Eldercare — Providing Care For Your Parents


Providing Care For Your Parents

We come into this world needing our parents to take care of our every need. Decades later, those roles may be reversed as we find ourselves caring and planning for our aging parents. It can be difficult balancing your own needs with the needs of your parents. And it can be emotionally stressful watching your parents decline physically, and, perhaps mentally. Parental caregiving may also create financial challenges, particularly if you’re still raising your own children, planning for your own retirement, and possibly even helping out financially with other family members — all at the same time.

Keep your own goals on track

Remind yourself that you can help your parents more if you keep your own financial house in order. That means sticking with your retirement savings strategy, college savings for your kids and any other major goals you’ve got in front of you. And make sure any financial help you provide won’t affect your ability to meet your daily living expenses or put you in debt.

Remind yourself that you can help your parents more if you keep your own financial house in order.

Gather the data

Ask your parents to help you prepare a personal data record that lists important information you’ll need if they become incapacitated or pass on. This includes financial account records, legal, medical and insurance information, along with the physical location of important documents.

Look to the future

You know that saving more for retirement lowers the chances of outliving your money, so help make sure your parents won’t outlive their savings. With their help, create a financial profile of their expenses, income and net worth. Check to see if they are receiving all private and government benefits they’re entitled to. Consult with a financial professional about adjusting investments to provide a balance of income and stability.

If your parents’ income is coming up short, you can look into Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If they are veterans, they may be eligible for special long-term care benefits. If they own their home, a reverse mortgage might provide a steady income stream, and allow them to remain at home longer. Work with a financial professional to determine the best strategy for your personal situation.

Research long-term care options

If your parents can no longer take care of themselves, you will have to consider some form of long-term care. Unless they have a long-term care insurance policy already in place, you decide between different types of care facilities or even paying for in-home care, either in their home or your home. Medicaid, often referred to as Title 19, provides funding for nursing home care to individuals who meet certain income and asset requirements. Eligibility varies by state, so talk with a financial professional about this option.

If you have to provide some direct financial support, you may qualify for federal income tax benefits, such as claiming your parents as dependents or applying for dependent care credits. It’s best to discuss all options with your tax professional. Calculate how much you can contribute and itemize that in your own financial plan. Then reach out to other relatives to perhaps pool resources.

Plan with us

Caring for aging parents can be challenging, but potentially rewarding as well. If you create some financial security, with careful planning it will make a difference. We can help you analyze the current situation for both you and your parents, and suggest ways to help make the whole process a little bit easier.