Helping your senior parents with their finances
Managing finances can become increasingly difficult as individuals age. One study suggests that nearly 30 percent of older Americans may need assistance with their financial affairs, according to Nolo. Seniors may need help for a variety of reasons, including:
- Physical and visual impairment
- Cognitive decline
- Loss of a partner who handled the finances
To help your parents stay in control of their financial situation, consider the following steps.
Sit down for a discussion
Talking about money can be uncomfortable, but the conversation is necessary. Ideally, have the discussion before a major problem occurs, Forbes advises. Don’t be confrontational; instead, begin by discussing your finances or telling the story of a friend who assisted her parents with managing their financial matters.
Gather and review important papers
You’ll need to secure a financial power of attorney and gather important papers to begin the process of managing your parents’ finances. If your loved one has lost track of needed documents, it will be necessary to individually track down bank accounts, investments and debts. If you discover unpaid bills or too much debt, be prepared to contact creditors and take immediate action.
Use technology to stay in touch
Once you’re managing the finances, you’ll need to consult with your parents on a regular basis. One of the quickest and easiest ways to stay in touch is Independa™. Using video chat or messaging, you can check in anytime with a quick question or for a longer conversation.
Talking with your parents about their money is a difficult conversation for everyone involved. But it’s also a necessary conversation. By broaching the subject in a straightforward manner, gathering all important documents and using Independa™ for ongoing consultation, you can ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.