Most of us look forward to the day we can retire. However, the realities of living on a fixed income can be daunting. Because of this difficulty in predicting the future, diving into the details of a retirement plan with anyone other than your spouse probably seems like an unappealing endeavor. 

In fact, discussing your retirement with your adult children or other immediate family members is not only necessary, but it may also help you stay on track and avoid even more difficult situations in the future. 

Retirement Goals

Consider having this conversation about your financial future well before retirement arrives. It’s also a good idea to have the discussion with all relevant family members at the same time, rather than going to each individually. 

Start by sharing your goals for retirement. Explain details such as how you plan to spend your increased free time, where you plan to live and how confident you are in your ability to maintain the lifestyle you have planned. It’s important to provide a realistic accounting of your situation, not just an aspirational one.   

This may also be an opportunity to discuss any ongoing financial support you are providing to your children or grandchildren. Transitioning to retirement could mean less disposable income, so it may be time for the extra gifts or monthly assistance you have been providing to them to come to an end. If that’s the case, it’s better they find out now.

Medical Care

Hopefully, you will enjoy a long retirement before being faced with any significant medical decisions. But, it’s crucial that someone knows your medical wishes while you are still able to make them. Make sure you have a Living Will to specify the treatment options you prefer in circumstances where you are unable to communicate. If you don’t wish to go through each scenario with your children, provide them with a copy so they can access it when needed. 

With long-term care is likely a necessity one day, now is also the time to discuss paying for it. It can be exceedingly expensive, however, options such as continuing care retirement communities or aging in place could be right for you. Regardless, your family will appreciate the chance to discuss the options with you, particularly if tools such as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage will be a part of your plan. The last thing you want is to let the responsibility for your healthcare become a burden for your loved ones. 

Estate Planning

Another critical topic to discuss with your family before retirement will be your estate planning decisions. Be open about your plans. If your home equity is going to be a cornerstone of funding your retirement, don’t let it come as a surprise that the family home may not be passed down to the next generation. Topics such as downsizing and Medicaid Estate Recovery are important to address you believe they will impact your future plans. 

Providing your family with an honest and realistic overview of your financial situation before, during and after retirement will help to avoid disputes and surprises after you’re gone. Your financial advisor may also have asset transfer advice that you will want to share with your heirs. 

After a serious discussion, and with your retirement details out in the open, you and your family can focus on making memories during your Golden Years, not decisions. 

Visit OpenMortgage.com today to find out how our mortgage products can help support your retirement goals.

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