Planning Ahead: How You Can Help Your Aging Loved One Manage Their Finances

Here is another interesting and informative article from Christian Worstell.  This edition is on helping your loved one manage their finances.  It is packed with useful information to help you with this difficult and sometimes touchy subject.


Asking for help can be tough, so you have to be proactive and take the first steps in helping your loved one manage their finances if you feel it’s time to step in.

It is crucial to start earlier rather than later when it comes to managing finances, and the process can begin with a few simple steps.  


Photo Credit:  Pixa Bay

Start the Conversation Early

Talking about money with your loved ones is often rather tricky, but it is important to get the conversation rolling early. You don’t need to lay everything on the table immediately; you just need to get the dialogue out there.

Begin by asking a few questions, such as:

  • Have you paid off their mortgage?
  • Is your  will is up to date?
  • Have you chosen a power of attorney?

If your loved one is resistant to talking, you can say that you would like to know about their experiences so you can get your own affairs in order. This can clue you into how much action they have taken regarding their finances.

Call a Family Meeting & Take Charge

Bring the family together to have a sit-down conversation about finances and future plans. Creating clear lines of communication between parents, siblings, and children lowers the chance of later misunderstandings.

Have your family members help to oversee your loved one’s finances and wishes. If that loved one is you, make sure to keep everyone in the loop on what is happening.

Keeping detailed notes of what your loved one wishes can be also be used for later reference.

Get Organized

Create a list of your loved one’s critical financial information. This list should include contacts, account numbers, regular bills, debts, and income sources.

It is also essential to include where your loved one stores important paperwork like insurance policies, wills, and deeds.

Make sure that everything is up to date and in good standing. If you find that your loved one has excessive subscriptions, unused credit cards, or empty bank accounts, be sure to help them cancel or close anything unnecessary.

Senior care costs can add up very quickly, so it is important to check in with your loved one and review their insurance plan and coverage.

If you need additional assistance, talk with a consultant to see what actions can be taken.

Simplify Financial Tasks

Switching from paper statements to electronic ones will allow for easier oversight and prompt payment. Having a monthly finance day where you take your loved one to the bank, sit with them as they write checks, and review their monthly budget can also help keep them on track.

Having your loved one choose a family member to be granted power of attorney can significantly relieve their financial burden. A power of attorney will be able to take care of paying bills, selling off assets, and ensuring financial safety.

Get Necessary Help

Taking on additional financial responsibilities may be difficult for you to do alone, so it is worthwhile to consider hiring a money manager who can handle paying bills, checking the mail, and sorting through financial information to determine what needs to be done.

Some money managers are paid by the hour and some by percentage. Bear in mind that if they are paid by percentage, then it may influence their recommendations.

Take it Slow

Helping your loved one create a financial plan does not mean that you should assume all responsibilities immediately.

Maintaining the ability to take care of their own finances is directly related to their feelings of independence, so make sure you proceed at a pace they are comfortable with.

Begin with a conversation and slowly increase your support a little at a time. As your loved one adjusts to the changes and trusts that you are taking their interests to heart, you can take on more financial responsibilities.

Just remember to keep your loved one involved with all decisions.

Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a health and lifestyle writer living in Raleigh, NC.