Dear Mom and Dad,
There is no branch that bears fruit by itself. I feel fortunate to have been raised by parents that were supportive of my endeavors and always provided a framework in life to learn. I’m truly grateful for your love during the ups and downs of life and hope to ‘pay it forward’ to my own children.
You’ve worked hard all of your lives, raised a family, and sent me off in the world with all the tools I could need to succeed. Now it’s your turn to stop living at work and begin working at living. Your retirement is well deserved and I’m so excited for what is next for you.
You have showed me that love is unconditional, and now I want to return the favor. As you prepare to retire and embrace a new chapter of your lives together, I want to talk to you about a few things that may not be easy to discuss, but by discussing them I believe it will make a hard subject easy.
I want to help. Your retirement years should be a time to do the things you like to do, and I want to help make that happen. Let me take on some of the work like you did for me when I was young.
I’m sure you have plans, but I’m not sure what you’re thinking. Who do you want to handle your estate? What are your plans for long-term care? Do you need help managing and planning your finances for retirement? These are things I think about every time we chat or visit.
It sounds like a lot, and I guess you haven’t said anything because you don’t want me to worry about you. Guess what? I’m going to worry anyway because that’s what happens when you love somebody. You know what else? I’ll worry a lot less if I know what’s going on with you. I would feel better knowing you’re both secure and that we’re on the same page.
Can we set a family meeting? Let’s plan a time to meet about your retirement plans. I know it’s probably too much to cover in one sitting, so maybe we should make it a regular thing. You could make a list of everything you have in place, and we could review it a little at a time.
Do you have a financial advisor or estate planner? We might want to schedule a meeting or two with them to go over everything together. They might be able to guide us through the process and point out things we still need to consider. I don’t want you to miss out on anything you might need to make the most of retirement.
Give it to me straight, Mom and Dad. We don’t have to agree on everything, but I will follow your wishes. Please tell me what you want, and I will do what I can to make it happen. I want you to have the retirement you deserve to do the things you enjoy.
Words cannot express my immense gratitude for the life you gave me and your support through the years. I hope you know that I’m here for you if you need anything, and I want to help.
I’ve recently released a new book called ‘The Fruitful Retirement’ that was written to help people navigate both the emotional and financial aspects of this transition. It may be a good place to start whether you’re trying to talk to your parents about retirement or you’re a recent (or soon-to-be) retiree.