Planning for Retirement as a Family Caregiver

Are you a family caregiver? Not sure how to plan for retirement and care for your aging loved one? You are not alone. As a caregiver – your retirement may seem like another challenging task to add to your list. But it doesn’t have to be! We’ve outlined some helpful questions to consider and suggested actions you can take to help you prepare for retirement.

Five Retirement Questions to Answer

The first place you should start is with an accountant or financial planner. You will want an individualized approach to ensure you take all the right steps. Below is a good list of questions to get you started and to consider:

  1. What is most important to you when you retire?
  2. As you age, what type of care do you prefer: private care at home (family or paid) or to move into an assisted living facility?
  3. What is your current health situation? Do you have any chronic conditions you need to plan for? What steps can you take today to help improve your overall health?
  4. What resources are available in your area to provide additional care and support?
  5. Does your family (spouse or children) require any special care for chronic illnesses or conditions? Have you considered how to pay for those after retirement?

Five Financial Steps to Take Towards Retirement

Below are some immediate actions you should take to get you moving in the right direction:

  1. Do a full inventory of your retirement account(s). Do you have a 401k? How much is in it now? Who manages those funds? Do you have any extra accounts available?
  2. If you are not working but your spouse is, or vice versa, then you should contribute towards their/your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This should be a joint decision and something you can both work on together.
  3. Set your target year of retirement. Use this as a starting point but be realistic and consider the need to extend that date as needed. Come up with different scenarios to understand how much you need to save.
  4. If you have had to take time off or lost some income as a caregiver then start making up the lost time. Every dollar counts and the longer to invest (even small amounts) will add up over time. Find ways to protect the accounts you currently have in place.
  5. Take advantage of every possible tax deduction you can as a caregiver. You can learn about the available tax benefits by clicking here and some additional financial planning tips here.

There is no magic answer to retirement planning but the important take away is: don’t lose your focus. Remember that the longer you can plan and invest, the better off you will be. Speak with a financial planner today to build your retirement plan.

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