Posted by Olivia LeBolt
It may be difficult to imagine your parents needing to lean on you for help as they get older. They’ve always been the ones to give you a hand and keep you moving in the right direction in life. But one day, the roles may be reversed and planning for it now is the easiest way to go about it.
Elder care costs are skyrocketing. On average, it can easily cost in the range of $20,000 to $120,000 every year to pay the living expenses of an older loved one in the Seattle, Washington area.
Even if you’re able to manage your parents’ care at home in the beginning, getting the necessary renovations done to make your house elder-friendly could be quite expensive. It’s also extremely common for older loved ones to need additional professional assistance as their health begins to falter over time. As more help is needed, the ongoing costs rapidly increase.
Careers may be put on hold.
Caregivers can’t handle it all and many are left with no choice but to work less or from home. Some even take years out of the workforce to fill this role, which means their household income takes a prolonged dive which can be detrimental to the success of your financial plan.
What you can do now.
- Talk to your parents and find out more about their current situation. How financially prepared are they for the future? Do they have funds set aside for their care? What do their assets look like? Do they have long-term care insurance? Will they have access to government assistance programs?
- If your parents are unsure about where they stand financially, seek help from a financial professional. Even if you find out things aren’t as organized as you’d hoped, it’s better to know that now than be surprised in the future.
- Create an action plan for what you can do financially and timewise down the road. Add your parents’ care in as a monthly goal in your personal financial plan. Start setting aside additional funds to meet this obligation. Just like with any other goal you’re working toward, start small and increase as you’re able. A little bit over time can go a long way.