parents http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6309/all en-US 12 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/volunteer_and_old_people.jpg" alt="Volunteer and old people" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When a loved one ended up in physical rehab after a fall, I quickly learned what a bummer nursing homes can be. Although the staff tried to maintain a cheery atmosphere, it was clear that if my relative, Marion, stayed on as a permanent resident, she wouldn't be having much fun &mdash; and she'd be paying more than it would cost to live in the Four Seasons.</p> <p>This is why so many families look to assisted living as an alternative to a nursing home for elders who can't live independently but don't need extensive medical support. Nearly a million Americans now reside in assisted living facilities, and that number has grown substantially in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Assisted living facilities are able to charge less than nursing homes because they need less medical staff, and many offer activities and social opportunities far beyond what residents can find in nursing homes.</p> <p>As we began our search for a place where Marion could enjoy her final years in comfort and safety, I learned that not all such homes are created equal. Here are some questions to ask as you look.</p> <h2>1. Can the facility provide the level of care needed?</h2> <p>Depending on the number and qualifications of staff, some facilities can help patients transfer from a wheelchair to bed or to the shower, while others can only accept residents who can transfer themselves, or at least help. Some facilities have locked memory care units for patients suffering dementia, but others don't. Before investigating further, find out whether your loved one could qualify to live there.</p> <p>The assisted living management may send a representative to evaluate the potential resident. If your loved one doesn't qualify, ask if there is anything they could do to improve their chances. In our case, Marion was close to the level of self-care needed but was lacking some abilities, so she did additional physical therapy before being re-evaluated.</p> <p>Beware of facilities that are so anxious to fill rooms that they accept residents they shouldn't. Make sure you ask exactly what help the residents get and what they don't. Find out what the staff to resident ratio is, including during the night shift. They may say they can help residents get up at night, but if one staffer is responsible for 100 residents, it's probably not happening.</p> <p>If you are in touch with other families who have used the facility, or people in your local medical and nursing community, ask them about outcomes. If the local hospital has admitted a lot of residents from the facility due to falls, for example, that could be a red flag.</p> <p>On the flip side, if you have a senior relative who needs little to no assistance, an independent living community might be a better option. In such a community, your elderly loved one can enjoy a more independent lifestyle with access to assistance only if they need it.</p> <h2>2. Is the facility licensed and inspected?</h2> <p>These facilities are regulated by state, so check with yours to find out the place's record. In California, you can <a href="https://secure.dss.ca.gov/CareFacilitySearch/Search/ElderlyAssistedLiving" target="_blank">look up a facility's license status</a>, any citations or complaints, and view inspection records online. Other resources to check are the Better Business Bureau and your <a href="http://theconsumervoice.org/get_help" target="_blank">state's ombudsman</a>.</p> <h2>3. Can the resident afford it?</h2> <p>Although assisted living facilities can cost a lot less than nursing homes, they don't come cheap. The average assisted living facility charges $3,750 a month, according to the Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company. And Medicare's not going to cover it. If you haven't previously been privy to your loved one's finances, now is the time to sit down and have a talk about assets and income, and determine where they can afford to stay and for how long. If there's a chance their money could run out in their lifetime, what's the plan for when that happens? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <h2>4. What activities are offered?</h2> <p>Once she was settled in her assisted living facility, Marion enjoyed wheelchair fitness classes, bingo games, church services, and other activities. Later, she moved to a memory care unit that offered activities with more direction, such as arts and crafts and cooking classes. If your loved one is active, you'll want to look for a place that offers field trips and maybe even cocktail hours. A more limited person may be content with offerings such as taking some sun on the patio.</p> <h2>5. What is included?</h2> <p>Is the resident responsible for setting up their own phone line and cable TV, or does that come with the rent? Will they eat every meal in the dining room, or cook in their own apartment for some meals? What about laundry service, and supplies such as absorbent pads? Consider the logistics in addition to the costs: Will you be responsible for shopping for supplies and bringing them to the resident? Who will make sure the phone bill gets paid?</p> <h2>6. Can the resident abide by the rules?</h2> <p>Some elders will only consider a facility where they may share an apartment or room with their spouse. Are residents expected to keep their doors open or are they allowed privacy? Can they come and go at will, or do they need to have someone come check them out? Can they invite guests to dine with them? Do they have to go to bed and get up at a set time? These are all questions your loved one needs to consider before agreeing to a facility.</p> <h2>7. What on-site services are provided?</h2> <p>For women of a certain age, a weekly salon visit is a valued part of everyday life. Nail care is also a big plus and can be a morale boost. Transportation service to shopping and doctor visits are also a plus.</p> <h2>8. How does medical care work?</h2> <p>Does the staff dispense medications? How will residents get to their doctor appointments? Is physical therapy available? How long will the room be held if the resident has to be hospitalized?</p> <p>Some assisted living facilities are part of continuing care communities, meaning that they comprise independent living, assisted living, and rehab or nursing facilities, making movement back and forth easier on residents.</p> <h2>9. How long will they be able to stay?</h2> <p>The resident may qualify for the level of care offered now, but what about if they have a stroke or a fall and can no longer self-transfer or feed themselves? Does the facility have a section that offers a higher level of care, or would you be allowed to hire a nurse to provide additional assistance? Would your loved one have to move to a nursing home? What if your loved one needs hospice care?</p> <p>It's important to find out in advance under what conditions the resident could be involuntarily discharged. Sadly, after a hospitalization, Marion was not allowed to return to the assisted living facility she loved because her self-care abilities had declined. Luckily, we were able to place her in another facility with a higher level of care. The new facility was more expensive, but not only was it better equipped to care for her, the management promised &mdash; in writing &mdash; that under most circumstances she would be able to stay for the rest of her life. When the time came for hospice care, it was provided right in her room, where she felt most comfortable.</p> <h2>10. Does it seem like a nice place?</h2> <p>Everything may look good in writing, but of course you will want to tour the facility your loved one would be living in &mdash; if possible, with the future resident. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care offers the following signs of quality care: Residents appear well-groomed; call lights and requests for assistance are answered quickly and kindly; residents are engaged in activities; the place appears clean and smells fresh.</p> <p>One of the nicer assisted living facilities I have visited had a clean, large bird enclosure that residents loved to watch. Outdoor space and space for congregating and accepting visitors are nice too.</p> <h2>11. Will your loved one fit in?</h2> <p>If your elderly relative is still mentally nimble but needs help with physical needs, it's important to make sure they'll have peers in their new home. You can ask management about this, but it's one of the things you'll probably notice on a tour. Engage any residents in common areas in conversation to see if they seem willing and able to socialize with your loved one.</p> <h2>12. When could they move in?</h2> <p>The best facilities sometimes have waiting lists. Before either you or your loved one gets too set on a specific place, find out if there is a waiting list for the type of unit they want. If there is a long wait, consider where they will be living in the interim. If at home, is it safe to wait that long? If in a nursing home, consider that the longer someone stays in a situation that isn't right for them, the more their physical and emotional state can deteriorate.</p> <p>It's never easy to watch a loved one lose independence. But when the time comes, asking these questions can go a long way toward smoothing the transition and making sure they are in the right place.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520When%2520Choosing%2520an%2520Assisted%2520Living%2520Facility.jpg&amp;description=7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Give%20Back%20This%20Thanksgiving"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20When%20Choosing%20an%20Assisted%20Living%20Facility.jpg" alt="12 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">How to Manage a Family Member&#039;s Finances Long Distance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs">6 Apps Every Dad Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family aging assisted living elder care evaluations grandparents medical assistance nursing homes parents Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2040504 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/how_to_make_money_quickly.jpg" alt="How to make money quickly" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our culture loves the tortured rebel &mdash; that character who flies in the face of convention and refuses to grow up. It's the stuff of great filmmaking. But when it comes to money matters, putting your inner child in charge carries some serious consequences (after all, debt, poverty, and a steady diet of Hot Pockets doesn't look so great on a 30-year-old). If you're ready to reinvent your financial life, stop acting like a kid. Here are the money habits that make you look financially immature. