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How to Help Your Parents Work Towards Retirement

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clock that you can rewind to fix past mistakes. Since we just need to tread through our mistakes and live with them, it also means having to go head first to face them. One of them can retire. Now retirement nowadays is a mixed bag, some believe that there is no point in saving for retirement as the cost of living will be too outrageous, others believe that retirement will stop existing as the age is getting pushed further, while others are purely stressed and focused on how they’re going to make it through retirement.

supporting elderly

Overall, it’s just completely stressful and it feels like it’s more of a millennial and Gen Z problem to face as boomers and Gen X have far more financial security.  While the overall consensus is that the two older generations are prepared for retirement, it doesn’t always seem to be the case.

 Sometimes parents or even grandparents aren’t prepared at all for retirement. There may be a chance right now that your parents may have no savings for retirement. While the chance is slim, if you’re in a situation where your parents haven’t saved for their retirement, thankfully there are some tips to help out without risking your financial future at all. 

Why do some people skip saving for retirement?

It’s not an easy pill to swallow knowing that your parents may have not saved up for their golden years. While it’s not entirely too late to begin saving, what’s done is already done. The first step is just to realize that you can’t go back in time and fix this. Each situation is different, some families struggle to get by so it only makes sense if there aren’t enough funds for a comfortable retirement.

Maybe debt, such as mortgage or loans got in the way of saving for retirement, maybe major medical emergencies happened where what money was put towards retirement is gone. There are plenty of reasons why it may have not happened, but it’s important to not put any pressure on yourself and to not put any resentment on them.  Here are some tips to help you and your family take action on their retirement.

Skip the blaming

Have an open conversation with your parents, talk to them about what possible financial issues or burdens they may have faced. Finances are a very tough situation, and it’s downright uncomfortable to talk about as well. Even this discussion could be weird as the parent-child roles may be completely flipped. Both parties must avoid blaming each other. It’s also important to not feel any guilt or shame as well.

You need to let them know how this is going to affect them, how it’s going to affect your family, but this needs to be stated in a way where nobody is getting any blame. What is done is already done and there’s no turning back. Pointing fingers won’t solve anything, it’s only going to make the situation far worse. The goal of the conversation is to talk, understand the circumstances, understand what happened, understand their thought process, and try to figure out how you and your family can get this situated.

Talk to your siblings or other family members

If you have siblings, talk to them about this situation and try to figure out how you all can help out your parents. This doesn’t immediately mean that you all need to begin financially supporting your parents. All it means is that you share the burden and discuss ways to deal with this issue. This also allows discussion about you and your family’s retirement plan as well. This can include looking into self-directed IRAs for yourself or maybe even discussing with a loved one. You can learn a bit more about it here

Discuss a budget with your parents

It’s best to try to figure out what the budgeting situation is going to be for your parents. How much income do they currently have? Are they investing in anything? You need to get nitty-gritty when you’re asking them all of these questions. It’s best to try and paint a clear picture of what they have and what they’re going to need. Are they still working? Some questions to ask can include:

  • Their current monthly income combined
  • What their assets are
  • What are some of their sources
  • Do they have any pensions, disabilities, or even social security?
  • Is there anything that they’re willing to give up for financial security?

It’s stressful, but it’s best to look at your parent’s cash flow to see where some of the big spendings is coming from and to see where any sort of financial security can be laid. Are there subscriptions they have without realizing it? Maybe they’re spending too much on groceries? Any monthly luxuries they buy? This is also a good time to bring up that maybe they shouldn’t give lavish gifts to grandchildren or anyone else. Small monthly costs can really build up, so try to help them spot that.

Discuss pushing off retirement

Depending on the age and the health of your parents, it may be completely plausible to push off retiring.  There are plenty of things to consider when planning retirement, but it may help them greatly if they just continue working longer.  Depending on the company they work for, they may be able to discuss phased retirement. This means they discuss with the company doing different tasks and working different hours and slowly working to phase into their retirement.

This can also include working part-time instead of full-time. They will still be able to get a monthly income without over-pushing themselves too much. Of course, it’s understandable if this is something that couldn’t work for everyone as it completely depends on the job.

Check for available resources

There are thankfully some resources that are available to retiree-aged people who are in financial hardship. This includes a non-profit that helps with finding proper support for aging people. There are even financial planners that offer heavily discounted and free services to elders that need assistance with their retirement. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to find assistance for your loved ones. There’s no doubt that retirement is stressful, but it’s far more stressful trying to ensure that your parents will be okay while also taking care of yourself. Even if they have health- complications, they may even be able to receive care through Medicaid. Just be sure to do some extensive research to see what is out there and what is offered.

Discuss other ways to make income

While it’s ideal if a company allows for phased retirement, unfortunately, many companies are agisted and may completely fire someone who requests that. It’s completely unfair and not right, but it’s important to be realistic and to keep that into consideration. Thankfully there are other ways to generate income that your parents can try. The gig economy is booming and it’s not going anywhere either. While many gigs require certain skills such as graphic design or coding, these can be a little too overwhelming for someone old to learn (but not impossible).

Thankfully, there are so many different ways to make money in the gig economy. This can include being a driver for Uber or Lyft, doing delivery for Amazon or Uber Eats, but it can go so much further than that. Many people, especially those who are older are finding talents in streaming video games and storytelling.

Those who have a passion for crafts look into selling their paintings and crocheted creations on Etsy as well. There are thankfully plenty of creative ways that many retiree-aged people look into making additional money. You can calculate the fees of using etsy by using, which should give your parents a better understanding of potential profits.

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