“Spend more time with family.”
That’s a common answer to the most frequently asked question posed to pre-retirees: “What will you do with all that time?”
In many cases, “family” means kids and grandkids with retirement plans including on-call babysitting, trips to DisneyWorld, even relocation in order to live in closer proximity to the little ones.
But, many baby boomers in the “sandwich generation” still have one or two living parents, as well. That’s where the real challenges – and opportunities – of retirement come into play.
Retirement can provide precious time for the older generations to bond, help each other and strengthen family ties. This story about a retired father and daughter living in the same New York brownstone is a wonderful example, but there are other ways to forge mutually beneficial relationships when cohabitation isn’t an option:
- Travel together on multi-generational vacations
- Plan weekly lunches or cocktail hours
- Embark on a family genealogy project
- Keep up-to-date with daily Skype or FaceTime sessions
- Organize and catalogue old family photos
- Take a class together
- Assist in transportation and daily living activities
Spending quality time in quantity with your aging parents can be informative for those starting down the road to retirement. By asking your parent(s), “What do you wish you would have done, or done more of?” you can gain perspective, learn from their experiences, and adapt your own plan to what suits you.
In a more immediate sense, retirement can provide invaluable peace of mind for boomers whose parents are dependent on them for support – financial, psychological, social, or emotional. Additional free time allows the new retiree to monitor hired health care professionals or companions, medications, expenses, and their parent’s overall wellbeing.
So, how do you decide exactly how to prioritize your time? How do you fit into your children’s and grandchildren’s busy lives while your parents might need you more? And how do you balance your own needs and desires (including that long “bucket list”) into the equation?
‘Personal Relationships’ is one of five key categories of retirement success measured in Fit-To-Retire’s exclusive readiness assessment. (The other four are Self Identity, Health and Nutrition, Social and Financial.) Your certified FTR coach can help you answer those questions and incorporate the answers into your personalized, holistic retirement plan.
Why not get started today? Take our complimentary assessment here and begin thinking about what “spending more time with family” really looks like to you.