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Spending extravagantly</h2> <p>If you regularly blow your budget to keep up with Joneses, you probably view money as a game piece in a never-ending competition of conspicuous consumption. But while you're trying to amass more toys, your peers are gradually &mdash; and quite inconspicuously &mdash; building long-term financial security.</p> <h2>2. Buying on impulse</h2> <p>Impulse buys are forgivable if you're a kid surrounded by candy in the checkout lane. But for grown-ups, buying on impulse means you're easily manipulated by marketing tricks, have issues with self-control, or need to fill some sort of void. Whatever the reason, it's a habit that hints at deep financial immaturity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Never Succumb to Impulse Spending Again</a>)</p> <h2>3. Borrowing from friends and family</h2> <p>Constantly needing to borrow money from friends and family shows that you're unable to properly budget, manage your spending, or plan ahead. Oh, and it's probably the main reason people are less likely to take your calls at the end of every month.</p> <h2>4. Overdrawing accounts</h2> <p>Knowing exactly how much money you have to spend is the cornerstone of personal finance. Consistently overdrawing your bank account shows that you're operating on a bad guess and don't mind giving away $33.04 (the average overdraft free in the U.S. in 2016) for every infraction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-common-mistakes-youre-making-with-your-checking-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Common Mistakes You're Making With Your Checking Account</a>)</p> <h2>5. Maxing out credit cards</h2> <p>There will always be people who confuse their credit limit with their spending limit. It's a behavior that shows a profound level of financial naiveté. Besides getting hit with interest and late fees, these folks live in a constant state of stress. Caught in an endless cycle of debt servitude, they can't save and are unable to cope with even a minor hiccup in income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oops-i-maxed-out-my-credit-cards-now-what?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Oops &mdash; I Maxed Out My Credit Cards. Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Receiving calls from creditors</h2> <p>Does your heart skip a beat every time the phone rings? Well, you're either deeply in love or deeply in debt. If it's the latter, you have my sympathy. Creditors are tireless in their attempts to collect on debt. The older and wiser among us avoid being pulled into their exhausting web at all costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-debt-collectors-dont-want-you-to-know?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things Debt Collectors Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <h2>7. Paying late fees</h2> <p>A late fee is a tax you pay for not understanding how calendars work. Getting hit with late charges on credit cards, rent, and even library books shows that you and money have a youthful and complicated relationship. Even worse, all those fees can nickel and dime a budget to death. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Late Payments Affect Your Credit</a>)</p> <h2>8. Having services shut off</h2> <p>Dining by candlelight can be romantic &mdash; when it's a choice. But it's hard to put a sexy spin on the electricity, water, or heat being shut off for nonpayment. If your utilities are constantly in question, it's time for some serious adulting.</p> <h2>9. Letting your parents pay your bills</h2> <p>Do your parents pick up the tab for your cellphone or car insurance? Could you make ends meet without their help? If you answered <em>yes</em> to the first question and <em>no</em> to the second, you're still a babe in the woods financially. Make a plan to pay your own way.</p> <h2>10. Dodging the landlord</h2> <p>Do you check the peephole before leaving your apartment? Keep the TV volume on low? Wear a wig to the laundry room? Well, Mrs. Doubtfire, it sounds like you're dodging the landlord. Not being able to come up with the rent month after month is a sure sign of money immaturity &mdash; and a big clue that it's time to get a roommate, move to cheaper digs, or find a way to boost your income.</p> <h2>11. Not saving</h2> <p>If you're not squirreling money away in a savings account or emergency fund, you're either a doe-eyed optimist or woefully uninformed. In today's economy, a financial cushion is essential for dealing with layoffs, unexpected household expenses, and every other &quot;what-if&quot; life throws your way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Money%2520Habits%2520That%2520Make%2520You%2520Look%2520Financially%2520Immature.jpg&amp;description=11%20Money%20Habits%20That%20Make%20You%20Look%20Financially%20Immature"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Money%20Habits%20That%20Make%20You%20Look%20Financially%20Immature.jpg" alt="11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-complacency-is-keeps-you-from-financial-security">How Complacency Keeps You From Financial Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-on-the-installment-plan">Retirement on the installment plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle borrowing money Creditors debt immature impulse buys keeping up with the joneses money moves parents Spending Money Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 2038487 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Help Your Parents Retire http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-parents-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-parents-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/all_grown_up_but_still_her_mother's_daughter.jpg" alt="All grown up, but still her mother&#039;s daughter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the toughest transitions into adulthood is when you realize that you need to help your parents instead of the other way around.</p> <p>Add money into the mix, and that can make an already awkward transition feel even more uncomfortable. Money is often a taboo topic in families, and parents sometimes have trouble letting go of the idea that you are a child rather than someone who can help them with financial planning. It may feel easier to just assume Mom and Dad have everything covered for their financial future, and let the chips fall where they may.</p> <p>But helping your parents prepare for retirement is one of the best gifts you can give the people who raised you. That's because even the most financially savvy planners may run into issues, questions, or problems that they are not sure how to handle. You can help your parents get ready for retirement, and grow closer in the process.</p> <p>Here's what you need to know about helping your parents retire.</p> <h2>Prioritize your own retirement savings</h2> <p>Most parents know that it's smarter to save for retirement before putting money into the kids' college funds. After all, students can take out loans for school, but there are no loans for retirement. Adult children should prioritize retirement savings over paying for their parents' retirement needs.</p> <p>It may seem strange to prioritize your own retirement as a part of helping your parents retire, but it's an important first step in financially protecting your entire family. Taking care of your parents' retirement instead of saving for your own means that you will simply be passing money problems from one generation to the next. By putting your own retirement savings first, you are teaching your kids how to responsibly plan for their own financial futures.</p> <p>Being prepared to have your parents use their assets for as long as they last will also allow you to make the best use of programs like Medicaid, which requires long-term care recipients to have exhausted their own assets before it kicks in. Rather than exhaust your own finances, plan to protect your future retirement so your kids are not left with another tough decision in 30 years.</p> <h2>Introduce the initial conversation</h2> <p>To be able to help your parents retire, you need to know where they stand financially so you can best help them fill in the gaps and prepare for that major transition. If you're lucky, your parents have already looped you in on what they have saved, where it is, what plans they have for the future, and who they trust as their financial adviser to make the decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Where it gets tricky is if your parents shut down any money conversations and change the subject to &quot;something more pleasant.&quot; If you know your parents will not feel comfortable talking openly about their money planning with you, frame the conversation as an opportunity for you to learn together.</p> <p>For instance, you might mention that you want to look over your 401(k) information and would love to chat with them about how they handle their retirement accounts. In addition, you could invite them to read a book with you about financial planning so you can use the information as a jumping off point for personal discussion.</p> <h2>Talk about the day-to-day details</h2> <p>Knowing where your parents hope to live and how they intend to spend their time in retirement will give you (and them) a baseline understanding of how much they will need in retirement. Encourage Mom and Dad to talk about how they want their lives to look in retirement. Do they want to stay in place, move closer to grandchildren, or sell everything and live in an RV?</p> <p>In addition to helping you get a better sense of their financial needs in retirement, these conversations will also help your parents enjoy the anticipation of planning for retirement.