Financial Transparency

When it comes to money, we are taught to be discreet—and not talk about it. But as a caregiver, you need to break that taboo when your parents need financial help or can’t handle their bills. It is a conversation worth having—with consequences if you’re in the dark.

What their finances mean for you.

Talking about money can be awkward. From your parents’ perspective, what they have, and don’t have, may be their business only. But, as a family caregiver, their finances can impact you. If they don’t have enough money, will you or other family members need to contribute? Should you plan for that and other options? What is their fiscal situation?

Getting the whole picture.

Even if they’re financially strong, understanding their situation, from their assets and liabilities to policies, accounts and expenses, is important. At the very least, you should know where they keep important documents and passwords in case of an emergency.

One major question is, are they paying their bills on time (and only once!). If not, who will either now or in the future? The same is true if they have cognitive issues.

Protecting their assets.

Older adults are most vulnerable to getting duped, and taken in, by scammers. Financial elder abuse is cause for concern. Trusting, lonely and sometimes naïve, they can also have their identities stolen. You need to know the telltale signs of fraud and how to prevent it.

How Caregiving Can Impact Your Finances

You already have your own finances to worry about and now Dad’s, too? If he comes up short, his money situation can impact yours. A recent study shows caregivers pay an estimated $5,531/yr. out of pocket for caregiving. It’s time for his business to become your business.
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Getting a Feel for Their Finances

Do your parents have enough for what they want and need? Consider how you’ll handle a shortfall, and what to do to prevent one. It’s not just the bills you need to know about, but their complete fi nancial picture, from investments, liabilities, Social Security, living expenses to insurance and more.
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Elder Financial Abuse

Older adults are vulnerable to scams and financial abuse. Loneliness and isolation make them easy targets. Cognitive issues can make them more easily tricked. Know the different kinds of abuse, the red flags, and how to help your parent from taking the bait.
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