4 Steps to Help Your Parents Move Into a Retirement Community
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If you’re over 25, it may be getting close to the time when you need to help your parents move into a retirement community. Depending on your parents’ situation, they may or may not need your help in this area. There’s a lot that goes into moving your parents from a home they may have owned for decades into a more maintenance free living situation.
There’s not just financial factors to consider, but emotional and logistical factors to ponder as well. It’s often tough for older couples who’ve been in a house for many years to think about moving, even if it’s the best thing for them, and they may not be objective enough to consider all factors before making a move. Here are a few tips that you can use to help them along the way.
The First Step in Helping Your Parents Move Into a Retirement Community
For many couples ready to make a move into a retirement community, determining a budget may be the necessary first step. Today’s retirement-aged couples are all over the board in terms of how much they have saved for retirement, and your parents’ retirement accounts may or may not be a large determining factor in what types of retirement community choices are available to them.
Ask your parents if they would be willing to sit down with you to determine what their budget is for a move to a retirement community if they haven’t done so already. If your parents aren’t comfortable sharing that information with you, try to get them to sit down with a financial planner to figure some numbers out. From there you can help your parents make more decisions about what type of retirement community best fits their particular situation.
Rent vs. Own
This is an important question to consider as you help your parents move into a retirement community. Although home ownership is nice, it might not be right for every retiring couple. We are in the process of helping my mom and step-dad find a retirement community right now, and they’ve decided they’d rather rent than own.
Why? For one reason, they don’t want to be stuck owning a home and not be happy with the neighborhood, neighbors, etc. If they rent and don’t like where they’re at, it’s easier to pack up and move on. Secondly, they don’t want us kids to have to deal with selling a property when the time comes for them to need an assisted living situation. Personally, I think it’s kind of them to consider us kids in this way. Third, they’d like to have direct and quick access to the equity that’s in their current home should any financial emergencies arise.
Although these are all great reasons to rent instead of own, your parents’ situation might be different. Maybe, for whatever reasons, owning is better for them than renting. Either way, it’s crucial to sit down with your parents beforehand to discuss the pros and cons of both renting and owning before your parents move into a retirement community.
There are many options when it comes to choosing a retirement community for your parents. There are town homes, apartments, condominiums, and cottages. There are communities with activities and benefits such as pools and golf courses right on site, and there are basic apartments and town homes that simply house people 55 and over. There are communities that house both independent living seniors and those in need of assisted living. These are nice if your parents start out living independently and eventually need to move to an assisted living situation; then, they don’t have to leave a community they’ve become accustomed to.
What type of community your parents choose depends on many factors, therefore it’s important to research and weigh all options carefully before signing a lease or purchase agreement.
Other Important Factors
Once you’ve helped your parents determine their budget, whether or not they wish to rent or own, and what type of retirement community suits them best, you can be on the lookout for other important factors that will help your parents move into a retirement community that’s right for them.
What location is best for your parents? Are there certain family members, like the main caretaker, that it will be important that they live close to? Are there certain friends, activities or medical professionals they want to be near to? Is the location of the retirement community they’re looking at close to stores and other available services? What type of climate do they want to retire in?
If you need to help your parents move into a retirement community, don’t panic. With a solid list of pros, cons, and to-dos, you can help the transition be as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
Have you helped your parents or grandparents move into a retirement community, and if so, what are your best tips? Are you dreading the next stage of life for your parents or do you feel prepared to help them through it?
Photo courtesy of: Free Digital Photos
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