September 30, 2022
For many of us, our parents were our caregivers growing up, and that also meant helping us learn how to manage finances. As parents age, they may need the favor returned – even if it’s hard for them to ask for help. Knowing when and how to manage an elderly parent’s finances is important in creating financial security for them and peace of mind for you. Learn what steps you can take to make the process smoother for everyone.
For many older folks, letting go of some of their independence can be hard. Understand that you can’t take away all of their financial autonomy right away. Start small with conversations about the future and ease into discussions about helping them manage their finances. This process will take time but it is much kinder and more respectful than telling your parents that you don’t think they should be in control of their money anymore.
Make sure that you are communicating what you are doing with your parents’ money, not just with them but with anyone else who might be helping them as well, such as your siblings or siblings of your parents. This will ensure that your parents are aware of what’s going on with their finances as well as build a support system for you as you navigate your parents’ financial landscape.
In the beginning it might seem like a simple solution to combine your finances with your parents’. Managing one account with all the money may sound convenient but this can get messy. Once you do this there is no way to tell your money from your parents’. While this may seem attractive at first, convenience is not worth jeopardizing your own financial awareness.
It might not be time to take over for your parent’s just yet, but it is important to be aware of the signs that it may be time to start thinking about it. If you notice that your parents are making unusual purchases, they aren’t opening their mail regularly, they only talk about money with you, or they start having physical or mental setbacks, it may be time to begin financial conversations with them.
Getting older is hard for everyone. If you need help managing your parent’s or your own finances, Citizens First Bank has resources to help on our website. Feel free to stop in, give us a call, or visit our website for assistance from one of our financial experts. Citizens First Bank can help take care of you as you take care of others.