Throughout history, families have been guided and strengthened by the support of their devoted grandparents. That’s why, on National Grandparents Day, we honor our grandparents for their immeasurable love and wisdom, and for their contribution to who we are and what we have achieved.
Grandparents often grapple with the legacy they will leave to the coming generations. They reflect on their years of decision-making based on what life has brought them. They wonder if they are where they should be, financially and in other ways, and what’s in store for their glory years ahead.
According to AARP, the average age of a grandparent is 47. As baby boomers and early GenXers, they may have a living generation older than them in addition to two younger generations behind them. These grandparents could conceivably be caregivers of their own parents, their adult children, and their grandchildren. This is why they are known as “the sandwich generation,” often shouldering the financial costs of caregiving due to lost wages and paying for many direct costs.
As you celebrate the grandparents in your lives, consider these gifts to show them that you are invested in them as much as they are invested in you and your family.
The Gift of Financial Inquiry
Instead of expecting the grandparents in your lives to leave money to you, ask them if the resources they have are sufficient to take care of their own needs. Although you may encounter some resistance or lack of engagement (“We’re fine, don’t you worry about us”), it is important to plant the seed of inquiry and nurture it over time. Shining light on family finances allows proper planning for the future.
The Gift of Document Discovery
Knowing the location of estate planning documents, such as life insurance policies, wills, and powers of attorney, can provide great relief and a sense of organization to your family’s financial affairs. These documents capture a significant aspect of sharing and protecting the legacy of your grandparents and the next generations.
The Gift of Long-Term Care Insurance
Genworth reports that the 2016 median monthly cost for nursing home care for a semi-private room is $6,844, and for an assisted living facility this cost is $3,628. Most people prefer to age at home; the median monthly cost of home health care is $3,861.
Families without long-term care (LTC) insurance run the risk of being cared for under undesirable conditions. Adult children may want to consider contributing to LTC premiums for their parents to offset what they may have to pay if LTC becomes necessary.
On Grandparents Day, we show our love and appreciation to our grandparents and to the elders in our community who have shaped and enriched our lives. Let us endeavor to continue their legacy and to be those men and women who create a better future for our family, community, and country.