Maybe in this SS discussion it's a good topic to consider putting a retirement together a bit late. Also, the question seems asked by some good young folk -- investing long term while students and considering Dad. We don't know circumstances but assume modest? A home partly paid off? One option might be to buy a small rental property -- duplex or so -- on 20 year financing. This would give an inexpensive housing option, a choice of selling it, or family home, or both for relocation. In these "fix SS" discussions the volatility of living in America is often left out. Many who made prudent plans have been pauperized by dramatic changes in business/job climate, R/E crashes as late 80's, falling thru the many cracks in our medical payment system, auto accident exceeding insurance limits and other law suits. So, it's worth discussing who should own the retirement assets you are helping to acquire. This, both because you mention Dad not a saver (with kids in college who is??) and what the term "spend down" means.If this country is serious about individually financed retirements, some legal changes should be made to give personal retirement assets some of the protections that company, fed/state retirements and SS have. Otherwise we will have to continue to rely heavily on SS that those who fall thru the cracks at the wrong time won't become street elderly. Keep up with the Dow and the Fool, 46 is young for most these days and a lot can be done in the 20 years or so. Good luck! Other suggestions??
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