Don't Break the Bank: Navigating Aging Parents' Needs
Most of us, at some point, will be involved in managing our aging parents’ affairs—a concept we rarely consider during our 30s and 40s. Depending on the age of your parents, however, by our 50s, we should be acutely aware of their needs.
So, how can we facilitate managing the essentials (housing, food, finances) for those who took care of us in our youth? Here are some steps you and your family can take to secure your parents’ well-being.
1) Have all their legal documents in order
• Durable power of attorney for health care
• Medical directive (living will)
• A will
• Durable power of attorney for finances
• Revocable living trust
For more info about each of these documents, visit moneywise.com/a/essential-documents-for-aging-parents.
2) Assess their needs with them
• Current and future housing, including all associated costs
(maintenance, repairs, rent/mortgage)
• Meals (shopping, prepping, cooking)
• Financial (paying bills, tracking finances, supervising
benefit programs, leisure activities, disposable income)
• Transportation (driving decisions and ride coordination)
• Personal care (hair appointments, doctor’s visits, etc.)
AARP has an online brochure that should be required reading for all families with aging parents. To view it, visit www.aarp.org_/articles/foundation/aa66r2_care.pdf.
3) Create a budget based on #2 above
There are several budget tools available (apps and online) that can be tailored for your individual needs. The key is finding the right instrument that can be easily accessed and comfortably used by a family member and your parent (while they’re still capable).
To view several resources with a brief explanation of each, visit senioradvisor.com/blog/2019/03/tools-to-help-seniors-manage-their-finances.
Make sure all the essential people are included in the decision-making process. Don’t dismiss a family member because they’re busy or less vocal. Ask everyone for their opinion; if it differs, put it up for discussion with the group.
5) Consult a professional
Whether you’re dealing with legal documents, medical issues, finances, or housing, give your inner circle a responsibility they’re comfortable with, and seek out a professional for the rest. Don’t overburden yourself or another family member (or worse leave something undone). Remember: The goal is protecting your aging loved one’s assets and wishes so they don’t have to struggle unnecessarily. Adding a professional to the team also diffuses internal friction, which is almost always a byproduct of emotion and money.
Here are some local professionals we recommend:
• Dianna Laney: Ideal Life Financial Advisors,
• Chris Wilczewski: Edward Jones,
• Clint Herndon: Next Peak CPA, [email protected]
• Launi Cooper: RFS, [email protected]
• PGR Solutions: pgrsolutions.com
• Chris Reeg: Pacific Investment Consultants,
• John Arnaz: Arnaz Financial, [email protected]
By Lorn Randall