Making good financial decisions is important after retirement when many older adults live on a fixed budget. Use the following five tips to help your senior loved one manage his or her finances.
1. Begin Discussions Early
The ideal time to talk to your loved one about finances is while he or she is still capable of making independent decisions. If your parent has not brought up preferences regarding who should help with his or her finances, it is time to talk about it. Let your parent know you want to have a serious talk about his or her financial future. Although money can be a sensitive subject, your loved one will feel better knowing his or her wishes will be honored if he or she can no longer make decisions independently.
When discussing your loved one’s finances, you may need to assess his or her health and wellbeing and consider in-home care. Bethlehem senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Appoint a Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney allows a person to handle your loved one’s finances if he or she is incapacitated. It is best that the designated person is already actively involved in your loved one’s life. Once appointed, the person can do things such as write a check to pay a bill and manage your loved one’s financial concerns until he or she recovers.
3. Create a Financial Information File
Seniors often have complicated financial arrangements that may include investment portfolios, multiple bank accounts, and an array of service providers that require regular payments. If your parent currently handles his or her finances, make sure the power of attorney has all of the information needed to take over if the time comes. Ideally, there should be a contact list for critical people and companies that affect your loved one’s finances, such as the name and number of his or her financial advisor. As you put the file together, remember to also add information for utilities, mortgage payments, and other bills that must be paid on a regular basis.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need some time off from your caregiving duties to put together your loved one’s financial documents. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Bethlehem respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
4. Assess Current Expenses and Income
For older adults who are living on a fixed income, every penny counts. Often, seniors have expenses left over from years past that are no longer needed. For instance, your loved one may be paying more for life insurance than needed now that his or her family has moved out of the house. Alternatively, your parent might have a subscription he or she no longer uses but is set to auto renew. Help your loved one cut down on unnecessary expenses and maximize his or her income.
5. Review the Plan
Review your parent’s finances about once a year. However, you may need to do this sooner if your loved one experiences a major change in his or her financial standing such as receiving an inheritance or losing money on an investment. You also need to watch for signs of cognitive decline such as forgetting to pay bills.
There are a variety of health issues that can make it difficult for seniors to manage their finances or perform daily activities. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Bethlehem home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.