Jon and Kate Gosselin and Nadya Suleman (parents with 8 or more children) may be implementing "retro retirement planning." In the past, couples had lots of children to run the family business and take care of the older generation. Are Americans reverting to the old practice of relying on adult children for retirement? (For alternatives to relying on your kids as a retirement plan, read What's The Minimum I Need To Retire?)

Seniors Moving Home
As the elderly population in industrialized nations swells, retirement practices are being scrutinized. In their 2002 research paper "The economic well-being of older people in international perspective: a critical review", Richard Disney and Edward Whitehouse found that 65% of Japanese people over age 65 lived with their children, while only 15% of elderly Americans lived with their children. In 2002, 2.3 million American seniors lived with adult children. By 2007 the number grew to 3.6 million according to the U.S. Census.

A reversion to "village" style living offers stability to vulnerable senior citizens, but it is more difficult to implement and conflicts with the mobile, self-driven attitudes of current American lifestyles. Families can make it work with the help of community senior citizen recreation and healthcare services. Funding for services may be found in the elder's accumulated assets: real estate, retirement dollars and businesses. Consult a tax professional before liquidating anything.

Feeling the Pinch
Baby boomers feel the pinch of caring for both children and elderly parents, and the elderly parents understand their predicament. The current recession is wreaking havoc on retirement savings and real estate values, while the cost of eldercare continues to rise. Families can protect themselves with long-term care insurance and permanent life insurance. With term insurance, elders may become worth more dead than alive, but policies with accumulated cash value provide needed income during retirement. (Learn more in Long-Term Care Insurance and A New Approach To Long-Term Care Insurance.)
Importance of Trimming Debt
The RetirementResearchCenter at BostonCollege found that 45% of households are at risk of not being able to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle during retirement. Encouraging economic stability of the next generation is of utmost importance. Younger generations will have more financial burdens and must save more vigorously to survive in old age while providing support for elderly parents. Parents can prepare children by teaching sound financial principles, encourage occupations that produce higher incomes and having frank discussions about their finances. (Learn more in Retirement Lessons To Teach Your Children.)

Invite the Kids Back Home
High unemployment caused adults to move back in with parents instead of the other way around. What if they stay even after finding a job? The benefits to the family could include living in a home with no mortgage, consolidated incomes, shared expenses and priceless quality time.

Having a bunch of children may not guarantee they'll take care of you in retirement. Careful planning and communication among family members will make the lives of the elderly enjoyable.

Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 PIMCO Funds for Retirement Diversification in 2016

    Explore analyses of the top three PIMCO funds for 2016 and learn how these funds can be used to create a diversified retirement portfolio.
  2. Investing

    How To Make Sure Your Healthcare Costs Do Not Ruin Your Retirement

    The best proactive plan of action for a stable retirement is to understand medical costs, plan ahead, invest properly, and consider supplemental insurance.
  3. Retirement

    Is Retiring in France Safe Today?

    After a series of deadly terrorist incidents, some may be asking themselves this question.
  4. Investing Basics

    The Top 4 Income Investments for Retirees in 2016

    These four investment types should mitigate risk in 2016 for retirees seeking income.
  5. Your Practice

    Advisors: $240B in Fees Up for Grabs by 2030

    Advisors have an opportunity to win generational assets over the next 15 years. Here are some tips on how to cater to different demographics.
  6. Investing

    7 Creative Ways to Save for an Early Retirement

    Take note of these out of the box steps you can take towards securing yourself an earlier, more comfortable retirement.
  7. Products and Investments

    Cash Value vs Term Life Insurance: Which is Best?

    The debate between cash value life insurance and term insurance plus an investment plan is an ongoing one. Here's a look at both sides of the argument.
  8. Personal Wealth & Private Banking

    What People Hate About Financial Advisors

    Advisors need to make a living too, but doing so by cutting corners at a client's expense isn't right. Here are the top complaints against advisors.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 Oakmark Funds for Retirement Diversification in 2016

    Learn about what makes Oakmark Funds desirable for retirement investing. Read about the top three Oakmark funds to research for retirement diversification.
  10. Retirement

    How Medicaid Works After Retirement

    Reasons why, after you retire, you need to know how Medicaid works – and especially how it relates to Medicare.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Am I losing the right to collect spousal Social Security benefits before I collect ...

    The short answer is yes, if you haven't reached age 62 by December 31, 2015. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 disrupted ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the maximum I can receive from my Social Security retirement benefit?

    The maximum monthly Social Security benefit payment for a person retiring in 2016 at full retirement age is $2,639. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are target-date retirement funds good investments?

    The main benefit of target-date retirement funds is convenience. If you really don't want to bother with your retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Will quitting your job hurt your 401(k)?

    Quitting a job doesn't have to impact a 401(k) balance negatively. In fact, it may actually help in the long run. When leaving ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does my spousal Social Security benefit work?

    If you have never worked or paid Social Security taxes, you will not be eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When can catch-up contributions start?

    Most qualified retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE 401(k) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center