It’s a crisis unique to the Sandwich Generation: dealing with the financial stress of caring for an aging loved one can affect your ability to provide them with the care and compassion they need, but it can also put the security of your financial future at risk. To mitigate these concerns, consider these useful tips to help you make informed decisions about how to protect your future retirement plans while caring for your senior loved one.
Many adult children end up putting their professional lives on hold to become a primary caregiver for their elderly parents. Financial experts advise against this because of the sudden loss of income and valuable benefits. Consider care giving options that support your ability to maintain your earning potential.
Review the actual costs of being a primary caregiver before making any drastic changes like leaving your job. Also, consider whether your loved one’s assets can be utilized to cover some of the costs involved in providing care inside or outside the home.
Free or low-cost benefits that can help cover some of the costs of care giving, such as home health aides, are often available to seniors. Similarly, review the limitations of public benefit options such as Medicare and Medicaid.
It is common for seniors to prioritize remaining in their own home while they age. Although understandable, this can be a very expensive, and often unrealistic option. If opening your home to your loved on is an option, it can be far less expensive.
Geriatric care managers can help you establish a care giving plan that meets your needs and assist you in identifying resources to save time and money.
Financial elder abuse is on the rise, so make sure your loved one’s finances are protected. Telephone, postal mail, and internet fraud is common and can be easily avoided when a close relative or friend is keeping tabs on the accounts of a senior loved one. Consider talking with your parents about stepping down as Trustee of their trusts and letting you step in now to monitor their finances, and if they do not have a Trust holding title to their accounts, meet with us now to look at whether it makes sense to set that up for them (and for you).
Now is an opportune time to review your loved one’s wishes for his or her estate and consider your own financial goals and how helping to care for a loved one might affect them.
Caring for a loved one can take a toll, both financially and emotionally. If you are ready to create a financial plan for care giving, start by sitting down with a Personal Family Lawyer®. A Personal Family Lawyer® can help you plan for changes in life at every stage. Our Family Wealth Planning Session guides you to protect and preserve what matters most. Before the session, we’ll send you a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what’s most important to you, and what you can do to ensure your family is taken care of. To schedule your complimentary two-hour Family Wealth Planning Session, call our office at 978-263-6900 and speak with Paula.
To your family’s health, wealth and happiness!
P.S. Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family? Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started. You’ll be so glad you did.
David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area. David helps parents protect the people they love the most.