Americans who take time off work to care for their aging parents are losing an estimated $3 trillion dollars in wages, pension and Social Security benefits, according to a new MetLife study. If you’re like most, you don’t have time to read and analyze their 26-page report, so MetLife gives a top ten list of planning tips — financial considerations for family caregivers.
Since no top ten list can do it justice, we will post smaller topics that give you the change to delve deep into those issues you need more information about. Here’s our take on their list topics 6 through 10:
6. Calculate what it would cost to keep your loved one at home.
Met Life gives some great tools to help you understand the cost of keeping your loved
one in their home. See their MatureMarketInstitute.com to download
a workbook on estimating the cost of aging in place.
7. Consider enlisting the services of a geriatric care manager.
Whether you live close by or at a distance from your loved one, a geriatric
care manager can be an effective way to manage care.
8. Be aware of possible elder financial abuse and take precautions.
Financial exploitation is a growing concern and can quickly deplete your parent’s savings. California recently strengthened their elder abuse laws to protect the elderly from fraud. MetLife’s Mature Market Institute provides tips for caregivers and older adults on financial abuse prepared in collaboration with the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) and the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
9. Discuss your loved one’s legal, financial and medical wishes.
At some point you may have to make decisions for your loved one. MetLife gives Ten
Tips for Talking to Your Aging Parents. While these are not easy conversation to have,
they are necessary. You’ll need to know where to find important documents such deeds, insurance policies, financial and banking information, wills and powers of attorney for healthcare and finances. Making sure that their plans are in place and up to date will save hours of frustration and confusion when a health or financial crisis hits.
10. Create a budget for yourself, for future retirement expenses.
The reality of what it takes to retire hits home even more pointedly when you are caring
for an aging relative. Is your financial and legal house in order? Does it have a solid foundation based on sound planning principles? Disaster can strike at any age. Use the conversation with your parents about their financial and estate plan to get you and your family on the right track to a secure retirement.