February 04, 2013

4 Ways to Prepare Your Loved Ones for a Financially Stable Retirement

Planning for the future is important, especially because today's senior citizens are living longer, healthier, and more active lives than ever before. Americans are enjoying longer retirements, which often present many with a choice between pushing back the retirement age and living out the golden years in a far more frugal fashion. If you have parents or loved ones who are planning for retirement or have already reached retirement age, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition more pleasant and more financially wise.

1) Don't Be Afraid to Discuss Money

Even among family members, financial matters can be very private and personal matters. But family members can often help their elderly loved ones. Helping retirees formulate and stick to a budget is a great way to help the elderly live within their means without giving up the benefits and freedoms that retirement has to offer. While pensions, Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits for senior citizens provide income, knowing how to manage that income is key. Too many older Americans do not have a budget in place and often overspend or under spend on a regular basis.

2) Keep an Eye on Investments

Earlier generations tended to make more long-term investments than today's working Americans. You may find that your parents and grandparents have held on to the same stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs for decades. With today’s market being a relatively unstable one, it's advisable to enlist professional help if a retiree has significant assets. Converting high-risk investments to lower-risk, lower-return investments is smarter for older Americans. If necessary, liquidating some of these assets may help improve your loved one's long-term financial well-being.

3) Consider a Reverse Mortgage

More and more older Americans are taking out reverse mortgages, which means the bank opens a line of credit equal to the equity of the home. After the homeowner passes away, the person in control of the estate can choose to either pay off the debt plus interest or allow the bank to take ownership of the property. This option isn't for everyone and should not be pursued without consulting a professional financial planner. However, it is a good way to enhance the golden years without worrying over finances.

4) Prepare for Emergencies

Sometimes, things come up for which you are unprepared. You may find that using a payday loan, like payday loans San Antonio TX, in order to help an ailing parent through a difficult time is a less expensive option than liquidating assets or selling prized possessions. When used responsibly, payday loans can help families navigate temporarily disabling circumstances, without sacrificing creditworthiness. Also consider using savings accounts for emergencies.

This article was written by Dixie Somers on behalf of Power Finance Dallas.

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