Seniors’ ability to plan for retirement varies as widely as their personalities and life experiences. Some seniors may have no savings while others may have accumulated some level of wealth over the course of their careers. Regardless of individual finances planning for retirement is always a good idea. Here are 5 tips that should be considered when helping a senior look toward retirement.
1. Consider Expert Help
It can be quite helpful to hire an expert to guide the planning process. However, it’s critical to choose a trustworthy financial advisor? Be sure to check the credentials and professional experience of any financial expert before working with them. Research whether they have experience working with seniors and the specific financial issues of retirement. According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the training, standards and regulatory oversight for more than 50 senior designations used by financial advisors can vary significantly. To learn more about professional designations and for tips on choosing an investment advisor, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has a helpful website – click here to check it out.
2. Manage the Finances
Help the senior to consider the possibility that at some point s/he may not be able to handle the finances alone. It is always a good idea to keep an updated list of the financial institutions used by the senior, account numbers, and primary contacts. Of course this needs to be kept in a secure place such as a safe deposit box at a bank or a personal lawyer. A Power of Attorney can be prepared, which allows an individual to make all life decisions for the senior. In fact, under a power of attorney that person “becomes” the senior for all intensive purposes. Therefore the decision should not be made lightly. Note that a “durable” POA takes effect when you sign it and remains effective if you become incapacitated, while a “springing” POA generally becomes effective only if and when you have been declared incapacitated.
3. Design a Budget Plan
When thinking about retirement it is a good idea to think in a detailed way about spending. What is important to the senior and what is less important? If going out to dinner is of great enjoyment to the senior, then budget cuts can be made in other areas of life, such as buying new clothes less often. Other economies can help to save money as well. For example, contact the auto insurance company and let them know that the car is no longer used for commuting to work. This may help reduce the rates. Seniors should regularly review credit reports to identify mistakes. It can save money when purchasing insurance, and can help to reduce credit card interest rates.
4. Give a Tech Education
Help the senior to limit their exposure to telemarketers. The senior’s phone number should be added to the federal Do Not Call Registry. Additionally, inform them of potential scams targeted toward seniors. Emphasize the important of being on guard regarding these spams and how to act in the event they may be a victim. Technology is a wonderful, helpful tool but seniors and caregivers alike must be educated on the risks and threats.
Be sure to listen to the senior’s wants and needs. A custom care plan can be designed for each person, so have the goal of giving your senior loved what the type of care they deserve. Be patient and encourage your senior loved ones to openly discuss their wishes. The more you can develop a customized care plan, the happier your senior will be as they age.
Retirement can be a daunting change, however, with proper planning, the transition can be more gradual and graceful. A little education and research can go a long way!