Our Atlanta Independent
Senior Living Communities:
Atlanta Senior Living Resources
For Boomers Only
Seniors In Recession: Practical Advice For Helping Your Parents Now (p. 4)
III. Although it would appear that parents in the third group are those who can most readily deal with the pressures of the current economic cycle, such is not often the case. Boomers must recognize the fact that these otherwise vital and fiercely independent people are now in a situation in which they feel somewhat helpless. All of their years of saving and planning may appear to have been a waste of time, and their current visualization of the future may well be much bleaker than what will actually materialize.
An adult child must first and foremost be sensitive to the psychological impact of today’s economic world. Find optimism wherever you can and assure your parents that, “This, too, shall pass.” You will almost certainly be right. Although we at Parc Communities are not yet seeing any consensus among economists, institutions, lenders, and other resources upon which we rely, the pervasive sense is that this economy will form a bottom by the first half of 2009.
Whether or not that “bottom” will quickly translate to improved real estate values and residential sales velocity is another question. In many markets, including Atlanta, it is likely that overall growth, along with generationally low interest rates, will begin to correct the housing downturn by the beginning of 2009. That does not, unfortunately, mean that residential values will quickly return to 2006 levels. Our best advice to the children of parents in this category is as follows:
Acknowledge that residential values may not return to 2006/2007 levels for another 4-6 years. Readjust their expectation of the real value of their home or condo.
Encourage your parents to begin re-planning their later years only when there is abundant evidence that the current trends have turned positive. Until then, maintain a conservative posture as it relates to lifestyle and investments.
Do not attempt to encourage any dramatic changes until the headlines change. The last six months have provided all of the drama that most seniors need.
Jointly with your parents, begin to explore alternative investment vehicles. Remember, your parents are among millions who are confronted with the same set of challenges. The free market will likely result in conservative, but innovative solutions.
At the end of the day, most seniors in this category will be able to achieve their original goals for those “Golden Years.” This recession may delay the dream by a few years, but overall improvements in healthcare, wellness, and life expectancy should make up for the delay.
For an adult child, arriving at a solution for Mom’s “Golden Years” has always been a challenge. When financial implications further complicate the matter, the process is even more difficult. Our advice is simple – don’t allow today’s recession to delay decisions that need to be made. Given time, we know that the economy will return to normal. Unfortunately, when it comes to decisions regarding our aging parents, time is not on our side.