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When Should You Take Control Of Your Ageing Parent’s Finances

by | Jun 28, 2024 | A Better Tomorrow, Caregivers Concern, Caregiving, Financial Services/Grants

Money is a very touchy subject and may be hard to broach, our parents may have difficulty admitting or even accepting that they need help. 

This can be a tricky topic for many so we broke down how you can go about this into 2 parts – when to take control of your parent’s finances and also how to do so. There may be early warning signs that signal its time to step in and offer to help your ageing parents manage their finances.

 

When to take control of your parents’ finances 

Issues with managing cash flow 

There are tell tale signs that one may be having issues managing their finances and would be wise for a family member to step in and manage. 

Firstly, delayed bill payments is a prominent indicator that one is starting to forget about their payments or needs some help. This is when family members can step up to check in and offer assistance as this might indicate a cash flow issue. Dig deeper and you might find other areas of finances that they might need help with.

Another tell tale sign is when one starts making purchases that are out of character – be it purchasing expensive beauty packages, buying big ticket electronic items. It wouldn’t harm to step in and find out more about these purchases and if these are actually cases of fraud. Seniors are known to be at heightened risk of fraud so such check-ins would be helpful. 

 

Memory issues

At early stages of Alzheimers, one could forget to make bill payments, forgetting why they took out a loan amidst a whole string of reasons. This might not be that of a big problem at the start but when more money is being involved – it could bring about huge financial repercussions. 

 

When one is still able to make sound decisions

Getting involved while your parents are still healthy and able to have a rational conversation can make things easier for everyone. For example, one cannot sign Lasting Power of Attorney if they lose their mental capacity and this might further complicate matters.

 

How to take control of your parents’ finances 

Starting a conversation on this might be one of the hardest and the best advice is to start small and slowly. Explain to your loved ones your rationale of doing so and your concerns, seeking their thoughts on it. Often, this might come off as less forceful as your parents might feel that you are seeking their opinion on it before doing so. 

Something small to start with could be helping out with bill payments to get a view on money outflow and also know what they are having to make payments on. 

Firstly, tabulate a list of their existing accounts and subscriptions to get an overall picture of their cash flows before coming up with a plan on how you want to manage this. After which, it is important that this is communicated to your loved ones. 

 

Cash outflows 

This could include their credit cards, insurance payments or any mortgages they are servicing. 

 

Cash inflows 

Other than this, also take into consideration any cash inflows. Do they currently have any income sources? 

 

Investments 

CPF accounts, investment portfolio, savings accounts are things to consider when looking at a loved one’s investments. 

 

Conclusion 

Have these conversations with your loved ones when they are still functioning well and always ask for permission. While there is no “best way” to manage your parents finances, starting the conversation with a genuine intention is the “best” first step in the right direction.

If you have doubts about kick starting this process, you should never feel embarrassed and always remember to reach out if you need help. 

About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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