Planning your retirement: 4 top tips on how to have your sandwich and eat it too

Are you part of the growing “sandwich generation” — with the duty to help care for both younger and older members of your family? Here are tips on how to handle your financial responsibilities, while still being able to grow your retirement nest egg.

Grandmother, mother and daughter laughing and hugging on a sofa

You may in a bind, or rather, a sandwich. With the population rapidly ageing, an increasing proportion of Singaporeans now belong to the sandwich generation, those aged between 35 to 59 years old who have to care for both their parents and children. For many of these people, a key issue on their minds is how to retire at their desired age, while also providing for their children and parents. The key? Foresight and the right financial products.

Couple using laptop at home to review finances

Feel empowered by planning ahead
Mapping out the nitty-gritty details like your parents’ financial health and how you would like your children to be educated will give you a blueprint for the kind of financial needs you have to meet. Knowing this will inform the type of financial products that you should choose to best help you meet those needs.

For your ageing parents, start by having their financial health evaluated, so that you can plan for the future. Examine if their CPF Life account has enough to see them through their retirement years. CPF Life begins disbursing a fixed payout when the account holder turns 65. So, if your parents haven’t taken into account the likelihood of living longer today as compared to when they first began planning for retirement, their savings may not be enough to support their preferred retirement lifestyle. This is where endowment plans like PRUActive Retirement can step in as a supplement

Monitor your parents’ health
Now it’s time for a health check for your parents. First up: ensure they go for regular health screenings. This helps them to remain up to date on important information like their state of health and family genetic history, which may predispose them to certain illnesses.

Armed with this knowledge, you can then help your parents determine if they need critical illness coverage alongside their endowment plan, so their retirement funds aren’t jeopardised in the event they are diagnosed with a critical illness.

Share the load
Having the sole responsibility of managing finances for several people can be anxiety-inducing. But remember that the load does not have to be yours alone to bear — your parents themselves, as well as siblings, if you have any, have a part to play in financially supporting the former. Divvying up financial responsibility — and obtaining professional advice — will help ensure that no one person is carrying more weight than they can manage.

Recognise your own need to succeed
When caring for others, don’t forget to put on your own oxygen mask first. In other words, don’t forget to save for your own retirement.

With multiple dependents, endowment plans are ideal due to their lower risk. A flexible endowment plan like PRUActive Retirement lets you customise the premium term and the amount you are able to contribute for your own retirement savings after accounting for other expenses, such as contributions to your parents’ and children’s financial plans. When you are ready to retire, PRUActive Retirement provides a monthly income that is guaranteed never to decrease (called Step Up Income). You can rest assured that the Step-Up Income will be at least the same (or more) than the previous year.

You may also want to consider a life insurance policy and/or investments to help accelerate your retirement. The former can be used as a tool to multiply and redistribute your wealth to your children; while the latter can help you earn higher returns, though they tend to be riskier than endowment plans, and are generally only recommended if you can hold your investments for a longer time period.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. PRUActive Retirement is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact your insurer or visit the GIA/LIA or SDIC web-sites (www.gia.org.sg or www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).

Planning for your own retirement while still having to care for the financials of your parents and children can be a challenge, but the right knowledge and financial products can help you succeed. Find out more.

Tags: Retirement, Health, Wealth

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