Why are seniors being urged to figure out financial and caregiver decisions before it’s too late?
Few conversations are more uncomfortable and awkward for many families than about money and caregiving arrangements. To top it off, these critical conversations between parents and their children often happen too late — when the need is much more pressing.
Throw in the pressure of juggling work and raising young children while dealing with these critical decisions — plus different family members opposing what is appropriate for the loved one — and you have the perfect recipe for family discord, unhappiness, and long-term rifts. It’s a problem you can’t avoid either.
Based on a study by Fidelity Investments, 72 percent of parents hoped their children would take on caregiving duties if necessary.
In contrast, almost a quarter of adult children expected they would need to support their parents financially. Meanwhile, eight million Canadians are unpaid caregivers for a family member across the country.
Families can do two key things to mitigate some of the potential traps of eldercare decision-making: begin planning early and start the family conversations early. For parents, it’s essential to talk to a lawyer and a financial planner so that all the paperwork and documents, such as the will and power of attorney, and personal directives, are all in order and stored nicely. This will ensure that relevant parties know where they are.
A financial planner can help address financial requirements and goals:
Do you have a mortgage?
Do you have emergency money set aside?
Is there enough to pay your bills for three to six months?
There are manuals and workbooks that can teach you all the things that you need to consider.
According to Nancie Taylor, a senior wealth advisor at Meridian, people often don’t plan for the unavoidable out of fear, anxiety, or even shame. This is because they never saved enough for retirement or illness. However, it is essential to deal with the issue while you are healthy.
Families with older adults might have a conversation about money and caregiving arrangements. Unfortunately, most of these conversations between parents and their adult children happen too late. Ideally, parents should consult a lawyer and a financial planner to organize everything. If so, relevant parties will know where they are. A financial planner can help with addressing financial needs and goals. It is essential to address the issues while you are healthy before it’s too late.
Because otherwise, you could be in a horrible dilemma if it gets too late, not only financially but also socially. Our responsibility is to ensure we are not a liability to society. There comes a point in everyone’s life where it’s somewhat late to start investing for a pension.
When one is over the age of 70, it’s incredible how many excuses businesses and insurance companies seem to have. Even then, there’s also the issue of sudden death.
No one knows the time, but unless you have a medical condition and are still young, you don’t live along with the nearness of death.
But, if it happens, you and your family could have a sudden problem while simultaneously facing loss and heartbreak. My late uncle was a brilliant, highly intelligent person and the beneficiary of the long life of our family.
Still, in the end, even he needed help to bathe himself and wasn’t even able to hold a glass of water.
No one wants it, actually, but everyone gets it in the end. So it would be reckless to allow fate to decide the future. We ARE responsible.
As older we get, the more likely we’ll have health problems like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, etc. My point is that it is essential to plan ahead of time. Especially while you still can make your own decisions. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, so don’t put off what you can do today.