It’s important To Ask Your Parents These 4 Questions Before they Retire.

Even though retirement is one of the most significant life changes, a 2024 survey found that 71 percent of baby boomers were concerned about their ability to save enough for it. Similarly, as an adult child, you may wonder about your parent’s ability to adjust to retirement.

Nonetheless, it is a delicate issue that calls for compassion rather than criticism.

These discussions will be fruitful only when adult children are willing to work with their parents as equals and not as superiors. Here are some great questions to ask your parents and key materials to show them:

Avoid passing judgment as you inquire about their retirement hopes and plans.

The goal of asking your parents if they plan to retire is to hear their thoughts rather than to get them to talk about their plans. Helping your parents find solutions is part of being a collaborator. As a result, you should refrain from passing judgment on the matters your parents choose to discuss with you.

Instead of making a damaging assertion like, “You are not going to be able to take care of this house,” one could say something more positive. This is way too much house for you, so try to sell the various options’ advantages instead.

To help your parents figure out how they want to spend their free time, you suggest that they look into something that has always interested them, but they have never had the time to do so.

The level of parental involvement in your day-to-day activities can also be discussed at this time. It’s possible that your parents won’t pitch in as much as you’d like with child care.

If a financial planner is out of their price range, ask if they have considered other options.

Your parents can get expert guidance on retirement planning by hiring a financial adviser. But if they want to avoid working with an advisor, they still have other options for getting help. Your parents can afford a meeting or two with an adviser who bills by the hour so that they can make a plan and a budget.

Your parents may be unable to find a financial advisor because of a lack of resources in their area, but you can still help them by connecting them to resources online.

Inquire as to whether or not they require financial aid, and if so, how you may be of assistance.

Concerns about retirement finances are not questions born of idle curiosity. According to a 2020 AARP survey, nearly half of midlife adults are worried about their ability to provide financial assistance to their parents. Identifying your parent’s specific support requirements upfront can save you time and energy in the long run.

In the case of adult children, they may choose to address a specific expense, such as the monthly compensation on a long-term care insurance policy, or they may save for a more general emergency fund.

Talk to them about long-term care and see if they qualify for any programs. 

Nearly seven out of ten adults aged 50 and up anticipate needing some form of daily assistance as they age, but only about one-third of this group has given “a lot” of thought to how they will remain independent into old age, as revealed by an AARP survey of 1,000 adults in 2024.

Many older people assume incorrectly that Medicare will cover 100% of their nursing home or home care expenses. Not at all, and long-term care costs can add up quickly. The median monthly price of a private nursing facility in the United States was $9,034 in 2021.

Long-term care, however, is covered by Medicaid for those who qualify under the state’s guidelines. Your parents will benefit from consulting with a Medicaid attorney specializing in elder care.

Your goal should be to be a sustained resource of information for your parents throughout their journey, and conversations like these should be a springboard for more in-depth conversations.