It is normal to have financial worries. You may be wondering what if your elderly parents are spending more money than what they have saved for their retirement. We understand this concern of yours and have recommended tips and tools to help you simplify the process. This financial savings flow includes budgeting, cutting down irrelevant expenses, and looking for ways to have additional income apart from their retirement savings.
4 Signs to Check Your Elderly Parents May Need Help with Their Finances
A. Physical Setbacks:
Fading vision, dementia, or arthritis can make it difficult to drive to the bank, write checks, pay regular bills, or keep an account on the numbers. If you think these activities are becoming challenging for your aging parent, it may be a clue that they need your help.
B. Piles of Bills and Unopened Emails:
A pileup of mail or unpaid bills is a clear alarming sign that your elderly parent is falling behind with managing the expenses. Another sign could be delays in paying the credit card bills and regular calls from the bank. A sharp decrease in credit score is a sign of forgotten payments.
C. Complaints About the Money:
You suddenly notice that your everyday conversation with your parents is becoming stressful as they always complain about money, bills, and the difficulties they are facing.
D. Unusual Purchases:
You might notice suddenly that your elderly loved one’s behavior towards expenditures changes. They are shopping a lot or putting their credit info everywhere. Keep a note, older adults are more likely to believe scammers. Looking at these signs, it is necessary for you to intervene and help them from these scams.
Top Seven Tips to Help Seniors with Expenses
1. Check-In Regularly:
Even if your parents receive senior home care, you should still frequently check in on them to find out how they are concerning their feelings and health conditions and to discuss their financial situations. You do not want to be surprised if their expenses are shooting up and they have no money left. Establish a habit of having open conversations about monthly bills and daily expenditures and ask them if they need your help in planning and supervising their finances.
Aging is difficult as it comes up with many physical, mental, and emotional challenges. You might be concerned what would happen if they forgot to pay their bills or suffer from any heart ailments or received a dementia diagnosis.
2. Start Making an Inventory of Their Financial Documents:
When your elderly parents have agreed to your intervention and supervising of their finances, make a worksheet that lists down all their financial affairs. This can include bank statements, mortgage statements, income tax, retirement pension, wills, health-vision-dental insurance, life insurance, property deeds etc. You should then make another sheet listing down all their expenses for the month or year which can include grocery, utility, gas, credit card payment, home, and healthcare insurance, medical bills, repairs and maintenance for the house or for car, and additional expenses for personal care.
3. Organize a Budget Together:
Once you have made a list for your elderly loved one, you can see if there are any expenditures that need your and your parents’ immediate attention. If the numbers do not match and if the expenditure goes high, it is better to plan and organize a budget for them which can help them understand where they need to spend and where they can spend less. It is good to save some income even in old age as life is uncertain.
4. Reduce Utility Costs:
If you see a spike in their utility bills, contact your elderly parent’s utility companies and check if they can offer a fixed bill plan for their home. Instead of paying bills that might fluctuate every month, a fixed plan can be helpful and easier to afford. You can also choose to downsize to a smaller space that costs less and needs low maintenance. This can be a difficult decision for your loved one, but it can drastically impact their expenses.
5. Try Using Coupons:
Coupons are a great money saver. Your elderly parent can minimize the expenses by handing out coupons for groceries, personal shopping, or some maintenance required in the house. Older adults are fairly used to clipping newspaper coupons, but most businesses have switched to digital coupons in apps or by email or text. You can teach your elderly one how to use electronic coupons or do it for them on their behalf. There are so many senior discounts available in the market. Try researching and using them for your parents’ benefit.
6. Source for Additional Income:
If your loved one has multiple properties, you can put them up for rent which can increase the monthly income for your parents apart from their retirement fund or pension that comes every month.
If your parents are healthy enough to work, you could also find a decent part-time job for them that they don’t have to worry much about. They can also invest their time in the stock market and earn money from home.
7. Researching Options for Insurance Plan:
You can switch from a private to a government-based insurance plan for your aging parent. Medicare is a health-insurance program for adults aged 65 or over who have low-income. There are four different types of Medicare plans which can or suit your parents’ needs.
At Assisting Hands Home Care in Hollywood FL, we provide quality senior home care. Our elderly home care services include a wide array of care options to help your seniors age in the comfort of their own homes and ensure that they can take care of themselves personally and financially. To connect with our elder care professionals, call us at (954) 859-2271.