Tag Archives: Finance

Money Conversation: How to Manage the Finances of Your Aging Parents


Your parents might need a little extra help in their advanced age. Their finances are equally as important as their health. Aging people retire, meaning that they’re unlikely to come into any new sources of income. The money they have is the money they have, and it needs to last an indefinite period of time.

Talk to your parents about financial security as soon as possible to ensure their safe future.

Create a Productive Financial Environment

You parents may feel a deep attachment to their home, but can they still afford it? If the home is already payed off and the utilities are reasonable, they may not want to sell it. If the home is highly profitable and they’re willing to downsize, the profit they acquire from the sale of their home can give them some financial padding.

Smaller homes are typically less expensive to maintain. Utility bills cost less, especially for cooling and heating. Less property means a lower cost for lawn maintenance, and if the roof ever needs to be repaired, it’s a smaller roof. On top of the financial benefits, smaller homes equipped for seniors are often easier to navigate and maintain. They may allow your parents to experience independence for longer. You might also want to investigate assisted living facilities – your parents might need some extra help.

Use Savings in Conjunction with Investments

People of advanced age need savings to cover emergency costs. If they’re still active and vital, they might even want to take the occasional trip away for a week or so to socialize and enjoy their retirement. While savings are important, it’s important to note that their growth is meager. Even in a high yield savings account, the money will still grow slowly.

Your parents are never too old to start trading. By using some of their money to trade or invest, they’ll see larger returns much faster than they would patiently waiting on a savings account to deliver interest. A massive investment isn’t necessary. They can start by investing a little bit and slowly make more investments with what they gain. This is a great way for seniors with no expandable source of income to see more money than they ordinarily would have.

Set Up Autopayments

Seniors may not remember to pay their bills on time. By setting up autopay options for the things they use everyday (like their household utilities, rent, and phone bills), they won’t need to remember to make payments on time. This will prevent service interruption. In order to prevent autopay bills from disrupting the budget, a separate account can be created and funded specifically for autopayments.

Use your parent’s main bank account for their daily, fluctuating expenses. They’ll only need to concern themselves with the , and having the bills come out of a separate account that has already been funded will prevent them from accidentally overspending and having a bill come due that will overdraft their account.

Create a Functional Budget

The kind of budget you create will largely depend on your parents’ level of independence. If they do their own shopping, rather than depending on grocery deliveries, they need to be able to understand how much money they have, as well as the minimums and maximums they can spend.

Bill money set aside, sit down with them and examine how much money they have left over. This money needs to be divided into categories and priorities. If your parents have a basic understanding of technology, you can set them up with budget tracking apps on their phones. They can input their expenses based on their receipts and actively track what they’re spending and when they’re spending it.

Simplifying your parents’ finances will allow them to enjoy their independence for as long as possible, helping them make the most of their agency and live a fulfilling life. Always be there to help when they need it.

About Audrey:

Audrey Robinson is a blogger, currently writing on behalf of online data libraries like Aubiz. She might often be found online, sharing her tips and suggestions for self-improvement, improving one’s career opportunities and living a more stress-free life. Feel free to reach out to her on @AudreyyRobinson

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How to Manage Your Finances as a Caregiver


More than 34 million Americans currently provide unpaid care to loved ones over the age of 50. This can include dropping by to check on their loved one’s well-being, shopping for groceries and assisting with the activities of daily living (ADL). It can include ferrying older people to doctor’s appointments, physical therapy or hospitals. Caregiving can also involve monitoring prescription medication and making sure doctors’ orders are followed.

These multiple caregiving activities have one thing in common: they can erode or even severely damage your finances.

It’s very easy to start spending your own money in caregiving activities. It may start as a bag of groceries or a home-cooked meal. But it can also get larger and deeper very fast. You may renovate your parents’ home to make it safer for elderly living, or you may need to pay part of their mounting medical bills.

Among Americans, 46 percent spend more than $5,000 of their own money caring for elderly relatives yearly. Another 30 percent spends up to $10,000 yearly.

Before you know it, your own finances are in danger. You may have difficulty paying bills. You may take out a second mortgage on your home. You may max out your credit cards or use up rainy day or retirement savings.

The sums spent are compounded by the fact that caregivers often cut back on paying work to give care. Many transition to part-time work which can lead to less cash coming in just when you are spending more.

Fortunately, there are ways to more effectively manage your finances as a caregiver. All caregivers are entitled to look after themselves. After all, if they don’t, they won’t have any energy or patience left to give care with.

Here are the most important ways to manage your finances.

Create a Budget for Yourself

It’s essential to create a budget. Without it, people may tend to be somewhat in the dark about what they are actually spending their money on, and how frequently.

The first step is to start keeping track of what you spend every day, week and month. There are several software programs that allow you to do this — and a spreadsheet or even a small notebook can do the trick as well.

Don’t just guess. Guessing may lead you to believe you are spending $10 on coffee per week when stress has made you spend closer to $10 per day.

Only when you see these figures laid out in front of you will you know how much you are spending. If it matches or is less than your income, great! If it exceeds your income, you need to make some cuts or raise your income.

Create a Budget for Your Loved One

You need a budget for your loved one. You should know how much income your loved one has coming in.

You also need to create a spreadsheet of how much your loved one is spending per day. Then begin to enter it on a spreadsheet for each week and month.

If your loved one has income such as Social Security, retirement distributions or a pension, see how much of their daily expenses it covers. Be sure to leave enough for health insurance and deductibles.

Discuss the Budget With Family Members

If you have siblings or other concerned family members, it’s time to have a meeting once the budget is done. Include your loved one, of course, if that is feasible. If your loved one’s income meets their needs, it’s time for you to stop spending your own cash.

If the income exceeds their needs, broach the idea of the caregiver being paid out of the surplus. It’s not unreasonable for all needs of the loved one to come out of their own funds. Some older people may need help with paying bills and balancing checkbooks.

If the caregiving is extensive and the caregiver has curtailed work, see if the caregiver can be paid out of the loved one’s funds. You want to hold a family meeting so that the use of the funds is transparent and doesn’t cause misunderstanding or hard feelings. If you can be paid, keep a record of all payments for future reference.

Discuss Sharing Arrangements

If the loved one’s funds aren’t sufficient to pay a caregiver, discuss other options with your family. Some common options are:

  • Share caregiving duties with other family members.
  • Engage respite care to give the caregiver a break at least once a week.
  • Hire a live-in caregiver at least part of the time with family members chipping in on the salary.
  • Move the loved one to be closer to you if that eases the financial burden.
  • Move the loved one to an assisted care facility, nursing home or specialized care facility.

If none of these options is realistic for your situation, it might be time to look for other sources of funding.

Look Into Other Funding Sources

Multiple organizations offer potential funding. Medicaid options vary by state, but some offer an allowance for care. They also sometimes have information on other funding sources.

If your state or municipality has services for seniors, ask about what they offer in terms of respite care and funding.

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Veterans who might otherwise have to move into a nursing home have access to a Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program. It has provisions for managing care, including paying hired caregivers.

The takeaway here is that you don’t necessarily have to compromise your own financial peace of mind to care for an older loved one. Instead, look into these potential sources of help.

Authors Bio: Kayla Matthews is a lifestyle and productivity writer whose work has been featured on Lifehacker, The Next Web, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. You can read more posts from Kayla on her blog, Productivity Theory.

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