Driven in part by changing cultural mores and surrogate motherhood, older parents are becoming more and more common. Comedian and author Steve Martin had his first child at age 67. Singer Billy Joel just welcomed his third daughter. Janet Jackson had a child at age 50. If you are a later-in-life parent, you should take into account several special estate planning and retirement considerations.
First, you should make sure you have an up-to-date estate plan. One of the most important functions of an estate plan is to name a guardian for your minor children, and this is especially important for a parent having children late in life.
In addition to naming a guardian, you may also want to set up a trust for your minor children so that your assets are set aside for them when they get older.
Your savings should also be a consideration. Financial advisors generally recommend prioritizing saving for your own retirement over saving for college. This is because it is easier for students to borrow money for college than it is to borrow for retirement. One advantage of being an older parent is that you may be more financially stable, making it easier to save for both.
Finally, you should consider when to take Social Security. Because children can receive benefits on a parent’s work record if the parent is also receiving benefits, it may be beneficial to collect prior to your full retirement age. To be eligible, a child must generally be under age 18 or have a disability suffered prior to age 22. Children typically receive an amount equal to one-half of the parent’s primary insurance amount (PIA), up to a “family maximum” benefit.