A Guide to Helping Elderly Parents with Their Finances

Parents are the people who support their children. They work hard until their children reach the age where they can provide for themselves. But as the years go by, parents become elderly and may find themselves seeking help. They might find themselves with financial problems. Some parents may have a plan ready for those circumstances. They manage to apply for a reverse mortgage that helps convert home equity to some cash benefits.   But there are still elderly parents caught between managing finances and health issues. It is the right time when children need to intervene.

Those who have elderly parents need to assess the situation. They will have to see if their parents are ready to have a conversation about supporting them. Some people feel skeptical about conversing with their parents about issues. They do not want to invade their parents’ independence. Some elderly parents even feel useless when opening these topics to them.

But how do people take care of their elderly parents? When is the right time to take charge and manage their finances? There are a few pieces of advice that people could follow. Here are some ideas for your guidance:

Learn to feel when the right time comes to open a topic about parents’ finances

There is a moment when parents can no longer remember important events. It could be someone’s birthday or even their wedding anniversary. Some parents could no longer operate the lawnmower and need some help. It is the time that children should know that their parents are aging.

Some people may find clues if they are living near their parents’ house. Children could check on the answering machine and see if there are people from banks calling. There might be late payments or missing monthly dues. People may also check the mail and see if there are letters about billing statements.

Children should start to open up topics about how they can support their parents. They should ask their parents about their financial situation. It is a challenging task to some, but it is also possible that elderly parents are shy. People should find a way to make their conversation as casual as possible.

The best way to open financial topics to parents is to reminisce about their successes. Try to remind them how they support their children and manage their way. Then people could offer their help to help them manage their bills and other finances. People should tell their parents that they are always there for them. It makes parents feel secure and loved.

Offer help instead of taking over parents’ finances

Some elderly parents still have a knack for managing their finances. The only problem is when they need to go to a payment center to pay for their bills. Everybody knows that elderly parents find it hard to walk around or cope with new technology. Thus, children should assist them with their financial transactions.

Offering to pay the bills or working on the computer to settle parents’ finances is a great way to show concern. Parents appreciate it more, rather than taking over with their transactions. It is a gesture of showing that children respect their parents’ decisions.  Parents may realize that their children are only there to help them and not take control. They might find it easier to ask for more help in the future. Hence, children will be able to take care of their parents’ finances conveniently.

Try to locate necessary documents and learn to access parents’ financial accounts.

Elderly parents may lose some necessary documents about their finances. They might store it in a shoebox somewhere and could not remember where they put it. Some parents do not even know where they put their credit cards and may lead to a problem.

Children should have access to documents and financial accounts. They should have the passwords and copies of legal papers for their parents’ protection. It is one way to help their parents avoid any financial threat.

Learn to ask elderly parents where they put their documents. Explain to them that this is for their own good. People should be clear they are doing steps securing their parents’ finances and nothing else.

Always inform other family members informed about their parent’s financial situation.

Time will come that elderly parents can no longer take care of their finances. Children will have to step in and manage the situation. A better way to handle finances for their parents is to let other family members informed. Surely, people will not be able to manage everything by themselves. They might be working or managing other businesses. Thus, other family members will be able to help out.

Informing other members of the household is also a great way to avoid financial conflicts. Everybody admits that there could be some debate that may arise on who should be in charge. But a family meeting to divide the responsibility is a great way to prevent conflicts. Talk about who should take care of things and keep a record of all the discussions made. It would help clear things out for everybody.

Elderly parents will always need their children’s help, one way or another. They might not say it directly, but people will know once they see their parents alone. The only thing that everybody should know is to remember their parents all the time.

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