</p> <h2>Learn more about Social Security and Medicare</h2> <p>While spending an afternoon navigating Social Security and Medicare's websites is no one's idea of fun, taking the time to determine your parents' eligibility for these programs can help you better understand what to expect from their government entitlements. You and your parents can check out the eligibility questionnaires at <a href="http://www.medicare.gov/" target="_blank">Medicare.gov</a> and <a href="http://www.benefits.gov/" target="_blank">Benefits.gov</a> to find out what benefits are available and whether your parents qualify.</p> <h2>Meet with a financial adviser</h2> <p>No one expects you (or your parents!) to know everything about the complexities of planning for retirement. Together with your parents, take the time to interview and hire a financial adviser to help with the details of building your parents' retirement.</p> <p>A financial adviser is also in a good position to help your parents make sure their estate planning is up-to-snuff and that all of their accounts have properly named beneficiaries. Even if Mom and Dad are uncomfortable talking about these issues with you &mdash; who wants to think about their own deaths, after all? &mdash; having a trusted financial adviser can help make sure they have all the necessary estate planning paperwork in place.</p> <h2>Keep talking</h2> <p>If money conversations are uncomfortable, you might feel like having that single afternoon of financial planning with your parents is sufficient. But checking in with your parents regularly is an essential part of helping them prepare for retirement. This lets them know you are there to help them with any difficult issues or decisions.</p> <p>Continuing the conversation can also help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams?ref=internal" target="_blank">protect your parents against scams</a>. According to a 2015 True Link Financial report on financial elder abuse, annual losses from elder fraud totaled over $36 billion. By staying connected with your parents and offering to help them with financial decisions, they will be less likely to fall victim to a predatory scammer because you will be there to help sniff out anything untoward.</p> <h2>Paying it back to Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Your parents took care of you throughout your childhood (and maybe a little into adulthood, too). Now it's your turn to look out for them. Give your parents the gift of some help with retirement planning, so they can relax and enjoy the end of their career and the beginning of the next phase of their lives.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-help-your-parents-retire&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Help%2520Your%2520Parents%2520Retire.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Help%20Your%20Parents%20Retire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Help%20Your%20Parents%20Retire.jpg" alt="How to Help Your Parents Retire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-parents-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme">Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-roadblocks-to-retirement-and-how-to-clear-them">7 Roadblocks to Retirement (And How to Clear Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-when-you-retire">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change When You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Retirement assistance caregiving financial help medicare parents saving money scams social security Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2019028 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-636953946.jpg" alt="Man making financial steps after aging parent moves in" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Long-term elderly care can be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there's a long, worldwide history of having a multigenerational household, and moving your aging parents in with you can provide multiple benefits. You know your parents will receive the care and attention they need, and you gain precious time with them.</p> <p>Making this transition can be complex, though. If you've decided to bring your aging parents to live with you, consider these smart money moves to simplify and support the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One's Long-Term Care</a>)</p> <h2>1. Organize their finances</h2> <p>Since bringing your parents into your home affects your finances, too, you need to have some honest discussions with them about their financial resources, and yours. You need to know what they can handle financially, and what you'll need to take on. Getting their financial information in order is an important first step, so you can assess the combined financial picture together and plan accordingly.</p> <p>Since financial matters are often stressful, these discussions can be the most delicate part of the transition. Discuss with your parents the importance of simplifying and organizing their finances. Work with your parents to locate and organize all important financial information. Consider purchasing a fireproof safe or renting a safety deposit box for the most important financial and legal documents.</p> <h2>2. Plan for their finances</h2> <p>Once you have all the financial information at hand, you'll need to sit down with your parents to make some decisions. It's often a good idea to set up a meeting with a financial adviser to discuss creating a will and making a plan for how to handle illiquid assets, investments, and any liquid wealth in the most beneficial way possible for your parents.</p> <p>You also need to discuss options for helping your parents handle their finances in the event that they are not able to do so independently. You (or another adult child) may need to be included as a primary holder on their accounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Finally, examine the costs and expenses of having your parents move in with you. First consider the initial modifications and supplies needed to set your parents up with comfort and accessibility in your home. Then estimate how much your parents' ongoing monthly living expenses will be, and work together with your parents on the best plan for covering these expenses.</p> <h2>3. Create an independent living space</h2> <p>If both of your parents are moving in with you and at least one of them is still functioning moderately well, they may be able to handle a little more space and separation from you. On the other hand, if your parents need assistance with their daily needs and/or medical care, you'll want to be nearby.</p> <p>For parents who want more independence, consider the &quot;granny pod&quot; trend. This is a small but separate structure, often placed in the backyard. It can be a tiny home, guest cottage, small prefabricated home, or a converted workshop or garage. The separate building helps you all maintain some privacy and space, but still keeps you close and connected.</p> <p>If your parents will be in your main house with you, there are many cost-effective options for creating a usable living space for them.</p> <ul> <li>Convert an unused room. An empty dining or living room can become a spacious bedroom.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Close in an outdoor space. That patio, deck, or porch may already have the structural elements in place.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use the basement. Transform the empty downstairs of your home into a suite for your parents (just be sure that accessibility isn't an issue).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Change your configuration. Perhaps you'll give up your master bed and bath for your parents, but convert the basement into your own luxurious suite.</li> </ul> <p>While some changes may be costly upfront, any improvements and updates you make to your home can add to its long-term value. Keep good records so you can validate the increased value of your house if you decide to sell in the future.</p> <h2>4. Consider accessibility needs</h2> <p>There are several accessibility and safety needs to consider with your aging parents. Will they need a wheelchair ramp for getting in and out of the house? If they will be using stairs, are there adequate, sturdy handrails? (These are an important safety feature for anyone, not just aging parents!) Talk with your parents' medical provider about any other special safety or accessibility concerns.</p> <h2>5. Investigate financing options</h2> <p>Once you know what your parents need, investigate options for financing it. Your parents' insurance may foot all or part of the bill for necessary home modifications for safety or medical reasons. Medicaid and Medicare generally don't cover home modifications, but may provide needed in-home equipment. The Department of Veterans Affairs also covers some home-modification needs.</p> <p>Beyond insurance, there are some state programs that <a href="https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/home-modifications/state-assistance-programs.html" target="_blank">provide financial assistance</a> for elder-care home modifications and there are grant and loan programs from the Department of Agriculture, as well as from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Authority. Finally, many local nonprofit groups provide financial assistance or volunteer labor to help with home modifications for seniors.</p> <p>If you do have to fork out your own money, you may at least get some relief from the IRS, as some home improvements qualify for tax deductions.</p> <h2>6. Establish a caregiver agreement</h2> <p>If your aging parents will need help with daily activities or will require in-home medical care, consider establishing a <a href="https://www.caregiver.org/personal-care-agreements" target="_blank">formal caregiver agreement</a>. A formal agreement can help you continue to personally afford your parents' care, especially if you need to forego other employment to provide that care.</p> <p>Without this agreement, it's more difficult to qualify for tax deductions, and your parents may find their Social Security payment lowered. With an agreement, you can set out the formal cost of your care in terms of a fair-market rent and the hourly rate of a caregiver. This protects both you and your parents from a financial loss you don't need to incur.