November is National Family Caregivers Month, which was created to recognize and increase support for those who provide care for adult family members. Caregiving can be both physically and emotional stressful, and it has a financial impact as well: according to AARP, caregivers in the United States spend an average of 26% of their own income on caregiving. The financial strain is often greater for women, who spend more hours caregiving on lower incomes.
In addition to their own financial considerations, caregivers often need to manage the finances of those they care for. Financial caregiving can include paying bills, filing taxes, managing investments, and even being appointed power of attorney for a family member. CaringInfo.org notes that 90% of caregivers are also financial caregivers. Their guide for financial caregivers recommends taking steps such as:
- Discussing finances to get a clear and full view of the situation.
- Keeping a list of all major expenses.
- Documenting all income such as social security, pensions, and other benefits and investments.
- Creating a written budget that’s easy to follow.
- Obtaining access to all relevant accounts to ensure that the caregiver is authorized to act on the account holder’s behalf.
The Financial and Legal section of AARP’s caregiving guide also provides ample resources and advice, from managing day-to-day financial tasks to dealing with wills, end of life care, and other complex legal issues.
While family caregiving often requires diligent financial planning, support is available for those who devote their time and money to support others, including here at High Falls. Please contact us with any financial caregiving questions or concerns.