How to Help With Finances for Elderly Parents.

How to Help With Finances for Elderly Parents

More and more millennials and Gen-X professionals have taken on extra duties to manage their parents’ finances or be a caregiver. Not only does this add stress to what may already be a stressful workload, it also impacts the family’s finances

Caregiving Can Be Expensive

When adjusted for inflation, caregivers spend an average of $7,400 a year out-of-pocket to care for an elderly parent. People want to help mom and dad but don’t want to sacrifice their retirement or their kids’ college savings.

Source: Surprising Out-of-Pocket Costs for Caregivers, AARP, Oct. 1, 2019.

Here are some ways to take care of your finances if you’re stepping in to care for a loved one.

Seek Out Resources

Resources vary by state, but there are options no matter where you are. Some states have a Structured Family Caregiving program, which pays family members who become caregivers. Medicaid also has a program that pays family caregivers of Medicaid recipients with a disability or chronic condition. Reach out to your state’s Medicaid agency  or research additional resources to find more options for care.

Plan Ahead With Your Parents

It’s important to have conversations with your parent(s) about their finances while they’re still healthy and can express their wishes. If they’re no longer able to comprehend or relay their financial information, it gets more complicated. You and your parents may want to consider talking to a professional about the potential documents or other considerations you may need to think about to help manage their money and coordinate their care.

A financial advisor may be able to help you and your parents understand what resources they have for care. Your parents can invite you to the meeting. If they want you to help with their finances, you’d need to have the designated authority to do so. While you’re at it, you may also want to talk about steps you will take for your own estate planning.

Work As a Team

If you have family around, get everyone involved. Whether it’s your own children, a spouse, siblings, aunts or uncles, everyone can pitch in. Hold a monthly meeting to discuss what’s working and what you need help with in the coming weeks. Include your children in the discussions and in the chores that you dole out at the meeting. It’ll give them responsibilities while taking some work off your plate.

Monthly Discussion Agenda

This conversation may simply be a recap of responsibilities for everyone. Or, you may want to talk about finances, especially if your siblings are helping you with the cost of care. Let your parent join, if they’re able to participate.

Make Time for Yourself (And Your Finances)

Caregiving can be stressful. It’s important to schedule time for yourself, to give yourself a break.

Another part of self-care: pay attention to your family’s finances. Check in on your children’s college savings. Is there enough money going in to cover college costs? What does your vacation budget look like? Make sure it gets some love, so you’ll have a vacation to look forward to.

Also, look at your retirement planning and accounts. Do you have enough so you’re covered in case you need care some day? We’re here to talk when you’re ready.

How Can We Help?

Do you have questions about how to review your financial needs or your loved ones’ if you are designated to take over their finances?

This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.

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