Retirement can be both an exciting and terrifying time for our parents. Settling into comfortable living, without a job to think about, can cause our parents either anxiety, enjoyment — or even a mix of both. As their child, it’s understandable to want to help guide them through this process and ease them comfortably into this new stage of their life. By following these five steps, you can help make retirement for your parents worthwhile and something they can look forward to.
Retirement, and applying for retirement benefits, oftentimes involve a certain amount of mandatory paperwork. You can help your parents by doing the following:
- Procuring retirement-related documents
- Assisting them in filling their forms
- Driving them around while processing their papers
- Explaining certain parts or clauses of the documents
It’s okay if you don’t automatically understand everything with the paperwork process, however. If you can’t do it yourself, you may opt to see a professional, like a lawyer or an accountant versed in retirement procedures for your parents. The goal, ultimately, is to make their lives easier and help take the guesswork out of the task.
Check What Benefits are they Qualified For
Sometimes checking and applying for benefits can be overwhelming for our parents, especially if they’re not sure how to begin the process. This situation holds particularly true if they are not familiar with the internet and their eyesight is failing them. To better help them, you can research the applicable benefits your parents can get during retirement. Discuss it with them, and let them decide whether they want these benefits or if they prefer to live by their own means.
Support their Plans
Are your parents planning on going out on an overseas trip during their retirement? Help them book affordable flights (or business or class, whichever they want!). Need to take up a long-forgotten hobby (that was probably shelved when you were just a kid)? Sign them up to classes and help them choose their supplies, for example, if they like to paint. If they like physical activities like swimming or yoga, join them and make it a bonding activity you can enjoy together.
Gather as a Family Together
Without the rigors and worries of employment keeping them busy, your parents will have plenty of time to think. Not all thinking is good, though, especially if they are isolated from the rest of their family. You can help keep them engaged by inviting them to family dinners, watching a movie with them, and taking them shopping, among others. It doesn’t need to be expensive, either — after all, you’re building memories, not buying them.
Letting them babysit their grandkids is a good option, too, if they are still in good shape or they like young kids in particular. This activity allows them to bond and creates a healthy relationship between them and their grandchildren. Remember, though, to never impose on them to take care of your kids. It should always be done voluntarily and be mutually enjoyable for both your parents and your children.
Make Sure the House Stays a Home
Your parents will have plenty of time on their hands by the time they retire, but it does not necessarily mean they can do everything by themselves. This case often means that the household may not be in its best shape, especially if your parents have health issues that might prevent them from tidying up as frequently as they’d like. They simply might not have the energy to run a home as they used to when you were kids.
To help make this easier for them, why not swing by their home to help them run errands, or offer to give them a little bit of help with the housework. Assisting with tasks like these and others (such as making sure their prescriptions are properly filled) are little things that would mean a lot to your parents. In doing so, they would feel very well taken care of, grateful, loved, and secure in their retirement days.
What if you’re very busy and can’t help with these responsibilities, though? You can still help your parents by having someone look after them, even if they’re still healthy and capable. An on-call housekeeper is a big help and allows them to have plenty of time for their hobbies and leisure. A qualified caregiver who gets along well with your parents may accompany them in their later days, too, and report to you about how they’re doing.
Assistive Care Decisions
The last part of your parents’ retirement needs is assistive care. You can help out your parents by discussing what option they think is the best for them. In-home care services are available for those who want to spend their golden years in a home where they have started raising a family. There would be plenty of options for care homes if they chose to stay in such, including ones that have assisted living technology to help make their lives easier.
Either way, you can still help them, no matter what they ultimately decide to do. Your visits will bring comfort and assurance if they choose to stay at home. If staying in a care home is what they rather do, you can help them with the transition and moving into the facility. Regardless of which choice is ideal for them, it’s important to remember to be supportive of them, no matter what they decide to do.
With your help, retirement can be less of stress and more of a time of peaceful relaxation and leisure for your parents. It is essential, though, that you’re both on the same page with your parents when it comes to easing them into the retired life. Communication is the key here, which would result in a fulfilling retirement for your parents and a worthwhile effort for you, the child.