Posts Tagged "retirement"

Stuck in the Middle: Retirement Planning

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Financial and Tax Matters, Planning | 0 comments

Originally published at www.theglobeandmail.com on November 5, 2012.   “Many boomers are assisting parents financially or are losing income because of their eldercare obligations,” says Mara Osis, founder of ElderWise, an organization that provides information and coaching to help families caring for elderly loved ones. “They may turn down career opportunities or even retire early, if they feel it’s up to them to take on this responsibility and don’t see any other way of doing it.” Read the complete article:...

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Retirement: Families Planning Together

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Planning | 0 comments

 Originally published May 2011 on www.lifespeak.ca Contribution by Mara Osis, eldercare consultant and speaker on LifeSpeak’s Calgary roster.If one or both of your parents is talking about “retirement”, they are using a term that is being re-defined so quickly and drastically that the word might actually soon disappear. For previous generations, mandatory retirement at 65 was not uncommon; nor was collecting a pension for 25 or more years of service. More recently, retirees were sold the “Freedom 55” concept – endless, carefree days of golf, travel and leisure. Today, because we are expected to live longer than previous generations, retirement is largely uncharted territory. Some older workers are financially secure, and looking forward to leaving the workforce. For others, career and financial upheavals have walloped retirement savings and even pensions. Still others are dreading retirement, fearing the loss of income, sense of purpose and social life that comes with the job. With more evidence that “inactive” retirement can lead to aggravation of health issues, those are real concerns. Today, more people are “getting” the message that they need to plan ahead for the transition. Involving the whole family can help. Whether you are nearing retirement age and wondering what’s next, or watching your parents as they plan ahead (or don’t), here are things for both generations to consider and discuss together. What will retirement look like? Who is retiring – one or both parents or marriage partners? Are your visions and expectations of retirement in sync with each other? If not, how will the gaps be closed? Many marriages undergo a period of adjustment, whether one or both spouses retire. Declining energy, mobility or health are behind some retirement decisions. Understanding the health issues and prognosis helps manage the present situation and plan for the future. If work is too demanding, health-wise, what activity or life focus will take its place? Often, retirees who embark on a “life of leisure” soon find it less than satisfying. The purpose and meaning that came with their careers evaporates; they might feel they’ve stopped contributing. Part-time, contract or volunteer work can be the solution for some. For others, it can be learning and exploring entirely new interests. Every retirement plan needs to answer the question: “How will this next chapter of my life be fulfilling, meaningful, and driven by my values?” How is the family affected? Retirement can change the family dynamic. For example, parents may want to retire to a warmer clime, thus affecting both regular and holiday family get-togethers. Some may want to move closer to adult children and/or take a more active role in grand-parenting. Others may actually crave fewer obligations, e.g., babysitting, and more time to pursue their own interests. How will each generation manage expectations and accept each others’ preferences and choices? A retirement transition is a good opportunity for families to take care of practical matters and look to the family’s future well-being. Here are three things families can discuss together: Caregiving: What kind of future support might the older adults need and even expect? Do your parents believe it’s a family’s obligation to care for its elders, or do they insist they won’t be a “burden” to their children? Whatever the attitudes, the reality is that people are living longer than ever; centenarians are a fast-growing cohort. What would you do today if you knew that your parents (or you) will live to be 100? Legal Documents: Major life changes are opportunities for all adults in the family to review and update wills. Properly prepared wills save families time, trouble and money. Many common life events can...

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Home alone – not anymore. Your adult child is back.

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in Family Relationships, Financial and Tax Matters | 0 comments

Originally published at www.investorsgroup.com. Used with permission. Call ‘em Boomerang Kids or KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement  Savings) – but by any name, the number of adult children living with their parents is on the rise. And for Boomers, that can be a double whammy because many are being sandwiched between caring for their adult children and for their aging parents. A recent survey* of Boomers revealed that four-in-ten who care for both children and parents say they have been forced to reduce the amount they’re investing for retirement, one-quarter say they have adopted a less comfortable lifestyle, and one-quarter expressed concern that this financial assistance will jeopardize their retirement security. There’s no doubt that having adult children at home creates financial challenges by increasing the cost of living, creating a drag on savings, and even causing a loss of freedom. Here are some practical ideas about how to reduce stress, hard feelings and avoid potential financial disaster: • Pay to stay: Treat your child as an adult and try to replicate ‘real world’ conditions by having them contribute to household expenses, chores, and even pay rent. If they aren’t employed, encourage them to actively seek work. • Invest in a secure future: As an alternative to paying rent, insist that your adult child establishes an investment plan to help pay a future down payment on their own home. • Tax relief: If your stay-at-home adult kid is also a student and has no tax to pay, you can relieve some of the pinch on your finances by taking advantage of unused federal tuition and education credits (combined). Up to $750 can be transferred from the student to a parent. (Provincial tax credits may also be available.) • Define ‘rent’: Is your child paying you fair market value rent or just enough to cover their share of home upkeep and the cost of groceries? If it’s the latter, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says you don’t need to report that income on your tax return but you cannot deduct expenses. If you attempt to claim a rental loss, the CRA will put you to the test of proving the rental rate is at fair market value, and there is a reasonable expectation of profit. With children taking longer to become self-sufficient and aging parents expected to live longer, Boomers could be in for a rough ride. The first step is to talk openly with your children about money and responsibility. And a good second step is to discuss your situation with your professional advisor to make sure your financial plans stay on track. *Boomers on Call Survey, 2009 – Harris/Decima for Investors Group.  Guest article provided by Investors Group Financial Services. © Investors Group. Reprinted with permission. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. DISCLAIMER: ElderWise is pleased to feature the work of guest authors and appreciate their insight and expertise. Any opinions or advice expressed by these guest authors are their own, and may not necessarily reflect the views of ElderWise.  ElderWise does not assume responsibility for any decision or action taken as a result of information presented. Please seek professional advice and perform adequate due diligence before taking action....

