When it comes to the caregivers of the “Sandwich Generation,” there are some unique challenges. Perhaps you didn’t expect to find yourself taking care of your elderly parents, but they probably didn’t expect to need help at this stage of life either. Whether the recession hit hard, lack of good financial planning or a myriad of issues, ensuring proper care to aging parents can include some tough decisions. Sandwich Generation caregivers may find themselves in very stressful circumstances, as they are often saddled with the burden of their own kids as well as aging parents.
Here are some creative tips that you may not know:
Ask your loved on if they would consider holding an estate sale to help liquidate furniture and other items around the house they aren’t needed any longer. This can bring in a good deal of money when planned properly. The added benefit is downsizing on clutter!
Cash in Investments
Find out if your parents have investments that could be used to help pay for their care. If they have invested over the years, this may be the perfect time to tap into them. Be mindful that you may only need to sell investments a little at a time rather than cashing them all in at once. This can ease the mental stress your aging parent may feel about selling their investments. Meeting with a financial advisor would be wise, as they will help sell the investments in a careful manner that not only helps meet the need but also avoids tax issues.
Sell Off Big-Ticket Items
It’s scary to sell big items for some people. After all, our possessions tend to be part of our identity. However, selling high dollar items such as cars, valuable jewelry or even a house can be the perfect solution to ensuring that Sandwich Generation caregivers have the finances needed to care for aging parents. If your senior loved one is no longer driving then selling a car may be a little less difficult.
Here Are Some Steps That May Help You Care for Your Senior Loved One:
Move Them in With You.
Moving Your Parent into your home rather than a nursing home or assisted care facility is one big way to save A LOT on care expenses. They may still have nursing care come to your home if they need it, and there will be the emotional comfort that comes from be surrounded by loved ones and grandchildren.
Give the Budget a Make-Over
This is so crucial. Most of us in the Sandwich Generation are trying to save for our own retirements, college funds for our kids and now the financial burden that comes from paying for aging parents. In order to do all this without feeling overwhelmed, you need to take a good look at where you can trim expenses. Even though it may be tough, consider the following ways you can save money:
• Cable TV
• Going out to eat frequently
• Recreation that costs money
• Clothing and other personal care such as going to the spa or salon.
Whatever you do, do NOT stop saving for your own retirement. you may find yourself in the same place one day with your children trying to figure out how they can find the money for your care.
Ask for Help
If you have siblings or other relatives, it may be time to have a chat with them about sharing some of the costs for your parent’s care. Your children may have to grow up a bit faster and learn to put themselves through college by working part-time jobs on their own. While it might seem mean, nothing could be farther from the truth. They will learn the honesty of hard work, the joy of making their own money and how to live on a budget.
Claim Your Parent as a Dependent
This is not always the case, but it’s worth it to ask the IRS if it’s possible to claim your aging parents on your taxes. Claiming your aging parent as a dependent on your tax returns could really help you with finances to care for them.
It’s really disheartening that we find ourselves in a generation where there is no magic potion that will fix the financial burdens our parents face. They may qualify for veteran’s benefits, so don’t forget to check that out.
You may not be facing these issues quite yet, but time marches on and I can guarantee you that you will be faced with it sooner than later. Please talk to your parents about this and plan together how the finances will be distributed in the event they need long-term care.
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