is best done together. This helps to ensure that your loved one’s goals and wishes are understood by all parties involved and that everyone is on the same page. Here are some tips to help prepare to meet with a CFP with your elderly parents:
- Gather all important documents. This includes any current budgets, bank statements, investment account summaries, details regarding outstanding debts and the most recent tax returns.
- Discuss financial goals. In order to establish a road map, you have to know where the road is going. How much debt needs to be paid off? What do monthly expenses look like now and into the future?
- Discuss life goals. What does your loved one want life to look like? Is there a dream vacation to safe for? A house to sell? A retirement community to move into? Grandchildren to invest for?
- Have a list of questions. To get the most out of a relationship with a CFP, it is best for both parties to understand their roles and responsibilities.
While the details of each financial plan vary based on the assets and goals of the individual, all plans include the same basic components. Those include:
- An overview of all debts and assets
- A monthly budget that details income and expenses
- A budget for large capital expenses over the next three to five years
- A review of health insurance plan(s), including what is covered and what is not
- A designation of someone to handle the finances and financial decision-making should the senior become unable to do so
Making Smart Choices
Helping to create a secure financial future for your elderly parents is an excellent way to give your entire family peace of mind. Another significant step to ensure your parents’ golden years are safe, secure and comfortable is to identify the best living situation. At Windsor Estates, we have the services and variety needed to meet the needs of all our residents. As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), Windsor Estates is equipped to support our residents as their needs change and grow. We encourage the hobbies, interests and independence of our residents, while providing social opportunities, entertainment and health care services right on-site.
Interested in learning more about Windsor Estates? We would love to answer your questions! Contact us today!