Managing aging parents’ budget.

Two older adults managing a budget. Standing in the kitchen looking and pointing at a laptop.

Managing our own budgets can be hard enough, but managing aging parent’s budget on top of our own can often feel like a full-time job.

Here are some tips and tricks for managing that budget like a pro. If you need help, don’t have time, or stink at managing a budget, that’s where we, at LIV More, come in. We offer money management services, as well as concierge (helper) and transportation services.

Let’s Get Started…

The Basics

GET ORGANIZED

Taking on a second budget can feel like a heavy burden, so before you talk with your loved ones about taking something like this one, make sure you have a clear understanding of our own financial realities, budget, and management system.

UNDERSTAND YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

It is important to gain an understanding of your responsibilities while dealing with aging parent’s finances, whether you’re just helping to manage their budget or taking on a Financial Power of Attorney.

Below are links to some guides from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that may be helpful:

TALK ABOUT FINANCES EARLY AND OFTEN

Have open and honest conversations regularly and give your aging parents time to consider how they want to maintain control of their finances in the future. It may feel awkward to have these conversations but planning is a way to make sure that a trusted person makes decisions if/when he or she no longer can. Have conversations about goals, what they want to save for, what’s important to them and come up with a system that they can easily access to see financial reports, how their money is being managed and spent. If you need help with something like this, we are here for you!

BUDGETING FOR FUTURE LIVING EXPENSES

Whether you’re planning for assisted living or exploring other options for care, decisions often come before you and your loved one may be ready. Help parents gain confidence in their finances and future by working with them to document assets and prepare a budget that ensures they will receive the care and support they want!

  1. Have a clear picture of financial resources
  2. Start with income and assets, and uncover other eligibility options like long-term care insurance, veterans benefits, pension benefits and so on.
  3. Establish a budget and eliminate options that fall below or above your price range.

KEEP YOUR PARENTS IN THE KNOW

A couple of years ago financial abuse was one of the top 10 consumer scams targeting seniors, so it’s important to talk with your loved ones about red flags to help them stay protected from exploitation. This is also something LIV More can help with!

Be cautious

The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse advises being cautious when winning or receiving prizes, loans or investments that sound too good to be true…

  • Consult with someone you trust before making a large purchase or investment
  • Don’t be pressured or intimidated into immediate decisions
  • Don’t sign ANY documents that you don’t completely understand without first consulting an attorney or family member you trust.
  • Do not provide personal information of any kind unless you know who you are speaking to.
  • Tear up or shred credit card receipts, bank statements, and financial records before disposing of them.
  • If you hire someone for personal assistance services (like LIV More) ensure that they have been properly screened.

At LIV More, we do background checks and would be happy to meet with you and your family or caregiver at any time.

MAKE IT EASIER ON YOURSELF

Managing 2 budgets doesn’t have to mean twice the work, and there are many tools that exist to help simplify the budgeting process.

Here are some options:
  • MINT – all in one tool that can help create budgets, pay bills and track investments. Free app here
  • HONEYDUE – Intended to help couples develop better financial literacy and habits. Free app here
  • YNAB – “You Need A Budget” helps set goals, manage accounts and share financial information with others. Free app here
  • WALLY – helps compare income to expenses, set and track goals and expenses, and offers a 365-degree view of your finances. Free app here
  • Good Budget – aims to do more than help you balance a budget. It helps you to relate to money differently, stay in line with your values, stick with a budget, deepen your relationships, grow in character, and transform your financial life. $6 per month here

At LIV More our mission is to profoundly improve our quality of life. Whether that’s for you or your loved one we’re here for you.

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RESOURCES: https://www.weatherlyinn.com/blog/budgeting-for-your-senior-parents-tips-and-apps-for-planning, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/managing-someone-elses-money/

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