When home can no longer be home to parents of boomers, financial planners say the change can embody many of the most wrenching and poignant aspects about life transitions.
And when it occurs, boomers and their planners or their parents’ advisors need to sort out new and old emotions, family conflicts and practical decisions.
The scenario is increasingly common, say many interviewed by National Underwriter, and is likely to become more common as the population continues to age.
According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, in 2010, those age 65 and over will represent 13% of 309 million Americans, and by 2050, that group will comprise 21% of 420 million Americans. In 2000, the 65+ age group was 12.4% of 282.1 million Americans.
National Underwriter will examine 3 aspects of this process: getting organized, dealing with the practical issues, and dealing with the emotional issues tied to a parent’s change in living status.
Some planners say that first-hand experience makes them more empathetic to their clients. Such is the case for Elaine Scoggins, of Scoggins Financial, Tampa, Fla., who says she and her husband lived the experience last year when her mother-in-law could no longer live alone.
An organized approach to help a person move to the next step beyond their home is to start with what will keep the parent as independent as possible. If that step doesn’t work, then you move on to the next one, Scoggins continues.
In her mother-in-law’s case, that meant moving to Tampa, Fla. where Scoggins and her husband live, from Savannah, Ga., where she had lived 40 years. It was agreed that her mother-in-law would begin in an assisted living facility because both Scoggins and her husband worked.
Scoggins says that when her mother-in-law began to need help with paying bills, she and her husband would have her over on Sundays and she would go through bills with them, maintaining her independence. Then, she and her husband would mail the bills, she explains.
Ultimately, Scoggins says, the next step was needed and nursing home care was arranged for the mother-in-law.