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Tuesday, 19 December 2017 00:00

Financial Caregiving: where to start?

When it comes to growing older, a loved one, friend or care receiver may need a little extra help with regards to adequately managing finances. Whether they are too frail, cognitively impaired or have asked for assistance, managing finances in the best way possible makes for a more comfortable lifestyle with peace-of-mind for both the care giver and care receiver.

Financial Caregiving: where to start?

Basic financial management may be comprised of the following tasks:

  • Paying bills
  • Paying deposits
  • Claiming insurance and benefits
  • Investment or savings decisions
  • Tax preparation

The best time to get on-top of financial management is while your loved one or care receiver is still cognitively aware of their decisions or before an illness begins to take over. Here are few financial caregiving tips to get your loved one in order.

1. Talk about savings, investments and spending

How prepared is your care receiver for a financial crisis? Do they have a savings set aside, investments to fall back on and do they spend reasonably? If savings and investments are non-existent, it’s important to encourage them to speak to a financial planner who can assist in setting aside an investment or pot of savings for when it’s needed most. If spending is out-of-control and above their means, now is the time to broach the subject and reign things in.

2. Ensure important documents are in order

In order to secure a sound financial standing, your loved one or care receiver needs to have their ducks in a row. This includes having copies of all necessary paperwork needed for financial decisions and transactions, such as relevant bank statements, investment paperwork, insurance policies, pension records, wills and testaments. This way, when it comes to a crisis or making serious financial decisions, the paperwork is on-hand and easy to access.

3. Allow for access to bank accounts and investments in a crisis

When it comes to making sound financial decisions in an emergency, your loved one or care receiver may not be of sound mind or have the ability. In this instance, speak to them about making you or a trusted family member a joint bank account owner or proxy in times where important financial decisions need to be made on their behalf.

4. Set-up automatic payments and direct deposits

Arrange for recurring monthly bills to be debited off a care receiver’s account automatically. This ensures they never miss a payment, and will offer peace-of-mind for both you and them. Additionally, if your loved one receives monthly pension payments, ensure these are added to their bank account via direct deposit each month, saving them time and energy, while eliminating delays in monthly payment.

If you are in doubt of your loved one’s financial situation, the best course of action is to opt for a full financial assessment by a financial advisor. Many parents or loved ones tend to be secretive about their financial standing, only to be caught in a tough spot when it comes to an emergency. Avoid the full financial burden falling onto your shoulders as a care giver, and opt for full financial transparency with your loved one!

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