None of us want to see our parents getting older and are often in denial that it is even happening. I remember clearly the day that I returned to Australia having lived and worked in the UK for almost three years and seeing my parents at the airport – I couldn’t get over how much older they seemed and although I was so excited to see them, I was also sad at the realisation that they had aged.
Here are some things you can do to ensure your parents live better in their golden years:
Have cooking weekends with them – learn your family’s favourite recipes, then pack them into portion-sized containers, label, date and freeze so that they always have a healthy meal on hand.
Clean out their fridge and pantry from time to time.
Assist them with creating a folder for all their important documents and financial statements so they are organised and can easily find their information.
Set up direct debits for their utilities, phone and other bills so they can be automatically paid, rather than going to the Post Office or Bank to make these transactions.
Ensure their estate planning is up to date. Key things to discuss are their Wills to ensure their wishes are up to date as well as Power of Attorney and Guardianship appointments so that should something happen to them, they have already selected the people they wish to make important financial and medical decisions on their behalf.
Talk to them about how they are coping with household chores and discuss their social contacts to identify whether they are needing a little help or feeling somewhat isolated. There are currently wait lists for home care, so it isn’t a bad idea to get on the wait list now, rather than waiting until they absolutely need it. All you need to do is contact My Aged Care https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/contact-us who will conduct an Aged Care Assessment and advise what level of care they are entitled to.
Discuss whether the family home is now too large for them. There are great incentives for retirees who wish to downsize, enabling them to make a lumpsum contribution into superannuation, taking advantage of great taxation incentives and providing then with an income source. They will need to meet with a qualified financial planner for advice and assistance. They should also be having their financial matters reviewed to ensure that they are receiving the correct Centrelink entitlements and that they are invested in line with their investment risk profile.
The team at Central Coast Financial Planning Group love working with clients of all ages to ensure that everyone is on track to reaching their goals. Whilst we can ensure your parents are sorted, also make sure that you are getting yourself sorted. If you haven’t met with a financial planner to discuss your future goals and have a plan put in place, then stop procrastinating!
The sooner you start with a financial plan, the better your prospects of a financially secure future and turning your goals into reality. Book an initial consultation at one of our office locations in The Junction, Erina, Terrigal and Sydney CBD – your first appointment is complimentary, so you have nothing to lose.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author. This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice. Newcastle Financial Planning Group, Central Coast Financial Planning Group, Sydney Wealth Advisers, Coastal Advice Port Macquarie and Coastal Advice Ballina Byron are subsidiaries of Coastal Advice Group Pty Ltd which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429.