For some, the concept of not having to work every day seems like paradise, but there will also be those who will feel anxious and uncertain about the changes that lie ahead. If your parents are currently preparing for retirement, there are ways you can help them make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Financial Planning
The first thing everyone thinks about when it comes to retiring is their financial plan for the future.
Talk to your loved ones about their budget and timeline, and help them make the best decisions regarding their Social Security benefits. If they are interested in creating a steady source of income, you can discuss investing in options such as rental properties. It’s also not a bad idea to have them speak to a financial advisor who will help them make the absolute most of what they earned during their working years.
Some people will want to move to a smaller home once they retire. Not only does downsizing lower costs, but it can actually help make housework considerably easier. A smaller house or apartment will require less maintenance, will be easier to get around in, and can be energetically more efficient. Going from a larger to a smaller property can also provide additional financial funds that can go toward investments securing steady income, or toward providing higher levels of comfort.
3. Think About Security
You’ll want to make sure your parents are completely safe once they’re on their own. Things to consider include a high-quality home security system, as well as a well-thought-out system of communication. You can also help them learn how to deal with financial scams, and warn them about oversharing on social media.
4. Medical Alert Systems
It is estimated that 1 in 4 senior citizens fall in their home each year. Accidents are most likely to happen on stairs, as well as in the kitchen and the bathroom. What you can do to prevent this is to minimize clutter and potential hazards around the house, including rugs that your loved ones might trip over.
You can further ensure their safety by installing a medical alert system that will allow them easy access to a live operator in case of an emergency. GetSafe alert systems are easy to install and can be activated by voice or a push of a button. You can even equip your parents with wearable help buttons that have auto fall detection they can use on the go. This way, they’ll be able to signal for help in case of an accident.
5. Make Use of Technology
Sure, tech can be intimidating for seniors. But you can make it work for them. And that doesn’t just mean setting up a Netflix account so they can kick back and relax. You can actually create a connected, smart home for your parents that will predict their needs and help with their day-to-day activities.
The GetSafe app, for example, allows you to create IFTT (If This Then That) routines you can easily program. These can be as simple as turning on the lights when the front door is opened or setting the thermostat to a higher temperature in the morning. Commands can also be safety and security-oriented, like automatically locking doors, or using motion sensors to light high-risk areas at night.
Connected homes can be voice-controlled, making calling for help that much easier in an emergency. Additionally, a smart home can be monitored and controlled remotely, which is great for those who plan on doing some travel.
6. Emotional Preparation
Not everyone looks at retirement as a golden age of leisure. If you find that your folks are anxious about the upcoming change and worried about having nothing to do, you can help them face these fears. Seeing that a lot of their time will be freed up, it’s best to come up with a daily routine they can follow. This will not only give them peace of mind but can even help fit in some extra work such as a part-time job.
7. Create Room for Social Interaction
Finding interesting activities they can do on their own, as well as creating space for social interaction is important in ensuring people’s happiness after retirement. A great way to help your parents meet new people is to suggest they join a class or even an exercise program. This will help them build fun new skills, as well as expand their social circle, which is crucial in ensuring emotional wellbeing.
Old age may seem scary to many, but it can actually be a really fun time. The fact that you’re looking at ways to help your family members plan for retirement means that they are likely to have strong emotional support in you. To ensure their health and safety, you can also make small adjustments to their home such as installing a medical alert system that will give them some much-needed peace of mind.