According to a 2019 study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 8% of Gen Xers and 3% of Boomers say supporting their parents is a top financial priority in their lives.
Next Avenue’s recent article entitled “When Your Parents Need Financial Help” says that if this is a financial priority for you, try a respectful approach to see the extent of your parents’ money issues and what you might be able to do to help.
There is one financial issue that your parents may have. They may have failed to set aside money for long-term care, because of their debts.
However, before you jump in with both feet, consider your own money situation. Remember your own finances come first, because it you don’t, you risk your own finances by overcommitting. Therefore, if you can afford to help them, you have to establish boundaries. If you have siblings, bring them into the discussion and ask about sharing the responsibility. After you figure out to what extent you can afford to help financially, reach out to your parents — with care. You don’t want to come off as criticizing or judging them for making financial mistakes or bad financial decisions.
It’s important to begin the conversation early. You also may want to refer your parents to a financial planner or to a credit counselor. If housing is a major expense, it may be time for your parents to downsize to a more affordable home. You can also look into having them move in with you.
If not a topic of discussion, perhaps you’re able to review their expenses to see what they can cut and help them find ways to improve their financial situation. You should also look into federal, state, and local resources, like benefits for which your parents may be eligible.
After you’ve delved into all the resources, and you’re also ready to help your parents financially, make sure you incorporate all of this into your own financial plan. Instead of handing your parents cash or a check to pay outstanding bills, pay the bills yourself. This will allow you to be certain that the money is actually used for the bill, rather than something else.
For long-term care assistance, ask an elder law attorney for help. He or she can investigate your parents’ eligibility for Medicaid.
Ensure that your parents know that you have their best interests at heart, when assisting them with long-term care. Be respectful of your parents and tell them you’re not trying to take over.
For more information about estate planning in Orlando, FL (and throughout the rest of Central Florida), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Next Avenue (Jan. 30, 2020) “When Your Parents Need Financial Help”
Suggested Key Terms: Elder Law Attorney, Medicaid, Paying for a Nursing Home, Long-Term Care Planning, Long-Term Care Insurance, Assisted Living, Nursing Home Care, Medicaid Planning Lawyer, Elder Care