Parents are our first teachers in life.
As they age, roles often reverse and they may need help from their children. Many people find that they need to help their elderly parents manage their money.
Here are 5 good ways you can help your aging parents with their finances.
- Get involved. Get involved while your parents are still able to manage things on their own. Ask them to share important financial information with you, such as how to pay their bills and access their retirement funds. Someday they may not be able to do it for themselves, and it will be much easier to acquire the information you need when they’re healthy.
- Get them out of debt. Don’t let your parents waste their retirement funds repaying debts. We have helped many families file bankruptcy on behalf of elderly parents so that their limited money can go to retirement expenses and to leave behind to their children and grandchildren. If your parents are trying to juggle debts in retirement, give our office a call.
- Examine their savings. Do your parents have enough money to last their retirement? If you’re not sure, talk to a professional. It’s important to ensure their savings are secure. You also need to know if any lifestyle adjustments will be necessary to make sure the money can last as long as it needs to.
- Keep them insured. Health insurance and long-term care insurance get more expensive and more necessary as people age. The US government estimates that 70% of people aged 65 will need long-term care at some time during their lives. Make sure there’s a way to pay for that care for your parents if it becomes necessary.
- Plan ahead for life’s end. Death can be uncomfortable to talk about, but eventually everyone dies. Make sure that you understand your parents’ wishes about medical decisions. Help them to create a will. Talk about funeral costs and arrangements. Planning these things ahead of time can make them much less costly and less stressful when they’re needed.
As you help your elderly parents, take care to balance their need for independence with their need for support. Work with them respectfully, and consult with professionals as they are needed. Helping your parents with their finances can give you all peace of mind during their final years.
This was originally published as “5 Ways to Help your Aging Parents Manage Their Money.”