It never seems like the right time to ask a potentially embarrassing question. Your parents may be watching television, eating dinner, quietly reading. But you need to know – you can’t rely on rumor, guesswork and stuff you’ve seen on the internet. So you pause at the door, nervously clear your throat and ask:
“Mom, dad…are you really ready to retire?”
Embarrassing, Awkward and Necessary
There are a number of ways the conversation may go. Your parents may smile and nod, and tell you that everything is fine. (That may even be the case.) Or you might get a red-faced denial that it is any of your business. But it is your business, if not in the specifics, at least in general.
If you are a Millennial, you’re probably in the midst of some major life changes. You may be getting married, having children or buying a home. Your career may be advancing rapidly and your earning power growing. If your parents are not prepared for retirement, you may find yourself facing the financial burden of helping them.
The reason to have the conversation is not simple self-interest, however. You’ve probably gotten a lot of advice from your parents, but there have always been areas where it has been you giving the guidance. (For example, helping them figure out their smart phone.) When it comes to today’s 401(k)-driven retirement, you may be more comfortable with it for the simple reason that it is all you’ve ever known.
5 Questions to Guide “The Talk”