Kovar Capital: How can I help my parents in their retirement?


Hey Taylor: I had a long talk with my wife the other night about how we’re going to help my parents get by in the next couple of decades. They’re both retired and starting to struggle a little physically, and I’m realizing they’ll probably need some financial help from me. Any idea what I’m looking at? — Steve

Hey Steve: Everyone’s situation is different, but I’ll lay out a few things you should probably be considering.

Healthcare. This is a broad category when it comes to elderly people with no income. It’s possible your parents mapped out how they can cover their monthly expenses, but it’s just as important to have a plan regarding unforeseen medical bills. Opening that discussion will guide a lot of your other decisions, such as in-home care versus a nursing home. This can be a touchy subject and one that all parties want to avoid, but it’s a conversation that needs to happen.

Look into benefits. Different states have different programs for elderly citizens and eligibility varies from person to person. Depending on where your parents worked and whether either of them serves in the military, it’s possible to have a significant portion of their retirement covered. If you haven’t researched what’s out there, take a few minutes to do so. You could end up saving yourself from a huge amount of undue financial burden.

Consider your own schedule. While you’re pondering the additional payments, give some serious thought to the hours in your day and how those might be adjusted to provide care. If you can’t afford to pay $50,000 a year for a live-in caretaker, you might be able to cut that figure back by handling some of the assistance yourself and only paying part-time service. Thinking about helping your parents in terms of time, as well as money is a good way to find actual solutions.

See what can be paid off. A big struggle for those in retirement is handling large payments that they didn’t expect to be dealing with. A lot of retirees still have to make house payments or cover debt incurred from a medical procedure or a lawsuit. If you can help your parents eliminate those costs, or at least start planning on how those expenses can be dealt with, you may be able to relieve a huge financial burden.

Helping parents in their later years can be scary and trying, and I think it’s great that you’re putting this much thought into it. Try to stay focused on the steps you can take, don’t let the situation overwhelm you, and I’m sure everything will work out!

Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.


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