by Lynette Murray, Platinum Adviser
We are living increasingly longer and many older people will outlive their money. While adult children may assume the responsibility for paying for their parents’ care, this is often not something they have planned for and it can have a major impact on their own retirement plans.
If taking care of ageing parents is something you anticipate in the future, there are a number of things you need to consider and plan for:
- Financial considerations
Questions around where your parent or parents will live are usually one of the first problems that come to mind. However, don’t underestimate the unplanned expenses such as the cost of medications and medical treatments that might not be covered by Medicare. There may also be daily expenses such as groceries, transport and other household expenses.
- Career considerations
You may have to take time off work to take an ageing parent to medical appointments. As caring needs increase many caregivers drop to part time work or refuse opportunities for promotion or work travel - all of which can negatively impact on your career, your savings and your own retirement plans.
- Physical and emotional considerations
Whether you step into the role of carer gradually or because of a sudden crisis, caregiving can be emotionally and physically draining. While you might have a wonderful relationship with your parent, the relentless nature of caring for another person means that over time negative feelings due to stress may surface. It can also cause tension with other family members.
If you think you may become financially responsible for an ageing parent, then it’s a good idea to speak to a financial planner who can look at both your own situation and your parent’s and help you plan ahead so that it doesn’t become your personal ‘Global Financial Crisis’.