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Financial%2520Steps%2520to%2520Take%2520When%2520Your%2520Aging%2520Parents%2520Move%2520In.jpg&amp;description=6%20Financial%20Steps%20to%20Take%20When%20Your%20Aging%20Parents%20Move%20In"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Financial%20Steps%20to%20Take%20When%20Your%20Aging%20Parents%20Move%20In.jpg" alt="6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-long-term-care-more-affordable">5 Ways to Make Long-Term Care More Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance">The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature">11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance aging caregiver elderly financial planning home modifications long term care moving in parents remodels Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Annie Mueller 1999089 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times Dad Was Right About Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-dad-was-right-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-dad-was-right-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_carrying_daughter_piggyback.jpg" alt="Father carrying daughter piggyback" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Despite what you may have thought as a teenager, it turns out your old man actually knew a thing or two &mdash; particularly when it came to money. True, Dad's wisdom might have sounded like corny jokes, dusty cliches, or weird logic at the time, but there was some great information in there among the eyeroll-inducing humor.</p> <p>So at the risk of having him say &quot;I told you so,&quot; let's take the time to recognize some of the ways Dad was right about money. Here are five of the money lessons he taught us well:</p> <h2>1. &quot;If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is&quot;</h2> <p>Your dad probably told you this to protect you from con artists, frauds, and crooks, as well as those friends of yours he never liked. When you were a kid, Dad probably wanted you to remember his advice when a friend told you that you could <em>definitely</em> get away with whatever scheme they were trying to talk you into. But it's important to keep this advice in mind when you are offered a &quot;once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity&quot; as well.</p> <p>It's easy to see dollar signs (or imagine a Ferris Bueller-like day of playing consequence-free hooky) when someone is presenting you with an offer that seems too good to be true. Reminding yourself that dear old Dad would probably tell you to back away slowly from such an offer can be enough to make you stop your impetuous rush toward untold fortune &mdash; or a whirlwind tour of Chicago in a stolen Ferrari.</p> <h2>2. &quot;You don't need that&quot;</h2> <p>When I was in elementary school in the 1980s, all the cool kids wore Jordache jeans, which my father very patiently explained to me that I didn't need. He clearly did not understand the importance of that horsehead label to one's standing in the social hierarchy on the playground.</p> <p>When Dad told you that whatever item you believed was vital to your life and happiness was <em>not</em> something you needed, you were probably just as disappointed as I was. But as infuriating as it was to hear this, he was helping you learn the difference between wants and needs. To this day, I can hear Dad's voice in my head telling me I don't need whatever impulse purchase is trying to come home with me. I usually listen to him, too &mdash; unless it's a pair of awesome jeans.</p> <h2>3. &quot;You've got Champagne taste on a beer budget&quot;</h2> <p>Wanting something you cannot afford seems like a simple enough problem to solve when you're a teenager living at home &mdash; ask Mom or Dad to buy it for you. That request does not often end well for the teenager. Many an aspirational teenage consumer gets this sarcastic response from Dad regarding the relationship between their taste and their budget.</p> <p>Coveting things you can't afford can destroy any budget, and your dad wanted you to understand that it's a short trip to bad finances if you try to indulge your high-end tastes. Dad was trying to teach you how to be realistic about your budget and stick to indulgences that you could realistically handle.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Money doesn't grow on trees&quot;</h2> <p>This is one of the greatest hits of dad sayings, and you probably heard it many times throughout your childhood. He'd dust this old chestnut off whenever you were blatantly wasteful, or whenever you asked for something that he wasn't willing to pay for. In some households, turning the thermostat up by a single degree would result in Dad materializing from nowhere to remind you that trees just don't produce currency.</p> <p>At the time, this lesson just sounded like Dad being an old stick-in-the-mud. But he was actually trying to remind you that there is a cost to money. Someone (ahem, your parents) had to work for the money necessary to keep the house at a comfortable temperature, replace the toilet paper you used to TP your friend's house, and buy the guitar you so desperately wanted but you never actually practiced playing.</p> <p>As an adult, it's much easier to understand that money isn't freely available when you realize you have to work in order to earn more. Suddenly, it makes sense why Dad turned into a financial botanist whenever you spent his money.</p> <h2>5. &quot;The best things in life are free&quot;</h2> <p>If your dad was anything like mine, he might have told you this when you asked him for money. While his attempt at being funny was probably not well received, the actual message also made you roll your eyes &mdash; since there are plenty of awesome things in life that you have to pay for.</p> <p>This is a lesson that needs to marinate for a while before it resonates. Teenage you may have just seen this cliché as a cover for your dad not wanting to give you money to go out with your friends. However, adulthood often brings the realization that the things that really do make life sweet &mdash; like sunsets, belly laughs, kisses, and naps &mdash; are not things you can buy. Dad was right when he told you that you don't need to spend money to enjoy the best of life, even if he was a little too schmaltzy in how he told you.</p> <h2>Appreciating Dad's words of wisdom</h2> <p>Many of the things your dad told you about money might have sounded hokey when he first said them, but it doesn't make them any less true. Let your dad know how much you have learned from him, and how much you appreciate his wisdom, if not his sense of humor.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-dad-was-right-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-i-learned-from-dad">10 Money Lessons I Learned From Dad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-smart-ways-to-save-on-fathers-day">3 Smart Ways to Save on Father&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-support-your-broke-parents">How to Support Your Broke Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family dad father Father's Day money advice parents quotes wisdom Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1954616 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Should Know About Joint Checking Accounts http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-646688660.jpg" alt="Couple learning things about a joint checking account" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Joint checking accounts offer convenient money management for many different types of relationships, including married and cohabiting couples and adult children and their parents.</p> <p>But the convenience of joint checking accounts potentially comes with a cost that families need to consider before signing up. Here are six issues you need to think through before you open a joint checking account with a spouse, a significant other, an adult child, or a parent.</p> <h2>1. There is no accountability for withdrawals</h2> <p>Generally, couples tend to open joint accounts because they are sharing a home and expenses. That means that it's in their best interests to be responsible with the money, since it will affect them both if the rent money is spent on a weekend in Vegas. However, if one person is unreliable with money, or planning to leave the relationship suddenly, a joint account can be dangerous for the other account holder.</p> <p>This issue can be more difficult when the two account holders are parent and child. Often, an adult child will request that they be added to their elderly parents' checking account to help protect dear old Mom or Dad. They can help pay bills, and make sure that there is no fraudulent activity on the account. The problem is that both account holders have every right to withdraw money from the account &mdash; which an unscrupulous adult child could take advantage of.</p> <h2>2. Joint accounts are vulnerable to the financial mistakes of both owners</h2> <p>If either account owner has unpaid debts that go into collection, the creditor has every right to use the joint account to satisfy those debts. This means you might potentially find your joint checking account completely drained in order to pay off debts you are unaware that your co-owner has run up.</p> <p>In addition, if there is a legal judgment against either account owner, the money in the joint account could be considered part of the assets awarded in the judgment. For instance, if Jane is sued because she crashed into a bus, then the assets in the joint account she holds with her elderly father are considered part of Jane's assets in terms of the lawsuit &mdash; even if the account was originally solely in Dad's name.</p> <h2>3. A joint account could hurt your credit</h2> <p>Although your spouse or child's credit rating can't ding your score, the way they handle their money can hurt your credit if you share a joint account with them. Since creditors are required to report joint account information, an account holder who struggles with debt and paying bills on time will negatively affect the co-owner's credit rating &mdash; unless and until the money behavior improves.</p> <h2>4. A joint account can affect eligibility for financial assistance</h2> <p>If either account owner needs to qualify for any kind of financial assistance, from financial aid for college to Medicaid, the money in a jointly held account is included in the eligibility calculations for the financial aid. That means you might end up forfeiting your ability to qualify for the financial assistance if your account co-owner holds more cash in the account than you would as a sole account owner.