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Are Mom and Dad Being Too Thrifty?

We all have heard about problems of spending too much. But what if your retired parents are spending too little? They have worked hard, been frugal and saved all their life. However when your parents retire extreme thrifty behaviors could be harming their quality of life. Being frugal is okay however your parents could be harmed by what they are not spending money on.

Problems of under spending can result in failing to get proper medical and dental care, eating healthy, living in a clean and well maintained home. Examples we have seen is not seeing a dentist for years (dental care is not covered by Medicare), sleeping on a mattress that is over 20 years old, cooking on a stove with only two burners working, hoarding and an unkempt home.

When elder parents live far away it may be difficult but it is important to check up on mom and dad. Discuss their concerns about having enough money to live on and if possible review their financials. This should be the time when they should be enjoying life. We recommend that adult children come together in a family meeting to start the discussion and planning process.