How To Help Your Elderly Parents Manage Their Finances

While some people are independent their whole lives, others need assistance with certain tasks as they age. This is totally normal. We all face cognitive decline over the years. If your parents are in this situation, it may be time to step in and give them a hand. This is especially important when it comes to their finances. A few innocent slip-ups can have major negative effects, so be sure to take these steps and watch those twilight years go by smoothly.

Start Early

The sooner you can sit down with your parents and discuss managing their finances, the better. You may not need to help them on a day-to-day basis right now, but you can get a game plan in place for if and when that moment comes. Make sure you respect their independence and show that you trust their judgment, as handing over the reins to a child can be difficult for a parent.

Be Organized

You need to know where your parents store all their important fiscal documents. This includes the details of their bank accounts, mortgages, retirement plans, etc. Review these documents to make sure they are accurate and current. You should also make sure your parents have up-to-date power of attorney (POA) forms that you can readily access. This is document is required to be filled out so you can manage their financial accounts.

Be Aware of Risks

It is a sad fact that the elderly are prime targets for scammers. Talk to your parents to find out if they are aware of the most common schemes against senior citizens. Another risk that comes with age is declining financial abilities. This can result in mistakes like missed payments or incorrect calculations. Try to be aware if your parents are becoming more forgetful.

Embrace Technology

This can be tricky depending on your parents’ level of computer knowledge. If they are already well-versed in managing online accounts, you are on the right track. Make sure their finances are as automated as possible. If your parents need tech help, sit down with them and show them how to access their accounts online. At some point, you may need to take over these accounts, so make sure you know the passwords and have that POA form in order.

Hire Professional Help

Managing your parents’ finances can be extremely stressful, especially if the transition happens due to sudden illness. Don’t feel like you need to handle it all alone. It is wise to seek advice from financial experts or even hire financial planners who can take over some of the day-to-day work. You should not have to carry the burden of doing everything perfectly by yourself.