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How to Retire When a Parent Needs Assisted Living
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

woman with elderly mother

Should You Change Your Retirement Plans to Provide for a Parent’s Care?

The Advantages of Aging With a Plan

Some adults find themselves in the difficult position of planning their own retirement while simultaneously planning the next steps of a loved one. While we make time to determine all other major decisions in our lives, we often forget to make time to “age with a plan.” You may feel obligated to sacrifice your own savings and retirement to help pay for a parent’s assisted living, but you also need to consider your own well-being and future. We recommend beginning to create a plan for your parents early on, before you retire and before they need assisted living care.

  1. Have important conversations now. If you have put off any difficult conversations with your parents, siblings, or other family members regarding a parent’s future need for in-home care or assisted living, have the conversation now. It is so imperative to have everyone’s input—including your parents’ wishes—early in the process. While these conversations may not be pleasant, they are necessary.

  2. Understand your parents’ preferences for their care. Would they feel comfortable leaving their home to live in an assisted living facility? Would they rather choose to age in place longer if they had the support of a program like PACE? It is important to determine the best possible scenario for your parents. Consider that if a parent intends to eventually move to an assisted living facility and sell their home, their equity in the home could be used to pay for their care.

  3. Don’t make decisions without knowledge. There are several resources that may help provide for your parents’ assisted living expenses. Make sure you thoroughly research and understand any financial assets your parents have that could be used toward their care:

  • Retirement or savings accounts such as a 401(k) or an IRA

  • Investments such as individual stocks or mutual funds

  • Pensions

  • Long-term care insurance (if eligible)

  • Social security

  1. Continue to revisit the plan with your parents. Revisit the plan often and keep your parents updated on their financial expenses, income, and investments. Also consider when your parents may need to relinquish their financial decision-making authority to you or another family member. 

With advance planning and conversations, you should be able to find a solution for your parents’ assisted living care without sacrificing your own retirement. If your parents are 55 and older, they may benefit from PACE, pending they are eligible. Please reach out to our team to learn more about McGregor PACE and the services we provide for aging seniors in the Cleveland community.