Becoming Parents to your GrandchildrenGrandparents are often there for their grandchildren’s special events, holidays, and may even serve as regular caregivers supporting their family.  Sometimes an unexpected event such as parent’s death, incarceration, or addiction can rob children of their parents leaving grandparents to assume the parenting role.  Few grandparents expect to be raising their grandchildren.  Consequently, this change in dynamic will mean changing plans to prepare for the family’s future.

Retirement Plans

Saving for retirement is a long-distance race rather than a sprint.  As such, most individuals save and invest funds and plan for future medical care over their lifetimes rather than all at once.  Becoming parents again when close to retirement will most likely call for significant financial changes.  While children coming into the household will have expenses which can be challenging to meet, borrowing from retirement funds should be a last resort.  Potential retirees may have to consider working longer than expected and those in retirement may have to return to employment.  There are also other resources which can serve as support to the family.

Social Security and Medicaid Options

Social security benefits are often associated with those entering retirement.  However, in some cases, when the parent or caregiver grandparent of a child has died, become disabled, or retired, the child will qualify for a benefit from social security.  These monetary benefits are meant to support the child’s care and can help allay family expenses. Medicaid is another resource which should be investigated as the program may provide medical coverage for the children.

Other Federal and State Programs

There are numerous state and federal programs in place which may offer assistance to eligible families such as funds, food, expenses, and health care.  In some case, children may qualify for public benefits even when their grandparents do not have legal custody of them. In other instances, grandparent caregivers may qualify on their own.  Taking the time to look for available programs could result in the family receiving much-needed supplemental resources.

Community Programs and Extended Family

Many communities have non-profit and religious institutions which can offer support to families in this position.  These area resources often provide respite child care, and assistance with utilities, food, as well as other services.  If possible, grandparents should also reach out to extended family and friends to assess the availability of social, financial and emotional support for themselves and the children.

We understand the challenges assuming the parenting can bring and are here to help you evaluate your options, connect with the right resources, and plan for the future. Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

Post A Comment