</p> <h2>5. Your co-owner can close the account without your permission</h2> <p>Certain banks require consent from both parties to close a joint checking account, but most do not. Typically, state laws dictate that any person who can write checks on the account can close it, at any time, regardless if their co-owner is present or even aware. The benefit to this is if one party relocates, passes away, or otherwise becomes incapacitated, there are very few issues the remaining co-owner must go through to close the account. The danger, however, lies in the potential for one co-owner to simply deplete the funds, close the account, and disappear. Always make sure you're sharing a checking account with someone you trust.</p> <h2>6. Parent/child joint accounts can have estate implications</h2> <p>A joint account holder retains sole control of the money in the account in the event of the co-owner's death. In the case of spouses or other cohabiting couples, this kind of financial transfer in case of death is not a problem. However, if the account owners are a parent and child, the issue is much more complicated.</p> <p>That's because the money in the checking account stays with the surviving account holder, bypassing whatever the deceased account holder may have put in their will. For instance, Loretta has three children and has specified in her will that her assets will be distributed evenly among them. But Loretta has a sizable joint account with her son Jason, and upon her death the money in that account will be solely under his control. Unless Jason feels like splitting up the money in the account three ways, his siblings are not going to see that portion of their inheritance.</p> <h2>Merge with caution</h2> <p>While joint checking accounts offer convenience to couples and parent/child relationships, they also come with a number of potential headaches. Make sure you know what you are signing up for before you and your potential co-account owner start picking out your personalized checks.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids">How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Family children credit score debts estate planning joint checking accounts marriage parents shared finances spouse withdrawals Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1927307 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Important Credit Card Lessons Your Parents Didn't Teach You http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-594938216.jpg" alt="Learning credit card lessons parents didn&#039;t teach you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our parents taught us many of life's important lessons, but did they adequately prepare us for smart credit card use? Maybe not. Here are six credit card lessons your parents might not have taught you.</p> <h2>1. Credit cards offer more fraud protection than debit cards</h2> <p>Credit cards offer a much greater level of protection against fraud than debit cards. Many credit companies come with $0 fraud liability, meaning you aren't responsible for any reported fraudulent spending. In most of these cases, the creditor will credit your account immediately. However, with debit card purchases, it can take the bank up to two weeks to refund your money, and even then you might still be held responsible for a certain percentage of the charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-credit-is-safer-than-debit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons Credit Is Safer Than Debit</a>)</p> <h2>2. You must be proactive to build your credit</h2> <p>A common myth is that an open credit card account is all you need to build your credit. Credit scores reflect an individual's relationship with debt management. Lenders and creditors want to see how you interact with finances, especially if you are going to take on more debt. This doesn't mean you need to be in debt to have a good credit score. Instead, a credit score is established through paying your bills on time, whether that be your credit card bill or your mortgage.</p> <p>One of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score" target="_blank">biggest factors in determining your credit score</a> is your credit utilization ratio. Lenders want to see how much debt you have versus how much credit you have access to.</p> <p>Build your credit by using and paying off your credit card, making payments on time, and asking for credit line increases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>3. Keep your credit utilization ratio as low as possible</h2> <p>Generally, it is important to have a credit utilization ratio of 30 percent or less. For example, someone with $500 of debt on a $1,000 total credit line will look worse to creditors than someone who has $5,000 debt with a total credit line of $30,000.</p> <p>Calculate your credit utilization ratio by dividing your debt total by your credit line total. For example, $500 of debt divided by a $1,000 credit line would equal a 50 percent credit utilization ratio, whereas $5,000 of debt divided by a $30,000 credit line is just over 16 percent. Remember, your credit line total is the combination of all lines of credit you have open.</p> <h2>4. Interest payments can make debt hard to pay off</h2> <p>A few thousand dollars of debt can feel like an impossible hurdle if you try to pay it off in minimum payments only. You will feel like you are making zero progress on your debt when you have to pay interest. Interest makes anything you purchased with a credit card more expensive. Did you really mean to pay double for that clearance shirt? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10K in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. Differences in interest rates do matter</h2> <p>Perhaps your parents didn't make a big deal about the difference between an A and A-, but when it comes to interest rates, the difference is noticeable. Even a half of a percent can make a big difference when it comes to your monthly payments on a loan. Getting a $20,000 car loan for three years at 4 percent doesn't seem much different from the same car loan at 3.25 percent, but it is. The difference is $6 a month, or $216 in the lifetime of the loan. Wouldn't you rather that money go to something necessary or fun instead of an interest payment? The same is true of paying interest on a credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>6. Rewards don't negate debt</h2> <p>We know your mom always told you to look at the bright side of things, but credit card rewards are not the bright side. If you are constantly running up credit card debt to benefit from rewards points, then you will be sorely disappointed by their rate of return. There is no credit card on the market with a reward program that makes going into debt worth it.</p> <p>Pay off your monthly credit card bill to ensure you benefit from the rewards, but aren't being burned by the interest rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance">5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/worried-about-debt-tips-on-managing-your-loans">Worried About Debt? Tips On Managing Your Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-credit-cards-are-smarter-than-cash">5 Times Credit Cards Are Smarter Than Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit debt fraud protection interest payments money lessons parents rewards Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1925376 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-520005424.jpg" alt="Couple finding out how taxes change after having a kid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no question that having a kid will change your life financially. Introducing a new child to your household adds a slew of new costs, but the good news is that the American tax code is written to help families with some of these expenses.</p> <p>The IRS &mdash; yes, that benevolent organization &mdash; offers a variety of tax credits, deductions, and other incentives that could lead to a smaller tax bill when you have a child. But this also makes your taxes more complicated. So here's a review of what your new baby might mean as you file this year's return.</p> <h2>You get to claim an exemption just for having a kid</h2> <p>When you have a child, you can claim an exemption that will reduce your taxable income by $4,050. And for each child you have, you get to claim another exemption. (So four kids represents $16,200 deducted from your taxable income.)</p> <h2>You can also claim the child tax credit</h2> <p>Yes, you get an additional break on your taxes just by adding a member to your family. You can reduce your tax bill by $1,000 for every dependent in your household. This usually includes any family member 17 or under that lives with you, including adopted children, foster children, and even nieces and nephews if you are their primary caregiver. The benefit is reduced once you hit $110,000 gross income if filing jointly, or $75,000 if filing alone.</p> <h2>You can reduce your taxable income by saving for college</h2> <p>The second you have a child, you can begin saving for college and get some nice tax breaks for doing it. The most popular vehicle is called a 529 college savings plan, and many states allow you to deduct contributions from your taxable income. Gains on the investments in a 529 plan also are not taxed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>You may save money when you eventually send your child to school. As of 2016, it was possible to get a $2,000 Lifetime Learning Credit each year for qualified education expenses, or a $2,500 American Opportunity Credit. There are <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ar02.html#en_US_2016_publink1000255787" target="_blank">some subtle differences</a> between the two credits, which you can learn more about <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch03.html" target="_blank">at the IRS website. </a></p> <h2>You might take advantage of a health savings account</h2> <p>You and your partner might not worry about health care expenses, but they become more of an issue when you have kids. Many employers offer health savings accounts (HSAs), which allow you to divert some money into an account to pay for health care expenses you might accrue. Any money placed in an HSA is deducted from your taxable income. You may find it's worth contributing to an HSA if your child has health challenges, or if you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>You might save less for retirement &mdash; and thus pay more tax</h2> <p>Are you planning to dial back your retirement savings in order to meet the financial demands of a new child? If so, it's important to know how that impacts your tax bill. Any contributions you place in a 401(k) or traditional IRA are deducted from your taxable income, so if you are putting less aside, your tax bill may be higher. Ideally, you'll be able to save at the same rate as always, but if not, be sure to anticipate paying more in tax.