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Experts Help Elderly Stay Home – Or Move

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Living Arrangements | 0 comments

Many elderly parents want to avoid moving to a care home, and prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. The unfortunate reality is that health, mobility and safety issues can make this impossible. Other seniors feel the burden of “too much house”, but may find the thought of moving on overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Help is at hand in all of these situations. For older persons who need more support to stay at home, a growing number of private service providers can help with personal care, errands, and home maintenance. Senior move specialists can help with the many tasks of downsizing and changing your address. Many professionals and businesses are adding “senior” or “mature client” training and industry accreditation to their capabilities. The real estate industry is one of these, offering realtors the opportunity to earn designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)®. Realtors with this designation receive formal training focused on the 55-plus population, their needs and priorities, and the housing options available to them. “There’s more to it than just pricing your home,” says Marilyn Moldowan, a Calgary realtor and former home care nurse with more than 20 years real estate experience. “Whether you’re being proactive and planning ahead, or you’re in a time crunch, your realtor needs to understand what a move means to a senior and their family. My experience is that, yes, moves can be completed within a couple of months, but some transitions can also take several years – depending on the family and the elder.”  As with any professional advisor, it’s important that you feel at ease, and that your concerns are heard and understood. You should feel comfortable with the realtor’s relevant experience, market knowledge, references and reputation. After that, you can starting talking about numbers. “Once we decide to work together, one of the first things we assess is your home’s current market price. Many people don’t realize that their tax assessment may not reflect what their home’s sale price might be,” says Moldowan. Your home’s value, especially there is no mortgage, may be a major determinant of the future lifestyle you can afford. This applies whether you rent in a retirement residence or simply want to move to a condominium property where maintenance is looked after by someone else. Once you know what you can afford and have assessed your physical, social and other needs, you can begin exploring the wide array of options for independent living. Health issues may mean that independent or assisted living is no longer suitable. If so, it’s important to become familiar, as soon as possible, with publicly-supported care home options…even if it’s “just-in-case”. For a senior, moving before you are ready can be as disastrous as waiting too long. But the same doesn’t apply to planning a future move from your home. With adequate planning and fact-finding time, you can discover the many options open to you. That lets you adjust and adapt gradually as your needs and capabilities change. Vol. 6, No. 6, © ElderWise Inc., 2010 You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE...

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Securing Our Future Finances

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Financial and Tax Matters | 0 comments

When helping aging parents with money matters or planning our own retirement, we may be drawn to investments that guarantee a more predictable future income and protect us against financial risks. Here are examples of investments that offer some degree of guaranteed income:  1. Savings accounts pay very low rates of interest and often don’t keep pace with inflation, but offer certainty…and quick, easy access to your money. 2. Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GIC’s) have long been attractive for conservative investors. They guarantee both principal and interest. Returns are lower than many other investments…and money can be “locked up” for months or years. 3. An annuity may provide guaranteed income for life in exchange for paying a lump sum today. 4. Some products offer “blended” guarantees. Your principal is guaranteed and you also receive some return when the stock market is in a growth phase. 5. Long term care insurance, while not strictly an investment, can also help in cases where physical or mental decline results in us or our aging parents needing more help.  “It’s tempting to flock towards products with guarantees, especially when markets are uncertain. But it may not be the best solution in the long run,” Says Dan Beyaert, a Certified Financial Planner. “Investing in something guaranteed can give you some short-term certainty. However, you need some stocks or equities to help you handle inflation in the future,” he explains. Beyaert advises a more balanced, three-part approach: (1) Hold a combination of guaranteed and growth investments to balance your risk with your need for good returns. (2) Have enough guaranteed investments to cover your day-to-day cash needs in retirement. (3) Re-balance your investments from time to time, to meet your short-term needs and long-term goals. “The most important thing is to stay disciplined, especially when there is chaos all around,” adds Beyaert. “Market movements depend on opinions and emotions – usually fear and greed. Don’t get caught up in it.” ElderWise adds these tips for families concerned about the future: 1. Examine how future events and circumstances might affect your finances. Review everything from spousal pensions to costs of getting more help at home, and costs of seniors’ housing. 2. Ensure that your parents are getting sound financial advice. For example, if they don’t have a financial advisor, you could talk to them about how to connect with someone. 3. If your parents look to you for financial support, you may need to have a series of conversations about what you may be able to do – and what is not feasible. 4. Money can be a highly emotional topic. Keep the tone of your discussions calm and respectful. 5. Family members often have different beliefs and attitudes about money. It may take several discussions for everyone to feel comfortable and to come up with a plan. Just like getting – and taking – good medical advice, sound financial advice influences our well-being by helping us feel more certainty about our future. Dan Beyaert is a Certified Financial Planner with Planning Professionals/ IPC. He teaches retirement planning courses for several school boards and corporations, and has been interviewed on CBC radio. For more information, visit http://planningprofessionals.ca. Sign up for Dan’s free quarterly newsletter, which discusses investment ideas and other financial topics at planpro@westmountgrp.com Vol. 4, No. 14 © ElderWise Publishing 2008. You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE...

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