Managing your loved one's finances
As a caregiver, you may be involved in managing your loved one’s finances or even planning for a secure financial future. When planning, be aware of current assets (cash, property and other items that can be converted into cash) and reoccurring bills. It’s especially important to understand any financial changes due to increased medical fees.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Working together, collect information and documents (such as assets, bills, bank statements, loans, tax information, property deed, and investments) and schedule a time to review your loved one’s overall financial situation.
- Determine if there are any items that should be addressed immediately.
- Set goals and determine a practical budget. Be sure to include a plan for upcoming costs.
Creating a budget
One of the most important things you and your loved one can do is create and follow a realistic budget. There are many resources available to help you create and track your budget. What you use depends entirely on your own personal preferences. You can:
- Go the old fashioned route and use pen and paper.
- Create a detailed excel spreadsheet.
- Use one of many free phone and computer applications, like Mint or GoodBudget, to create and track expenses.
Working with a professional may help your loved one feel more at ease sharing personal financial information. A personal financial planner, or a legal financial advisor, can help review current cash flow and monthly bills, look for tax savings, and provide advice on estate planning and investments.
How can you find a financial planner?
Contact your bank to ask about financial planning services that they may offer, or you can use a professional organization to get names of local financial planners.
Important questions to ask when working with a financial planner:
- What specific services are provided and what is the cost?
- Is the person licensed? Registered with the state? What professional organizations do they belong to?
- Be sure to explain why you are looking for assistance from a financial planner.
Schedule a face-to-face meeting. This can help determine a general sense of trust and may provide the opportunity to ask about the person’s experience. If you or your loved one are not comfortable, interview another financial planner.