</p> <h2>You may pay less tax if you stop working</h2> <p>Many families find that their gross income goes down after having a kid because one parent stops working full-time or altogether. Lower income means lower taxes, and you may even move into a lower tax bracket. (Moving from $80,000 to $60,000 in earned income, for example, means you pay 15 percent in tax instead of 25 percent when filing jointly.) This lower tax helps take the sting out of having less income overall, and in some cases, you may even end up with more take-home pay.</p> <h2>If you pay for child care, you might get a tax break</h2> <p>The IRS allows parents to save money on their taxes if they pay someone to care for their children. This is a great thing for working parents. The child and dependent tax credit offers up to $1,050 for one person receiving care, or $2,100 for two or more. Poorer families can get 35 percent back of any qualifying child care costs.</p> <p>Many parents may save more on their taxes by instead utilizing a dependent care flexible savings account. If your employer offers such an account, you can set aside as much as $5,000 of your paycheck to cover child care costs. Contributions to this account are deducted from your taxable income, thus reducing your tax liability.</p> <h2>If you employ a nanny, your taxes could get complicated</h2> <p>In most cases like the situations above, there are tax breaks to help offset the cost of child care. But if you directly hire a nanny &mdash; as opposed to hiring one through an agency &mdash; you may be considered an employer in the eyes of the IRS. That means a boatload of paperwork, and you're on the hook for things like Social Security, unemployment, and Medicare taxes. So be sure to take all of this into account when researching child care options.</p> <h2>Expanding your home may have tax advantages</h2> <p>When you have a child, you may realize you need to expand your home with a new family room, bedrooms, or other space. The bad news here is that you can't claim the cost of home improvements on your taxes. But, any home upgrades will be added to the cost basis of your home. Thus, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate capital gains taxes when you sell.</p> <p>If you do make upgrades, you can deduct the cost of things to make the home more energy-efficient, such as Energy Star rated windows and appliances.</p> <h2>Adopting a child comes with a big tax break</h2> <p>If you adopt a child, you get some significant tax breaks in addition to the ones listed above. The Federal Adoption Tax Credit gives families a maximum of $13,460 to offset qualified adoption expenses. This can include adoption fees, court fees, travel costs, and attorney fees, among other costs. Parents who adopt a child may also receive additional tax credits from their state.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-a-dependent-care-tax-credit-and-fsa">Save Money with a Dependent Care Tax Credit and FSA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-miss-out-on-this-easy-way-to-pay-for-child-care">Don&#039;t Miss Out on This Easy Way to Pay for Child Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids">How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Taxes adoption american opportunity credit child care children deductions dependents exemptions kids lifetime learning credit parents tax credits Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:30:33 +0000 Tim Lemke 1913753 at http://www.wisebread.com A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One's Long-Term Care http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-179165125.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we get older, so do our parents and other loved ones. In some cases, that may mean they'll require long-term care, especially if they fall ill. When this happens, families are faced with a tough decision: hand over the reins to a nursing facility, or manage their care from the comfort of their homes. There's no shame in either decision. But there are several important things to consider when planning for long-term care.</p> <h2>Weigh Your Options Well Ahead of Time</h2> <p>Perhaps the most vital part of planning for long-term care is that you're well prepared. Making hasty decisions on how to provide your loved one with the care they'll need when they're no longer able to care for themselves will not only be stressful for you, but also for them. You'll want to make sure your loved one is provided with the quality of life they deserve. Certainly, ailments can befall your loved one unexpectedly that will require quick decision making, but if you can help it at all, it's best to investigate your options before you're faced with a crisis. That way, you can enter the situation with a clear head, prepared to make the right choices.</p> <h2>Discuss Insurance Options With Your Loved One<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Talking about long-term care with your loved one, especially a parent, is not an easy conversation. But as difficult as it may be, it's necessary. There are financial implications to consider, which will be somewhat lessened (hopefully) with insurance.</p> <p>Jeff Salter is the CEO and founder of Caring Senior Service, a national in-home care service, and he suggests planning a discussion about insurance options, including what your loved one may already have, and what you both may need moving forward.</p> <p>Long-term care insurance can still be expensive in and of itself, and costs only increase with age. Many advise that people purchase a plan in their 50s before any major medical issues arise &mdash; and even then, it's not cheap. For example, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance estimates an insurance policy offering $164,000 in immediate coverage would cost a healthy, 55-year-old male approximately $1,060 a year. A healthy female of the same age could expect to pay approximately $1,390 a year for the same coverage. The sooner you can lock into one of these policies, the better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>Find Alternative Ways to Pay Without Insurance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>In the worst-case scenario, you don't have the option of long-term care insurance. This can be a daunting prospect, but it's not the end of the world. Salter suggests two solutions that will provide monthly income that can go toward the cost of care.</p> <p>The first is cash value for life insurance, which is essentially the cash amount offered to the policy owner by the issuing life carrier upon cancellation of the contract.</p> <p>The second is taking out a reverse mortgage on the elderly family member's house.</p> <p>&quot;With [the second] option, seniors can remain at home while receiving monthly income that goes toward all of the healthcare-related expenses,&quot; he says. &quot;There are no ongoing costs, and seniors cannot be forced to leave their homes should they outlive the payments from the loan.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-scammed-with-a-reverse-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Avoid Getting Scammed With a Reverse Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>4. Consider the Cost of Home Modification<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When your loved one falls ill, it may limit their ability to function as they once did. This could mean that they're confined to a single floor in the home. Third-party care facilities take these safety measures into account for limited-mobility patients, but if you're providing long-term care in your own residence, you may need to outfit the home so it's more elderly-friendly.</p> <p>&quot;If the decision is to have the long-term care in the current residence, the family might need to plan for modifications to the home for either specialized medical equipment or for access issues around bathrooms, kitchens, and getting in and out of the house,&quot; explains John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, which specializes in digital home management. &quot;These could be things like ramps for wheelchairs, bathtubs with access doors, nonslip flooring, and other modifications, depending on the occupant's specific needs.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Factor in Home Maintenance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>If the care of your loved one takes place in their own residence &mdash; whether by you, another loved one, or hired help &mdash; it's keen to remember that someone will be tasked with maintaining the property for hygiene, safety, and resale value reasons.</p> <p>&quot;Things like cleaning leaves from gutters, replacing smoke detector batteries, and changing air filters are simple tasks, but usually require ladders. It's not suitable for people with long-term medical issues to handle these tasks,&quot; Bodrozic says.</p> <p>You may be able to handle these tasks on your own, but if these are projects that you plan to farm out to hired help, you'll need to include the costs in your monthly care budget.</p> <h2>6. Let a Professional Help You<strong> </strong></h2> <p>If you don't know what you're doing with regards to long-term care, don't freak out &mdash; you're not alone. Most people who are faced with this situation are first-timers are who overwhelmed with not only accepting the fate of a loved one, but trying to accommodate them as best as possible so they can live out their days in comfort.</p> <p>Daniel Sagal is a senior living adviser at Los Angeles-based Total Senior, which focuses on health care planning and services for seniors. If you don't think you're equipped to make the best decision, or you're having trouble coming to grips with it all, he suggests consulting someone who can help you through it, like a senior care adviser or care manager. Some services are free while others require fees, he says, but both will typically help families navigate the options for senior care.</p> <h2>7. Beware of Scams<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Like a lot of industries, there are people out there gunning to take advantage of you, and it's not terribly hard to become a victim of a scam when your emotions are already on the fritz.</p> <p>Sagal explains.