This is the first in a series of conversations that Maya (@mayaonmoney) will be having with financial planner Louis van der Merwe of WealthUp around life transitions. This first chat is around ageing.
Whether you are the adult child of an elderly parent, or even if you are getting older yourself and starting to think about your own future, we need to plan for the reality that as we get older, we become less able.
Accept that ageing is inevitable
Decisions need to be made about how we want to live this part of our lives. All choices and decisions have pros and cons, and therefore come with a range of emotions.
Many transitions can be quite traumatic, whether it’s adjusting to life after divorce or the death of a spouse, or – as in Maya’s case – helping a parent move into a retirement village.
The starting point is to understand the four stages of transition:
- Anticipation – where one moves between feeling excited and invincible to being simply terrified.
- Ending – this comes with a sense of loss or grief.
- Passage – this is the messy “middle” where you have to put back the pieces in a different way to find your new identity.
- A new normal – this is the acceptance that your life is now different. It will not go back to being what it was before, but that is okay. This is another chapter – another version of yourself.
Louis discusses how to have the difficult conversations with an ageing parent, and how to ensure that the person you are supporting retains their sense of agency and independence.
He also has some really good practical tips around money management and ways in which you can protect yourself or a loved one from making bad money decisions, or from becoming a victim of a financial scam.