Helping your parents to organize — or re-organize — their finances may not be something that’s atop your bucket list. Nonetheless you, like many POParents, may be noticing you have to deal with these issues and see that you need some real specific guidance.
First things first! That means either your aging parents have asked for your help, such as: “My bills are out of hand and I’m confused,” Or, you’ve seen first-hand that they are not able to responsibly manage these matters. You will need to TALK with them before you jump in and take over. POParenting requires communicating! Jane’s book helps a lot with this part.
Once your parents have “bought in” to your helping them, or you’re just desperate that they not be evicted or lose heat and hot water, what IS the best way to help get a handle on their financial situation?
Here are 6 “tips” that many POParents have found is what you’ll need to know, have or create:
1. Inventory your parents’ assets and all sources of income – (Social Security, rents, IRA’s, Mutual Funds, etc.)
2. Tally all their expenses – both regular monthly and extraordinary (once-a-year property taxes, e. g.) will need to be noted here.
3. Examine when and how bills are currently paid and from what sources. Maybe you can save them money via assorted methods (senior discounts; re-financing old debt; negotiating a cheaper cable rate or service; arranging for free rides via public resources)
4. Put their accounts on “autopilot” when appropriate – you can arrange for direct-deposit income from Social Security, annuities, dividends and bond interest and direct payment of monthly bills that are the same each month.
5. Review existing and/or create new key documents such as wills, power of attorney, health care proxies perhaps with the help of professional accountants and lawyers.
6. Become a co-signatory on their bank accounts and warn them against writing checks or sending money via theInternet to fraudulent schemers who target older folks.
Share what you’ve discovered creating a better system to handle your aging parents finances. What has worked best for you? Let us hear from you by commenting by below.
Read more here: http://news.investors.com/investing/021315-739447-help-your-elders-control-their-own-finances.htm