As your parents age, they may become forgetful when it comes to money and their finances. Unfortunately, this may mean that they forget to pay bills or make other financial mistakes that can come back to haunt them or you in the future. Trying to determine when you should step in can be a big decision. But if you suspect your elderly parent is having trouble keeping up with their finances, it may be time to do so. Here are six tips for helping your aging parents with their finances.
There are many warning signs that your elderly parent is unable to keep up with their finances. This includes mail and bills piling up on their counter, past due bills appearing, your loved one looking worried when they pay for items in a store, or even your loved one suddenly spending money frivolously. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to sit down and have a respectful conversation with them about their finances and what sort of help they need.
Gather Up All of Their Financial Documents
If your loved one is struggling with their finances, you will want to go through their home and find all of the financial documents you can. You need to learn where they have bank or savings accounts and how much is in each account. You will also want to learn what debts they have and how much each of those debts is. This will help you determine what they owe, when their payments are due and how to cover each debt.
Make a List of Their Financial Information
Once you have found their financial documents, make a list of their financial information. Detail what income they have going in and how much they have going out. This creates a budget of sorts so you and your elderly parent can see where the money goes.
Set Up Online Bill Pay
Many companies now offer online bill pay. However, many seniors are not computer savvy. If your loved one has the money, but just can't remember the due dates or to pay the bills, set up an online bill pay for them and monitor the payments.
Look Into Power of Attorney or Living Trust Documents
If your loved one is still in a sound state of mind, now is a great time to consult with an attorney and get power of attorney or living trust documents drawn up. This helps ensure that as they continue to age, you can continue to help look after their finances and care for them when they are no longer able to do so on their own.
Enlist the Help of a Financial Specialist
In some cases, your parent's financial situation is complex. If you find that you are unable to manage their financial information or accounts for them, don't be afraid to enlist the help of a financial specialist. They can help advise you on the best thing that you can do for your parent and their finances based on the specifics of your situation.
Being unable to handle their finances is just one of the signs that your aging parent is losing the ability to care for themselves. If they need help managing their day-to-day lives, it may be time to think about a retirement community. When you start the search for the best fit for your loved one, contact Beverly Hills Carmel. We are a luxury retirement community with many amenities and the support system you need.