Helping Your Parents in Their Retirement

Yesterday, USA Today posted this graph showing that 44 percent of surveyed adults believe that children should contribute to their parents’ retirement if their parents don’t have enough money to live on in their old age. That’s a good amount, though more than half of respondents either don’t know or don’t think their kids should have that kind of financial responsibility. I personally would not want my kids (the ones I do not have yet) to worry about supporting me in my old age, but I also feel obligated to help my parents in theirs — I don’t want them to just be getting by; I want them to have a reasonable standard of living. Obviously, this is the type of financial discussions that adult children should have with their parents (along with things like living wills and end-of-life care). It’s something I talk about with my parents whenever I visit them for the holidays: “What do your retirement accounts look like?” It’s better to know now than to be caught off guard later.

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