Retirement Planning: A Family Affair
Education and Advocacy The landscape of retirement planning is shifting. Today’s generation of pre-retirees face more responsibilities than ever before, prompting the need for more family based-decisions.
Allan and Denille Tremblay, a West Coast couple currently talking about their retirement plans are troubled by some issues that have come up as they considered their plans. “We are the typical sandwich generation couple,” says Denille, age 58. “Both sets of parents are still alive and in their late eighties, and we have two adult children and a teen aged daughter entering Grade eleven.”
A generation ago, couples entering retirement generally had children who were already on their own and parents who had likely passed away. The role that family played in retirement was somewhat different than it is today.
MAKE PLANS TOGETHER
Many financial advisors make a point of including family members in the retirement planning process as a way of educating them on the transition that their parents may go through when they leave the traditional workplace.
“There are so many issues that face new retirees today that they didn’t expect or plan for,” says Mark Finke, a veteran retirement advisor. “When you consider that new retirees have to consider education costs for teenage children and caregiving provision for parents, it adds to the planning complexity for retirement.”
For many retiring boomers, the emotion and pull of family often supersedes dreams of downsizing, the snowbird lifestyle or achieving a bucket list.
FACTOR IN FAMILY
Today, retirement planning has to go beyond building a bucket list or thinking about lifestyle enjoyment. It is also a time where family issues and concerns demand consideration.
Often, new retirees find themselves in the role of providing free day care for grandchildren as a way of looking after young couples struggling with working at a job and needing to look after their children.
“I love my grandchildren,” one retiree told us. “The problem is that my children think that just because I have left work that I have nothing else to do.”
PREPARING TO CARE
One other area that often becomes a burden for aging boomers is the need to provide for their parents or to ensure that they are looked after as they get older. This may not necessarily involve caregiving, but can mean looking after the financial affairs of parents or to provide them with help in the face of diminishing physical or mental ability.
For many retiring boomers, the emotion and pull of family often supersedes dreams of downsizing, the snowbird lifestyle or achieving a bucket list. This can affect the financial planning process, the estate planning considerations, and certainly the retirement lifestyle plan. This should be a major point of discussion between those thinking about retirement and their advisors.
By: Barry Lavalley