Will you be Zooming during the holidays with your older relatives and friends instead of getting together in person? Wondering what you’ll talk about?
It can be unsettling to be face-to-face on the screen with anybody for a long period of time, but particularly with your older relatives and friends who may not be comfortable with virtual technology.
To help with this challenge, here’s a potential topic: Ask your retired elders how they’re doing in their retirement. They’ll probably be glad to share their hard-won experience with you.
And it could be a win-win: You could learn valuable lessons for your own retirement planning, and your relatives will feel glad they could help their loved ones with wise advice.
If you’d like to touch on this topic with them, here are 10 potential questions that can help you break the ice:
- What do you enjoy most about retirement?
- What do you like least about retirement?
- What’s the best thing you did to prepare for retirement?
- What do you regret about your retirement planning? What do you wish you’d done differently to prepare?
- Do you have a “bucket list”? If so, what’s on it? Have you done anything lately on your list or plan to soon?
- When did you start Social Security? Why did you start it then?
- How are you using your IRA and 401(k) accounts in retirement? Do you have a specific strategy to invest the money and draw it down? If yes, how did you develop that plan?
- Did you buy a medical plan to supplement Medicare? If yes, did you buy a Medicare Supplement Plan (aka “Medigap plan”) or a Medicare Advantage Plan? How is that working for you?
- Did you consider moving or downsizing your home? If you moved, do you think you made the right choice? Why?
- What advice do you have to help me when I retire?
Warning: You might not make it through the entire list. Once you get your older friends and relatives talking, they might not want to stop! And if you all find your time together to be enjoyable and helpful, you might need to make a date to talk again in the near future.
So dig in! You might gain appreciation about the life successes and struggles of your older relatives and friends, and you could discover ways you can improve your own retirement planning. And you’ll all feel better about your holiday “Zoom time.”
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