5 Ways to Talk to Parents About Retirement

A daughter using a tablet to talk to her mom about the financial numbers for retirement.

Retirement is a reward for years of work, and it's something we all hope to achieve one day. It's also what we want to see our parents enjoy after all they've done for us. Retirement has become a bit more precarious in recent years, however. While it might be hard to consider, assess whether your parents are on track to retire. If you're having trouble starting this conversation, test out these five ways to talk to parents about retirement to help make it a little easier to address.

1. Be Casual When Talking About Retirement

Many of us associate financial talks with stone-faced seriousness. As a result, we start to stress about it. This isn't inherently part of talking about money, though. Starting up talks about retirement in a more casual way can take a lot of the pressure off all parties. Thus, making it easier to genuinely evaluate your parents' retirement readiness.

2. Keep Things Simple

While most people have at least a general understanding of how their retirement account works, it can still be overwhelming to have lots of words and numbers are thrown your way. This is especially true if this is your first time having a conversation about retirement. To help your parents better understand, try not to dive into the deep end of finances and retirement planning right from the start. Ease into things both for their sake and to help yourself get acquainted with the situation.

3. Be Ready to Learn More About Retirement

Retirement talks aren't a one-way street. Not only are you here to help educate your parents on their situation, but you're also here to learn from them. No one likes to feel as if they're being talked down to, so going in with that kind of mindset will make these talks that much harder. Listen to what they have to say and things will go more smoothly. You'll also be helping yourself in figuring out the facts of the situation as they stand at the moment.

4. Break Things Up

A lot of people try to handle financial conversations all in one go because they're busy or don't like discussing finances. Whatever the reason, this can be an inefficient way of discussing your parents' retirement. There's a lot of information to discuss when it comes to retirement. Trying to jam it all into a few hours isn't great for retaining information. If you break things up into multiple conversations, you can better process the information as well as take some of the pressure off.

5. Leave the Door Open

Many think of something like a "retirement talk" as a one-time event that's done when it's done. This isn't the best way to look at things, however. Not only can a person's financial situation change, trying to wrap everything up just once is not effective. When you and your parents feel like their retirement situation is all squared away, leave the door open to future financial conversations. Not only does it present them with the opportunity to come back to you if something happens, but it can also make your whole family have a much healthier relationship when it comes to talking about money.

Talk to Your Parents About Retirement

Everyone deserves the chance to retire, but careful planning is necessary for that dream to become a reality. If your parents are getting close to that age, try using these five tips to talk about their retirement plans so everyone gets on the same page.


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