Retirement Mistakes Can Affect the Whole Family 

rp_Facebook-photo-300x168.pngYou can read national statistics and not really think what lies behind them. When it comes to retirement it is really disturbing how many seem to have made totally inadequate provisions for retirement. Some are now living with the consequences of their inaction and for others time is running out and retirement is looming around the corner.

A Personal Capital Survey released recently states that the average balance that Americans are holding in a retirement account is just $12,000. Clearly that means many have nothing at all. If they have worked all their lives in fairly low paid work they will not really get more than a similar figure each year from Social Security. It is hardly a pretty picture.

Any Help Available?

Those who have worked hard and raised a family will get satisfaction from that but it doesn’t pay the bills. The question arises as to whether those children can help? The advantage that children have is that time is on their side. It decidedly isn’t for those parents. The problem that these children must recognize is that the situation for their parents is not going to get any better. There will be no magical income appearing from nowhere. If children decide to help it may have to be for a considerable number of years.

There are a combination of things to look at and no doubt looking at economies has to be towards the top of the list. If parents still have a few years to go before retirement at least there is a short time. If they are carrying debt that must be settled. Credit card debt is a fact of life across all age groups in the USA and high interest is applied each month. Parents who still have a regular monthly pay check should look to a personal to get rid of any balances and not build them up again.


Advice comes under the heading of non-financial support. While parents may be reluctant to accept advice if children see that they appear to be spending too much, almost in denial, yet they have no obvious savings for retirement it is a problem that needs to be introduced and then discussed. No one is suggesting this will be easy; it will be a difficult time but nowhere near as difficult or prolonged a period of time if nothing is done.

Competing Demands

If support is going to actually be in the form of financial support you need to have all the facts and understand what you are getting involved in.

There is never a time in life when there are not several calls on personal finance. It starts when you receive your first pay check. Perhaps there is suddenly a new apartment to find and furnish in a different city? Graduates will have student loans as well while it is difficult not to spend on something you could not afford during your student days.

As time goes by there may be marriage and then a growing family. Even though you can expect your pay check to be larger as the years pass it is easy to spend all you earn without major extravagances. If you have not got into the habit of saving a little each month for retirement then there is trouble ahead. If your parents are facing potential problems in retirement it is probably because they have lived their lives as you are doing. The extent to which you can find money to help may become severely limited.


However you will feel as though you need to help parents whose time is now limited to build up any savings. There is no easy answer to the dilemma. Everything needs to be put down, even just two columns of income and expenditure as well as total existing debt, similar to company accounts where there is profit and loss as well as liabilities on the balance sheet. The process of getting rid of the liabilities as well as looking for economies may not bring instant success but the process has to be done. The situation in retirement will only get worse for parents with children even less able to help.

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