Discussing your needs will prepare your children now and better ensure your golden years are full of life
No one wants to think about the day when their parent passes on. Your children are no exception. But putting off important conversations with your kids about your needs and wishes in your final years will only saddle them with an even bigger burden down the road.
Think back to the conversations you had with your parents when they were entering their golden years. Were those conversations forced and stressful for everyone involved? Or, even worse, did your parents avoid the conversation altogether, thereby placing a heavier burden on you after they passed?
Letting your children care for you as you age is the best way you can care for them. Prepare them now by clearly communicating what you need and want in your final years, so they don’t have to put the pieces together on their own.
The Sooner You Talk to Your Children, the Easier the Conversation Will Be
Determining how you want to live the rest of your life while you’re still healthy and active will turn a challenging topic into a more comfortable and productive conversation for everyone.
Starting the conversation, however, is the hard part.
Prepare by thinking through your needs and wants ahead of time. It’ll make getting the conversation started much easier and more natural.
Come Ready to Discuss These Key Topics
It’s normal to want to maintain some privacy when it comes to your finances. When you’re just beginning to discuss your needs, you don’t need to pull out every bank statement. But you do want to share the number of accounts you have and how much money you typically need per month or per year to live comfortably.
This is also the time to discuss any current financial challenges you’re facing or anything you’re concerned may become an issue down the road.
The more insight you give your family into your financial situation, the better they can prepare for the future and give you the support you need when the time comes.
At least one of your children should have a copy of your most recent will. Sharing your will is also a good way to initiate a bigger conversation around what happens after you pass. Making sure they understand your wishes and have a plan for when that time comes will make life much easier for them down the road.
Long-Term Medical Care
Sharing how you want to live the rest of your life includes discussing contingency plans should you get sick or suffer any type of accident. Designate one child as your power of attorney and make sure they understand your medical needs and wants in detail.
For instance, what should your family do if you’re unable to make medical decisions on your own? Do you have specific medical requests in place that you want your children to honor if you suffer a serious illness? Make these decisions now, put them in writing, and clearly communicate them to your children while you’re still healthy.
Home & Community
Think carefully about how and where you want to live. Do you want to stay in and maintain your current home? Will you be comfortable living alone in the years to come? Or would you prefer to stay active by joining a vibrant community of seniors? Does an independent living community with built-in healthcare services make sense? The questions go on.
Your future living arrangements have to provide a balance of independent living, safety, and close-to-home medical care. Life Plan Communities like Pleasant View are ideal in that they provide a continuum of care – from in-home care to nursing and rehabilitative care. You have access to it all without leaving your home or your community.
Talk with your children about your future living needs as well as your wishes, so they can help you find the perfect home and community.
Share Financial, Medical, and End-of-Life Care Documents with Your Kids
Communicating your needs and wishes for this last stage of life with your children is the first step. Then begin sharing copies of financial documents, your will, health insurance and health-related information, and anything else they may need. The more access to information you can give your children now, the easier it will be for them once you pass.
Share Your Desires and Your Feelings About Growing Older
This first conversation with your kids can be about more than your needs and wants as you age. Use it as an opportunity to share your feelings about growing older, fears or concerns you have, and what it is you truly want during this next phase of your life.
Maybe you want to use retirement savings to travel while you’re still healthy or set up a trust for your grandchildren. Or maybe living alone is becoming lonely and you’d like to be around other active seniors.
Find what will bring you the most joy, share your wishes with your children, and work together to ensure your final years are full of life.
Take the Next Step
Discussing your needs and wants in retirement is the best way to care for your family now so they’re prepared to take care of things when the time comes.
We welcome you and your loved ones to visit Pleasant View Communities and see why our vibrant community and continuum of care options ensure your final years are full of life. Contact us to learn even more or schedule a time to visit us at Pleasant View.