Iain Sharpe has worked at Merrill Lynch for over 18 years. As a financial advisor, he has seen many clients struggle with the financial and emotional demands of caring for an elderly family member. It’s an issue close to Iain Sharpe’s heart and he has made a point to learn as much as he can about it as a financial advisor, but also as a son of aging parents. There are many important things to consider when planning for the future of your aging parents.
If you are an adult child in your mid-40s, it’s important to start planning ahead with regards to your aging parents. It helps to have a conversation with your parents to get an understanding of where and how they want to receive care in the future. You will need to research the different types of care available so you can come up with a solution that will not only make them feel satisfied, but also that is financially feasible. If they do not have enough money for the future care they desire, you could suggest that they look into long-term care insurance. Iain Sharpe also recommends confirming your parents have updated wills, Power of Attorney and healthcare directive. If you expect you will be caring for your parent either in your own home or theirs, it’s helpful to mentally prepare yourself for what that might entail and to think about absences from work and back up childcare.
If you jump forward another decade and are in your mid 50s or 60s or caring for an elderly parent with an urgent need, you will have to coordinate finances. This will entail paying bills, managing investments or making deposits in their behalf. Once again, it’s important to contact an attorney before there is any cognitive impairment to execute a power of attorney and a healthcare directive. You will have to balance cost of care and your job and family. In other words, does it make sense to share the caregiving duties with a professional so you can manage your job and your family?
We all dread the day that our parents physical or mental health starts to suffer. However, if we start preparing ourselves early, the burdens can seem less overwhelming.
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” – John F. Kennedy