Living well in older age is truly a family affair

Long before there were pensions, social programs and advances in medicine, family support between couples and across generations was (and continues to remain today) critical to well-being in later life. 

Family conversations about the future—and reaching a consensus around the important later life questions of who, what, when, where and how—are a vital part of longevity planning. If you’re not talking about key topics in advance, such as housing or care preferences for you, your parent or parents in late retirement, it can have serious implications for your family relationships and potentially profound financial consequences. 

It’s also imperative to have early and open future planning conversations with a spouse or partner around key topics such as planned retirement dates, how and where you envision living in retirement, and what one spouse or partner would do if the other were to pass away.


Family conversations are up, down and across

Family conversations have their own dynamic. Few family discussions are one-way; they crisscross the generations. In fact, they can be described as conversations that are up; that is, questions that adult children may have for their aging parents. Conversations are also down; that is, topics that reflect the concerns that aging parents would like to discuss with their adult children. And finally, conversations may be across; that is, discussions that are between a couple—or even between adult children regarding matters related to their aging parents. 

Often these key conversations are not had, even between couples or siblings, until a dire event, such as a critical illness or death occurs, and it’s too late. Taking action on these conversations sooner, rather than later, is essential. 

There’s nothing easy about getting older. But by proactively initiating these important longevity planning conversations with a parent, sibling, adult child or partner, you can help make future life changes and challenges a lot less stressful—and help ensure the wishes of those you love and care about most are respected and carried out.


Take action today for your family and your future

Click the link above to access the complete “Up, down & across” family longevity planning conversation guide.