Financially Prepare for Aging Parents: 5 Simple Tips

The Following is an article originally published on Care Family’s website by Tom Knox.

Due to improvements in health care, seniors are living longer. This is great news, but it also means that you will need to financially prepare for aging parents. Not only will you have to provide care for them, but you may need to financially prepare for yourself as you age at the same time. Needless to say, it’s important to consider finances before things get overwhelming.

Why You Need to Financially Prepare for Aging Parents

Though you of course love your parents, it is simply a reality that caring for them as they age can cause stress. This stress is a lot to deal with on its own – both physically and emotionally. The last thing you want to do is add financial stress to the mix. In this article, we’re going to go through just 5 simple tips that will help you navigate the financial landscape when it comes to costs of aging.

The 5 Tips

Before we begin, I want to encourage you to download “5 Ways to Save Big on Senior Care,” which can be accessed by simply filling in your email address on the sidebar of this page. That guide will provide you with a much fuller picture of your money saving options. Now, let’s dive in…

  1. Position Your Finances
    If you’re going to have to financially prepare for someone else, you have to first make sure your own finances are in shape. Consider the following points:

    • It’s time to stop overspending and living beyond your means. Debt can be crippling and can be a huge obstacle when it comes to flexibility in future years.
    • If you haven’t already, make sure your mortgage and any large loans are fully paid off. When you reach retirement age yourself, you do not want to still be dealing with house payments.
    • Finally, make sure you are saving. If you don’t save extra money, you won’t have extra. Simple as that. It’s almost inevitable that your parent is going to require some help from you financially, so even if you’ve never saved before, it’s better to start now than to never start at all.
  2. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
    Quitting your job to be able to help your aging parent, even if it’s for a short time, is not necessarily a wise decision. Not only will you be losing your normal income, but you will most likely be stuck caring for your aging loved one for a long time. If you stay in your job, you won’t have to worry about not being able to get hired again, and you’ll have extra money to be able to pay for care.

    Staying at your job doesn’t mean you can’t help your parent out. In fact, you can keep him or her close by utilizing in home care. But the point here is that you want to think long and hard before just leaving a job on a whim.

  3. Have the Talk
    At some point, you need to sit down with your parent and make sure you understand what he or she wants. Will legal power go to you for financial decisions? Will his or her money be used for care? How will the will be divided between the family? All of these things are important to discuss before the senior might become cognitively impaired.
  4. Do Your Homework
    Besides downloading and reading our white paper, entitled “5 Ways to Save Big on Senior Care,” it’s a great idea to do research on all your care options. Costs will differ considerably depending on what your loved one prefers. Don’t make this need to research an immediate burden on yourself. Instead, you should gradually become more and more informed over time so you can eventually start making some decisions.
  5. Consider In Home Care
    As you financially prepare for aging parents, it’s important to keep in home care as a viable option. Not only can home care save you a lot of money if it is used correctly, but it can also relieve a lot of stress. You’ll be able to keep your parent at home without having to be their caregiver. Instead, you can just be their son or daughter.

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