The loss of a parent is a difficult time for any child — whether they're 8 or 80. If you've lost your parent or parents recently, you may have a lot to do to adjust in their absence. Should this include adjusting your retirement planning? The answer may be yes. Here are a few questions to help you decide.
1. Did They Leave You an Inheritance?
Probably the biggest reason to reconsider your retirement planning is after receiving a sizable inheritance from a late family member. You may be able to adjust your savings rates, make new investments, or even plan a different retirement.
Managing a windfall is tricky, and not every person is good at it without some professional assistance. This is particularly true if you received a large amount and aren't used to having a lot of money. On the other hand, good management can boost the value of even a modest inheritance.
2. Were They Your Retirement Plan?
Adult children should honestly evaluate whether or not they were relying on support from their parents as part of their own retirement plans. Perhaps you expected a significant financial inheritance but your parent left it to charity — or didn't really have much left. Or maybe you thought they'd be able to help you out in the future.
Whatever the case, if you were counting on their support, you may now need to make your own plan.
3. Does It Free Up Your Finances?
It's not always the adult children who are supported by their parents. Sometimes, the child is supporting the parent.
While you may not have wanted to free up your finances through a tragic passing, you may be able to plan and save more for your own retirement now. But how should you do this? Get help with budgeting and boosting savings from a professional.
4. Are You Rethinking Your Plans?
The death of a loved one isn't just a financial event. It's, first and foremost, an emotional one. And the circumstances may cause you to reevaluate your own future planning. For example, if a workaholic parent died early, their child may realize they want to retire early in order to live their life more fully.
But a big change in retirement goals needs adjustment in how to reach these. You may need to become more aggressive in savings. However, a professional financial planner can also help you avoid acting rashly during this emotional time.
Where Should You Start?
The answers to these questions and more will help you decide if you should spend some time rethinking your retirement planning after your parent passes away. Start by meeting with a retirement planner in your state today.