As family members age, finances can cause a huge strain on families. Parents and other family members, who used to be authority figures in your life, are now reliant on you to help with their household bill management. It can be a daunting task to manage not only your bills but also the bills of senior family members. Here are some great ways that can simplify the process, make it more manageable, and hopefully ease the burden on you.
Have a Plan in Place
Having a plan in place with your senior family members, before you hit the point where you actually have to control their bills, is key. Talk with these family members as they get older and ask them: What are their priorities? What are their future income streams? How much will they be receiving from Social Security and their retirement accounts? Do they want to travel? Where will they live? All of these questions should be asked before you have to take over the management of household bills.
Cover Basics First
Just like when you are budgeting for yourself, make sure the necessities are budgeted for first. Rent, food, healthcare, etc. All of these things are necessities and must be provided. This is your starting point. Take the income streams available to the senior family member and make sure they will have enough to meet their basic needs.
Work With Them
Keep in mind that just because you are managing the bills, doesn’t mean that it’s your money. The money belongs to the senior family member and you should always remember that. So, with that being said make every attempt possible to talk them through the whole process. Show them where their money is going and tell them why. Money is one of those things that can make people angry, scared, timid, and nervous. When we don’t have control over our own finances we can start to lose it. So be as transparent as possible.
Seek Professional Help If Necessary
We live in a fast-paced crazy world. While you are dealing with your senior family members bills and finances you also have to deal with your own. That doesn’t even include children, spouses, and other people in your life. If at any point you are starting to think that this might be too overwhelming, difficult, and stressful, seek professional help. There are a lot of financial advisors out there who specialize in managing the bills and finances of seniors. When searching them out make sure to do your homework and pick a well-respected and trusted advisor/money manager.
As you can see managing the bill and finances of senior family members can be a difficult experience. You have to deal with the financial and emotional aspects of the situation, and that’s a difficult thing to do. However, if you approach it with the right mindset, follow these tips, and seek to do the best you can, your senior family members can enjoy their senior years with comfort and peace of mind.