</p> <p>&quot;...Before providing your information or allowing someone to guide you to senior care options, be sure to do your research. Look at their online reviews, make sure they have a credible website with real information/content, ask for references, and check around with health care professionals.&quot;</p> <p>Doing your due diligence now can ensure a more comfortable situation for everyone later.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">How to Manage a Family Member&#039;s Finances Long Distance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-long-term-care-more-affordable">5 Ways to Make Long-Term Care More Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance">The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family advisers caregivers elderly health care home care life insurance long-term care nursing homes parents relatives seniors Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Mikey Rox 1889845 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_holding_money-486555012.jpg" alt="Kid learning frugal living skills parents didn&#039;t teach her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We had it great when we were kids. Zero responsibility, zero bills, zero debt &mdash; and then we grew up. Our parents tried to teach us everything they knew, but nobody's perfect, and some things we had to learn the hard way. Like how credit cards will ruin your financial life for years if you start whipping them out at 18 years old like you actually have money to pay the bill. My mistake! Take a look at these other frugal living skills I wish my parents had taught me and see if you can relate.</p> <h2>1. How to Live the &quot;Vacation&quot; Life</h2> <p>I know what this sounds like, but it's not what you think. Living the vacation life isn't about lying around on the beach every day (at least not in this sense), but rather living like you're on vacation by getting by with only the essentials.</p> <p>Rebecca Gitana, author of the minimalist blog Lifestyle Remix, explains.</p> <p>&quot;When we travel, we only pack the things we love,&quot; she says. &quot;The result is the feeling of lightness and endless possibility. Take that same concept into how you 'pack your home' &mdash; only keeping things suitable for your next great adventure.&quot;</p> <p>While I'm fairly good at purging my belongings when I no longer have use for them, I do still retain some of my hoarding roots (especially when it comes to clothing), a trait likely inherited from my parents who really enjoy their &quot;stuff.&quot; It's a habit that can be broken, however, if you can see the value all around &mdash; literally and figuratively.</p> <h2>2. It's Okay to Buy Generic</h2> <p>We never, ever bought anything generic in my house growing up, and I shop similarly today. I justify my brand-name-only purchases with the philosophy that these brands are popular and famous because their products are superior. In some cases that's true, but not always. Which is why I use my judgment when deciding what to buy generic and what to splurge on. I buy store-brand pantry staples, for instance, like flour, sugar, and spices, as well as meat and other proteins. As much as I can, I try to use coupons on brand names to hopefully bring the cost down to where the generic brand would be. Makes me feel better, at least.</p> <h2>3. Why Multi-Purpose Purchases Are Important</h2> <p>We had plenty of space in my home growing up, with an attic and a basement, so there wasn't a real need for furniture and other items that pulled double duty. I had to learn how to make the most of very small amounts of space when I moved out on my own, especially when I moved to New York City. After living in urban areas for nearly a decade, I've conditioned myself to shop for those two- or three-pronged products, like pullout sofas, storage benches, and appliances that can perform several functions.</p> <h2>4. There's No Shame in Using Coupons</h2> <p>Until very recently, my parents didn't use coupons when shopping for groceries, and I tried to get away with coupon-free shopping when I first struck out on my own. Admittedly, I didn't get very far. Like my parents, lots of folks don't use coupons for many reasons &mdash; they don't feel like hunting them down and clipping them, for instance, or they think that somehow using them makes you look like a cheapskate. Nonsense. Take it from me &mdash; the coupon king &mdash; that saving your hard-earned money on necessities like food so you have enough to pay for necessities like shelter and heat isn't being a cheapskate; it's being smart. So to hell with what other people think about how you spend your money.</p> <h2>5. How to Determine What You Need Versus What You Want</h2> <p>Yes, I'm a personal finance expert, but I'm also an avid consumer and major supporter of capitalism, which means that I can sometimes succumb to impulse buys because I think I have to have something. But when I started spending my own money on all the things I thought I'd just die without (that my parents previously bought for me), I had to step back and re-evaluate the situation. As such, I've gotten pretty good over the past 17 years that I've been financially independent, like choosing gas for my vehicle over a new pair of Nikes.</p> <h2>6. To Proceed With Extreme Caution With Credit Cards</h2> <p>Like many families, mine didn't talk about finances. My parents went to work, made the money, and we magically had everything we needed. I honestly have no idea how many credit cards they had, how much debt they were in, if they had any money in their savings accounts &mdash; so on and so forth. And I'm probably correct in assuming that you grew up similarly. Which is in part why as I became an adult, I had no idea how to manage my own money &mdash; especially when it came to credit cards. Long story short, I maxed mine out within six months of receiving them, and it took me <em>yeeeeears </em>to pay them off. Now I use credit the proper way &mdash; as an extension of the money I already have, not a put-it-off-until-you-have-it loan from the Money Gods. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso">5 Habits of Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>7. How Vocational Skills Will Save You a Ton of Money</h2> <p>In all fairness, my dad tried to teach me how to fix various issues on my car as a teenager, but I just wasn't interested. As a result, now I have to pay the friendly mechanics at my neighborhood auto shop more often than I'd like. But it's not just auto skills I wish I had learned. I could've benefitted from a wealth of vocational skills, from home improvement projects to yard maintenance to electronics repair, that would have saved me a ton of money thus far and perhaps made me some if I were enterprising enough to monetize my skills.</p> <h2>8. How to Comparison Shop</h2> <p>I'll give my parents a break on this one, because when I was a kid, it wasn't an easy task to comparison shop. In fact, I think we've all learned how to do this together over the past decade or so since the Internet has made it easier. Either way, I'm a pro at it now. My new goal is to teach myself how to do it more efficiently instead of spending hours investigating the best price. How about you?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Frugal%2520Living%2520Skills%2520I%2520Wish%2520My%2520Parents%2520Would%2520Have%2520Taught%2520Me.jpg&amp;description=8%20Frugal%20Living%20Skills%20I%20Wish%20My%20Parents%20Would%20Have%20Taught%20Me"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Frugal%20Living%20Skills%20I%20Wish%20My%20Parents%20Would%20Have%20Taught%20Me.jpg" alt="8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-living-truths-every-stay-at-home-parent-should-know">5 Frugal Living Truths Every Stay-at-Home-Parent Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family advice coupons financial literacy independence kids money lessons parents saving money shopping skills spending Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:30:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1849986 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Support Your Broke Parents http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-support-your-broke-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-support-your-broke-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/47159634.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to support her broke parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard enough to support yourself nowadays, so what happens when you're faced with the prospect of supporting your parents? It can create stress in your life &mdash; not to mention put a strain on other relationships, especially between you and your spouse &mdash; but it doesn't have to go down like that. If your parents are teetering on tapped out, and looking to you for help, here's how to make the best of it for everybody involved.</p> <h2>1. Recognize Their Hardship and Provide Emotional Support</h2> <p>It's not easy to ask anyone for money, especially when you're a self-sufficient adult. But sometimes things don't always work out financially. If your parents are experiencing a serious financial downturn &mdash; like, they're broke &mdash; the first thing you need to do is recognize their plight and offer emotional support. Even if they haven't always been the most responsible people financially, the last thing they need right now is your judgment. Let them know that you're there for them to talk to, vent, cry, or whatever they need to do to get over the initial blow of being bone dry. Assure them that you'll be there for them as a pillar of emotional support whenever they need it.</p> <h2>2. Help Them Navigate the Road to Government Assistance</h2> <p>If your parents qualify for government assistance &mdash; and if they're truly dried up financially, they will &mdash; help them navigate the red tape of getting what they need to survive. There will be agencies to visit and plenty of forms to fill out in order qualify, and if they're of a certain age, they may require your capabilities to expedite the process.