3 Ways to Give Financial Help to Mom and Dad
Nobody likes to think about their parents needing financial help in their old age, yet it’s something that almost everyone must face sooner or later. Most of us grow up believing that our parents are and always will be self-sufficient, so it can come as a blow when they begin to have problems managing their money or have too many expenses to cover by themselves.
If you believe that your parents could be having money management problems, it’s best to take care of these issues sooner rather than later to help them develop good habits and remain financially secure in their old age. Here are three things you can do to give them some financial assistance.
1. Help to Develop a Budget
The first thing you should do with your parents to ensure that they will be financially stable is to sit down with them and discuss their complete financial picture. Talk about any debts they may have, their sources of income and their basic living expenses. You might find that there are some quick and easy fixes available to them that will make their lives easier. These changes can include getting rid of cable TV (or at least the premium channels), downsizing a car or eliminating any other unnecessary expenses. It’s important to have this conversation early on before your parents get too comfortable living with the things they would be better off giving up.
2. Look for Changes in Mental and Physical Health
One common problem faced by seniors that can greatly affect their finances is their declining health. Declining physical health means more hospital stays and visits to the doctor. Declining mental health can affect one’s judgment and cause them to make poor financial decisions that they may not make otherwise. Keep a close eye on your parents’ health; mounting debt in old age could be due to underlying health problems.
3. For Veterans, Consider Aid and Attendance Benefits
If either of your parents is a veteran, he or she may qualify for Aid and Attendance in addition to their pension and disability payments. Not everyone may apply for these benefits (those who do require live-in aides or assisted living services), but they can be very useful for those who need some extra financial help to cover their more serious expenses.
Caring for elderly parents is never an easy task, especially when it comes to their finances. If you are the child of parents who are facing financial difficulties due to their health or their age, keep these tips in mind and address the issue sooner rather than later.
By Richard Dorrough