Speaking with your aging loved one about money may not be an easy task, but this topic will most likely need to be broached at some point. Allowing finances to fall into disarray could result in major issues down the road, which is why you should try to initiate this conversation as early as possible. Here are a few tips you can use to help your loved one properly manage money in the coming years.
Collect All Relevant Information
First, sit down with your loved one and gather all of his or her financial information in a single folder. This should include bank account numbers, credit cards, investments, retirement accounts, pink slips, and deeds. Once you’ve gathered all the financial information, consider creating a secure digital file that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. If your loved one isn’t comfortable using a computer, place the physical documents in a high-quality safe.
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Update Accounts & Legal Documents
After collecting the information, you can then go over all of the documents and make sure they’re up to date. Trying to update documents after your loved one has been hospitalized or is unable to think clearly could be extremely difficult. Make sure your loved one makes these decisions while he or she is still able to do so.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget for a retired senior can be a relatively complex process. Your loved one might be receiving income from multiple sources, and trying to determine exactly how much money is coming in could take some time. With all of the current financial information in a single folder, you should both sit down and create a strict weekly, monthly, and yearly budget, which should include exactly how much your loved one can spend on nonessentials such as gifts to family members and donations to charities.
Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs of Financial Issues
There may come a time when you need to take over your loved one’s finances entirely, and you must constantly be on the lookout for any signs he or she might be facing financial difficulties. Seniors with financial difficulties often pay for everyday items with credit cards or try to post-date checks. When you visit your loved one’s home, keep an eye out for piles of unopened bills and late notices.
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Discuss Financial Power of Attorney
Consider obtaining financial power of attorney, which essentially grants you the legal right to control all of your loved one’s finances. Granting financial power of attorney is extremely important if your loved one has been diagnosed with any medical issues that could affect his or her physical or mental health in the near future. With financial power of attorney, you’ll be able to make payments in your loved one’s name, check on his or her bank accounts, and manage his or her assets.
Aging can make it difficult to manage finances and perform daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Oshkosh seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (920) 573-6295 today.