(3 Minute Read)
When you moved out of your parents’ house, you had the whole world at your feet—your own journey ahead of you and so many opportunities to create the life you want for yourself. What many children don’t realize is that their parents’ lives also change significantly once their children have left the nest. As they get older, it becomes increasingly important that their children are more involved and supportive. Every senior parent will have many of these expectations of their children.
1. Your Time
As we get older, we face our own journeys. For many of us, that means developing busy careers, raising children of our own, and getting involved with our own communities. Senior parents understand this, and want their children to have full, successful lives. However, they still miss their children and want to feel like they are still an important part of their lives. Children with senior parents should still dedicate time to their parents, even when they feel that their busy schedules hardy allow for it. Put important milestones on your calendar, like parent birthdays and anniversaries. It’s also a good a thing to write in a phone call at least once a week to check-in.
2. Their Advice
Making difficult decisions isn’t always easy, and while you might want to make them on your own, it’s not a bad thing to reach out and ask for advice from your parents. Odds are that they have experienced a similar situation, or know somebody who has. Even if you don’t make a decision based on their advice, hearing what they have to say and allowing them to chime in will show them a lot of respect.
3. A Shoulder to Lean On
Even parents who are well into their retirement have their own worries and stresses. Many seniors might not have as wide of a network of close friends as they once had, and so they look to their loved ones for support. As a child, you can help alleviate a lot of those burdens by simply being a good shoulder for them to lean on for emotional support.
4. Financial Support
76 million senior Americans aren’t living a financially easy retirement. In fact, per the Federal Reserve, 31% of senior Americans struggle financially to get by. Couple that with another 46% who cannot even cover a $400 emergency expense with savings. Parents often want to hide their financial woes from their children, but with such a high percentage of seniors facing difficulty, it’s important for their children to reach out and ask about their parents’ financial situation. More than that, however, is the need to provide financial support as much as possible. Your parents have always taken care of you and so it’s now time for you to take care of them.
One way that you can help your parents manage their finances is to help them explore opportunities to increase their wealth through their owned assets, like their home, cars, and other valuables. One lesser-known asset that many senior Americans own is a life insurance policy. Many seniors, especially those with financially stable adult children, might no longer need a life insurance policy. Instead of continuing to make payments on the policy, they have another option to sell all or a portion of it in a life settlement, sometimes also called a viatical settlement, to a second party buyer. Life settlements, or viatical settlements, enable policy holders to rid themselves of the responsibility of maintaining premium payments while receiving a cash-amount that is significantly larger than the policy’s surrender value.
Dave and Carol have found retirement difficult ever since Dave’s health started to decline. The medical bills have been piling up. Dave’s children suggested he sell his life insurance policy.
Dave took his kids advice and sold his term life insurance policy for $53,000.