Planning for the future usually isn’t among the things we want to do most, but experience has taught us that planning does make it easier to manage our affairs. Planning our retirement years isn’t any different, but unlike our earlier life stages when we were making decisions on our own, many of us who are retired have adult children who want to be of help. So how do we involve our children in our retirement care planning without feeling like we’re giving up control of our future and our decisions?
Talk About Your Wishes on a Regular Basis
During stressful times or a crisis, the biggest disagreements in families occur when family members aren’t all on the same page. Siblings may have different ideas of what their parents want, and parents may not have communicated to their children what they truly would like.
Discussing issues like healthcare decisions and finances isn’t always easy, but having the discussions before anything happens is definitely easier than waiting until it’s too late. Regular discussions help keep your children up-to-date on changes you might make because, as we all know, circumstances change and so might our plans.
Put Things on Paper
Whatever your wishes or plans, it’s vital that they are written down and legally documented as much as possible. Whether this is a financial plan, a living will or your last will and testament, if your plans are not recorded it is possible for others to try to impose their own wishes. If you’re comfortable with the idea, you can invite them to help you draft up these documents or to accompany you to the lawyer’s office, so they can ask their own questions. If they have any concerns of their own, this open approach may help set their minds at ease.
Be Open to Differing Opinions
We’ve lived a long time, and our experiences play a big role in the decisions that we make. Our children often have differing opinions, some that we agree with and others that we don’t. But it’s important that we take the time to listen to other points of view as we make our plans for the future. Our children may have ideas and thoughts that we hadn’t considered and this may call for a change in our own ideas.
Bring in a Third Party
If you are having difficulty making plans, either because you don’t understand your options or your children are trying to sway your decisions, it may be helpful to bring in a third party to help explain things to everyone. This person could be a financial adviser, a lawyer, even a doctor or social worker. Having an objective, neutral third party on hand can be invaluable.
Our children worry about us just as we worry about them. With smart planning, we can help one another worry a little less.
Help your adult children help you. Share with them our new site dedicated to answering questions your children may have regarding planning for the future.