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Managing Money for Your Aging Parents

In addition to managing your own money you may be like millions of people who have to help their elderly loved ones manage their day-to-day finances as well. Because of cognitive disabilities your aging parents may not be able to keep up with paying the household bills and managing their health care. Here’s how you can help:

Get a Conversation Going

Your elderly parents may be embarrassed by their financial situation and their lack of control. Just because they don’t tell you about their money problems doesn’t mean everything is fine. The only way one woman found out that her mom was having financial difficulties is when she called the utilities company when her mother’s lights went out only to find out they had been terminated for lack of payment. You would have a conversation with your parents before things get bad.

Get Organized

The first step is gathering together all pertinent financial documents. Make a simple list of outstanding bills and upcoming expenses. Designate a desk drawer for all important mail and ask your parents to keep all the bills they are for your review.

Stay connected

If possible, sit down with your parents to discuss their finances on a monthly basis so that you can show them how you are organizing things for them. By having regular conversations you’ll avoid sudden surprises.

Communicate

If you’re managing finances for your parents be sure that you communicate everything that you are doing with your siblings.

Manage, But Don’t Control

You want to make sure that your parents are making their own financial decisions. The quickest way to run into resistance is to try to force your parents to do something against their will. As long as they have full control of their mental faculties you shouldn’t be trying to control their financial future. Your job is to guide and assist.

Plan For The Future

Nobody likes to talk about death, but having an up-to-date will makes sense. Explain to your folks that without a will their hard-earned money will get tied up in the courts. Do they really want their lifetime of savings wasted on lawyers fees? Set up it up while your parents are able to make decisions on their own.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Con artists target the elderly with scams that can easily wipe out their savings accounts. These crooks know that older people are sometimes lonely for companionship and are eager to trust someone who takes an interest in them. When possible, have duplicate statements of your parents accounts sent to your home so that you can look for suspicious transactions.

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Date:
March 23, 2011 um 9:54 am
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Miscellaneous Finance
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