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Brandan Chen

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Stand a chance to win prizes by reading the article below and answering the question within. T&Cs apply.

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Are You Prepared to Take Care of Your Parents?

Family are the ones you will turn to in times of need, and that works both ways when it comes to accepting the possibility of having to take in your parents when they can no longer take care of themselves. But however good our intentions may be, let’s face it - taking on the caregiver role can be draining, both physically and financially. Since 46% of children become financially responsible for their ageing parents in Singapore, it’s crucial to first understand how to balance supporting your parents without draining your savings account (SOA (January 20181). Here’s how you can start preparing for the future, today.
Planning Ahead is Key (Ong, Ryan (July 20164)

The first thing you can do is to regroup your priorities and form a plan well in advance. Sit down with your parents as early as possible to roll out a roadmap for their future care. Do they hope to stay in their current home or move in with you and your family? What are their biggest financial concerns for the future?

Some financial sacrifices you may need to make when supporting aging parents include time off of work and extra expenses for housing, transportation, and medical costs. While many Singaporeans have the option of additional domestic help, ask yourself what you could be doing right now to see to their care in the future. If you need to include your spouse or children in these conversations, be sure to do so.

Budget Well (Ho, Timothy (August 20193)

Next, it’s important that you start budgeting and saving for their future care as soon as possible. Set up a separate emergency fund for your parents and consider cutting other unnecessary costs progressively from your spending habits so you can continue to save more and more each month for whatever the future may hold for your entire family.

Understand All Insurance Options Poh, Joanne (November 20185)

Medical bills can be costly if serious health issues arise, so even if your parents are fairly healthy at the moment, make sure they have the right coverage, including both medical and critical illness insurance. Also, be sure to also take them to get regular medical checkups to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

Be Prepared for Outstanding Debts (Cheng, Mark (August 20182)

This singular area can have quite a severe impact on your finances if you’re unaware of it. If your parents have debt they’ve acquired over the years, you need to budget for it each month – especially if it comes with a high interest price tag. The sooner you can pay things off, the better for everyone! Make sure this is something you discuss with your parents when you have your initial planning conversations as well.

Being financially responsible for your ageing parents may be a difficult endeavor, but with careful planning, budgeting, and a unified family effort, you can do the honorable thing and care for your beloved parents if and when the time comes. Together, you can make sure your loved ones are cared for both physically and financially, without sacrificing as much as you might without proper planning.

This article is a part of Answer & Advance, our 8-week contest series where you can win awesome prizes reading the article above and answering a simple question. Answer the question correctly and stand a chance to win from this week’s pool of prizes and join in others to unlock the next tier of goodies! Want to increase your chances of winning? Read more articles and submit your answer to the questions of the participating articles. Sign up to my newsletter now! Find out more about the contest here.

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Week 7

What percentage of parents end up being financially dependent on their children?

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Content Sources
1 - Biswas, Saurav (January 2018), Spotlight on Retirement: Singapore, retrieved from SOA
https://www.soa.org/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2018/spotlight-retirement-singapore.pdf
2 - Cheng, Mark (August 2018), Taking Care of Retired Parents Who Have No Savings?, retrieved from Money Smart
https://blog.moneysmart.sg/budgeting/taking-care-retired-parents-cost/
3 - Ho, Timothy (August 2019), The Sandwich Generations: How to Juggle Between Caring For Your Parents And Looking After Your Children, retrieved from Dollars & Sense
https://dollarsandsense.sg/sandwich-generation-juggle-caring-parents-looking-children/
4 - Ong, Ryan (July 2016), How to Support Your Ageing Parents Without Going Broke, retrieved from SingSaver
https://www.singsaver.com.sg/blog/how-to-support-your-ageing-parents-without-going-broke
5 - Poh, Joanne (November 2018), Managing Costs of Elderly Care for Your Aged Parents in Singapore, retrieved from Money Smart
https://blog.moneysmart.sg/family/costs-elderly-care-aged-parents/