Debt is a reality for many people, including seniors. Trying to live on fixed incomes can be difficult, especially for seniors who may be faced with steep medical bills or the loss of their spouses. Once a senior turns to credit cards as an easy solution to a problem, the debt can quickly spiral out of control. Here are some suggestions to help your aging parent manage and get out of debt.
Find Lower Interest Rates
One of the first things to do is find out the interest rate on your loved one’s credit cards. If your loved one has a good credit score, he or she might qualify for a lower interest rate. Call the credit card companies and see what options are available. You might also be able to consolidate debt on a card that offers a low interest rate for balance transfers.
Create a Budget
It might sound like common sense, but plenty of people never actually create budgets. You can use Excel or one of the free online budgeting programs to create a budget for your loved one that will include everything from medicine to pet food. Once your parent sees where the money is going, he or she can curb unnecessary spending and allot more funds to paying off debt.
If your parent has cognitive issues that cause him or her to have difficulty handling finances, he or she may also need help with other everyday tasks. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Get a Reverse Mortgage
A reverse mortgage converts home equity into cash, and the money never needs to be paid back. The amount the homeowner gets is determined by the home’s value and the age of the owner. If the owner is 62 or older with a mortgage that’s paid off, he or she is eligible.
Purchase Life Insurance
If your loved one has a permanent life insurance policy, he or she can get a cash surrender loan. The policyholder can take out as much as 96 percent of the cash value of the policy.
File for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy works for credit card debt, but if the debt is from medical bills, it will quickly return. Many seniors have a difficult time, psychologically, going bankrupt. In these cases, a debt specialist can be helpful by recommending a program to tackle the debt instead.
The many tasks involved in helping your loved one handle his or her finances may seem daunting, and the extra worry can take a toll on your wellbeing. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Oshkosh families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Look for Signs Your Parent Is in Financial Trouble
Often, seniors don’t want to burden their children, so they hide their problems. If your parent likes to travel or eat out frequently and stops doing those things, it’s a red flag. You might also notice your loved one start cutting back on necessities such as medicine and food, and he or she may seem to have increased anxiety as well.
Hire a Caregiver
Although it may seem counterintuitive to spend money while trying to get out of debt, having an hourly or live-in caregiver can help your loved one cut spending and control debt. For example, caregivers can help seniors save money on grocery shopping by avoiding expensive impulse purchases, using coupons, and purchasing mostly on-sale items.
Caregivers also provide companionship, so if your loved one shops out of loneliness or boredom, having a caregiver will curb the bad habit. Having a caregiver in the home regularly also means signs of financial trouble, such as excessively shopping for unnecessary items or cutting back on necessities, will be spotted sooner rather than later.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Oshkosh home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (920) 573-6295 today.