Pricey mother and pa, are your funds prepared for retirement?

While multi-generational households are an expectation in many countries, only about 20 percent of households in the United States are multi-generational, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center. Sure, a multi-generational home helps stretch a parent’s retirement fund, but there are far more benefits to the decision than just money. Mainly, it reduces social isolation, which in turn can promote healthier physical and mental health. You just have to be careful how you approach the subject.

“Ninety-nine percent of the times kids approach this are, ‘Mom and Dad, we’re worried about you. They can’t do as much as you think, and it’s about taking away their freedom, ”said Lisa Cini, president of the Mosaic Design Studio, which provides design services to senior citizens, long-term care and healthcare facilities. “I think that’s exactly the wrong approach. You have to move them from fear to freedom, not the other way around. “

Ms. Cini moved her grandmother and parents into the house she shared with her husband and teenage children. She describes this in her book “Hive: The Simple Guide to Living with Several Generations”.

Instead of using fear tactics, Ms. Cini advises that you first ask the parents what challenges they are facing, such as: B. Tending the garden or maneuvering the design of your house or feeling lonely.

Next, describe the benefits of moving your parents in. Perhaps your parents can keep an eye on the children or pets while traveling, or settle the cost of certain bills, or help you prepare meals during the week.

However, living together under one roof is not a solution for everyone.

Other ways to help your parents without them moving in could help them find housekeeping, visit them more often to reduce feelings of isolation, or subsidize their current home.

A natural extension of the retirement talk is estate planning, which is arguably even more complicated. Now you are bringing up the inevitability of their death and if not done tactfully it may appear like you are trying to figure out details of an inheritance. However, you can get around this by not focusing on a will right away.

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