Have you thought about how you would take care of your parents’ affairs once they can no longer do it on their own? Most likely not, it is an often occurrence for children of seniors to unexpectedly become caregivers. Without proper planning, you put yourself at risk in managing your future such as your retirement fund. According to a MetLife study, the potential costs for caregivers (lost wages, pension, and social security benefits) are around an average of $300,000 per caregiver. To avoid being financially unprepared, you can start planning while your aging parents are healthy and active. Market Watch provides steps so you can prepare to take care of your elderly loved one successfully.
- Make a list of all accounts and where they are held
- Get the contact information for their advisers
- Consolidate and simplify accounts where possible
- Make sure the accounts are titled correctly
- Offer to sit in on a meeting with their financial adviser to review investments, make sure the asset allocation is appropriate, and make sure there are adequate resources to support your parents’ lifestyle
- Review Social Security benefits
- Make sure all beneficiary designations are up-to-date
- Streamline bill paying
- Make a list of all insurance policies (life, health, long-term care, etc.) and where they are located
- Get the contact information for their insurance advisers
- Offer to sit in on a meeting with their insurance adviser to see if a long-term care insurance policy would be appropriate
- Review homeowners, auto, and umbrella liability insurance to make sure they are adequate, appropriate, and up-to-date.
- Review health insurance coverage and consider whether it would be appropriate to add a Medigap policy to pay for costs not covered by Medicare
- Do they have a will or estate plan?
- If so, does it reflect their current wishes (i.e. does it pass property to the correct people and have the correct people taking charge)?
- Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for finance?
- Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for health care?
- Does their health care power of attorney contain a health-care directive that spells out their wishes for life-prolonging care?
- Is the current housing situation suitable?
- Do any changes, updates or modifications need to be made to the house?
- Have they made contingency plans for illness, disability, or death of a spouse?
- Is there money available to pay for those contingencies (e.g. savings or long-term care insurance)?
- Make a list of their doctors as well as any medications they are taking
- Help coordinate benefits between care providers and insurance companies
You will thank yourself later for avoiding the overwhelming stress of handling your parents’ affairs because you prepared ahead of time. For further information on how you can take care of your aging parents, read more caring for your aging parents checklists by 1+1 Cares.
1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.