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If you are a member of the sandwich generation, you already know that caring for a growing family as well as aging parents who need increasingly expensive care is financially difficult. Paying for companion care in Escondido or elsewhere, transportation, equipment, and other services not covered under elderly parents’ Medicare or traditional health insurance plans can strain the finances of the adult children of aging parents.
Given this situation, there is always the real concern that after taking money from important retirement and college funds, the next generation will suffer in turn with additional financial pressures of their own. A helpful article* that appeared a while back on the website Businessweek.com offers useful tips to help sandwich generation members reduce the financial strain.
Insurance can provide funding for companion care costs
If they are managed intelligently, elderly parents’ insurance policies can cover a significant portion of their expenses as they age. Even companion care at home is usually included in some (but not all) long-term care insurance policies, and the earlier you buy a policy, the less expensive it is overall. These policies are a great way to make sure that unexpected needs are already planned for and do not require an emergency withdrawal from other funds. In addition, a great policy could even give aging parents the ability to enjoy companion care in Escondido or elsewhere in their own home rather than move into a nursing home. However, filing claims under long-term care insurance policies can be time-consuming and tricky, and you may want to work with agencies providing companion care in Escondido or elsewhere that are experienced at assisting with filing claims and working with the insurance companies.
Attend to legal planning long before you think you will need it
Taking care of legal concerns like wills, conservatorshps, powers of attorney, and advance directives before there is a pressing need to do so saves a significant amount of money in the long run. Make sure that if a question about treatment arises, there is a clear set of criteria in place for a responsible family member to make decisions on behalf of parents who can not. If an expensive piece of equipment is needed, deciding ahead of time what fund the costs will be paid from will eliminate the possibility of putting your own finances in danger.
Above all, make those decisions well in advance, and do it while the aging parent is clearly able to make their own decisions. If you wait until after that, your legal challenges and expenses will escalate quickly when your aging parent is no longer mentally competent to make decisions for themselves.
Plan for your OWN future, too
Money experts advise that, even as you try to balance the costs of companion care, treatment, and other needs for elderly parents, it is critical to plan for your own future. If you spend all of your savings making your own parents comfortable during their final years, there will be no retirement fund left for you to draw from down the road, and your children will be forced to incur heavy college tuition debts. Make saving money a priority even when times are difficult, and both you and your children will reap the benefits of your foresight, and consider long-term care insurance for yourself and your spouse as well.
*Original article: http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/oct2006/pi20061016_372743.htm