</p> <h2>3. Introduce Them to New Ways to Make Extra Money</h2> <p>What's so great about the American marketplace today is that there are so many (relatively) easy ways to make extra cash. Depending on how mobile and motivated your parents are (if they're broke, they should be plenty motivated!), they could bring in a decent amount of dough by becoming drivers for Uber or Lyft; watching people's pets by signing up with DogVacay or Rover; or hosting travelers by offering guests accommodations in their home via Airbnb, VRBO, or Roomorama. My own parents have been financially strapped at times over the past few years, and they've converted part of their home into rental efficiencies to bring in extra money. These are just a few of the more popular ways to earn income without a grueling schedule or backbreaking work, but you'll find other viable options with a little research into the &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy" target="_blank">gig economy</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Tap Into Your Own Contacts for Potential Job Opportunities</h2> <p>You've made a ton of contacts over the years to help yourself financially, so maybe you can tap into those resources to help out Mom and Dad. There's absolutely no shame in that game. You probably shouldn't hit up somebody you've just met to ask if they have extra work for your parents, and your parents definitely shouldn't expect an executive position out of this deal, but maybe one of your long-standing contacts with whom you have a good rapport and mutual respect has some office or light cleaning work they can throw your way. There's no harm in asking around.</p> <h2>5. Consider Paying &quot;Out of Sight, Out of Mind&quot; Recurring Bills</h2> <p>If your parents' money situation (or lack thereof) has really hit the skids, you might need to open your own wallet to alleviate some of their financial pain. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to take over all their bills &mdash; you have plenty of your own to pay, remember, and your own wellbeing is your first priority &mdash; but there may be areas where you can help, however nominally.</p> <p>My friend Maria is a small-business owner, and she recently told me about how she helps her parents who are currently in a financial conundrum.</p> <p>&quot;My parents are broke, mainly because they never pursued an education and have worked hourly jobs their entire life,&quot; she said. &quot;I suggest people help their parents by taking care of recurring bills that you can just charge on a monthly basis without having to have a constant dialogue about expenses. Parents usually tend to feel bad asking for help, so it could be a bit humiliating for them to constantly have to ask for money. I help my parents by paying their health insurance and utility bills.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Offer to Help Them Downsize and Restructure Their Life</h2> <p>If your parents are broke, but they have assets that can reduce their debt load, now is the time to downsize. Maybe it's moving into a smaller home, or maybe it's selling off some long-held prized possessions. These prospects aren't exactly attractive, granted, but this situation that they're in is exactly why people make investments in the first place &mdash; to provide financial padding in times of strife. Material possessions are hard to part with &mdash; especially when you've worked so hard to earn them &mdash; but food, water, and shelter are more important than an old coin collection or a garage full of valuable treasures. In addition, help them restructure their life and rearrange their priorities so they're living in the most efficient manner possible once they get back on track.</p> <h2>7. Evaluate Your Own Life to See How They Can Fit In</h2> <p>Worst-case scenario, your parents need to become your dependents and move in with you and your family. It may not be the most ideal solution, but most of us would take our parents in, especially if they can still care for themselves, before letting them lose everything to debt and be faced with homelessness. If that's your reality, it's not the end of the world. Take a deep breath, schedule a family meeting, and sit down to discuss how to best make this work for everyone. Who knows, you might find that it's not so bad after all. The kids will have Grandma and Grandpa around more often, you'll have a little extra help around the house (hopefully), and you now have a round-the-clock babysitter so you can sneak out for a cold one &mdash; because God knows you deserve it.</p> <p><em>Are your parents broke? How are you helping them weather the storm? Let's chat in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-support-your-broke-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-dad-was-right-about-money">5 Times Dad Was Right About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family broke helping out lending money money trouble parents paying bills struggling Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:00:17 +0000 Mikey Rox 1760752 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Frugal Living Truths Every Stay-at-Home-Parent Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-living-truths-every-stay-at-home-parent-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-frugal-living-truths-every-stay-at-home-parent-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_children_reading_000089633005.jpg" alt="Stay-at-home-parent learning frugal living truths" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stay-at-home-moms and stay-at-home-dads are usually the queens and kings of frugality. They know how to stretch a dollar, how to make dinners the kids will love that cost less than $1 per serving, and how to rotate the bills as the money comes in so that everything gets paid. They've learned these things because, often, they had to.</p> <p>There are, though, some greater frugal truths that a lot of SAHMs and SAHDs don't know or, more likely, have forgotten. These are some ideas about frugal living that these folks should keep in the forefront of their minds, so that they can remember the value of what they do. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-myths-about-stay-at-home-moms?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money Myths About Stay-At-Home Moms</a>)</p> <h2>1. Money Isn't Everything</h2> <p>Sure, you know that being there for and with your kids matters. That's why you made the choice to stay at home. But it's really easy to lose sight of why you chose to stay at home when you feel like all you do is change diapers, break up arguments, and generally try to keep small people from certain death. It's also easy to wonder about your choices when you feel like you're always trying to cut corners financially or scrimp until the next paycheck comes.</p> <p>Here's the thing, though: You being there, at home in the daily mess and viewing the daily joys &mdash; it matters. You are giving your kids your time and your presence, and that means more than anything money can buy. You are building relationships that will last until one of you dies &mdash; close, strong, meaningful bonds. Most likely, you chose to stay home because you, yourself, value these things more than money. So live what you believe and remember that money isn't everything.</p> <p>You matter. What you value and what you do matters. And it matters more than any paycheck you might be bringing in if you weren't at home.</p> <p>Note that this isn't to say that being a SAHM or a SAHD is better or worse than being a working parent. But most parents who choose to stay home do it for a reason, and it can be helpful to remember that reason and what you value when financial questions arise.</p> <h2>2. Frugal Choices Are Okay</h2> <p>Many of the stay-at-home-parents I know feel some guilt about the frugal choices they end up making in order to stay home. Maybe they can't feed their kids all organic produce, or they can't afford the art lessons/club sports/individual tutoring that their child really wants. Whatever it is, it can be easy to wonder if you should go back to work in order to make these financial things happen.</p> <p>In the greater scheme of things, though, your frugal choices are okay, especially when they are in line with what you value. If you think that developing close bonds within your family is more important than what sports your kid plays, then focus on those bonds and don't worry about the sports.</p> <p>When you focus on what you value rather than on what others tell you to value, you're teaching your kids a lesson, too. You're teaching them to think for themselves, and to look within for answers, rather than looking at what all their friends are doing.</p> <h2>3. No One Can Give Their Kids Everything</h2> <p>No one. Not even that super-rich couple whose kid is on the baseball team. No one.</p> <p>Most of us want our kids to be happy, to know the value of hard work, to have good friends, and to achieve some degree of success, however they choose to define it. And guess what? Money can't buy any of that.</p> <p>The things that matter most in life are things that money really cannot touch. When you choose to stay at home with your children despite the financial stress and difficulties that can cause, it's easy to feel like you are making them give up a lot of things they might otherwise want. The truth is, though, that if you are showing them what a good life looks like, then you're giving them something money simply can't buy.</p> <h2>4. You Matter, Too</h2> <p>When you're staying at home, not bringing in any income, it's easy to feel like you can't spend any money on yourself. Especially when money is tight, it's natural to feel like you should always buy your kids things before you buy them for yourself.</p> <p>On the other hand, your work has value. Actual monetary value, if the latest research is correct. But beyond that, you are still working hard every day (maybe harder than you've ever worked before!). And you don't need to splurge to the point of creating more debt to acknowledge that. Buy yourself a coffee when you're out and about on a morning when the kids attacked and you didn't get to make your own, and don't beat yourself up over it. Go out with your family and celebrate your birthday.</p> <p>You will feel better about what you do when you celebrate yourself occasionally.</p> <h2>5. You're Teaching Your Kids About Money &mdash; And Life</h2> <p>When you choose to stay at home, that teaches your kids something. When they see you working through a difficult budget, or saying &quot;no&quot; to something you really wanted because the money isn't there, your kids are learning by your example. You can pass on your financial values simply by living them out.</p> <p>You may feel like you aren't doing much, but they're always watching you and learning from what you do.</p> <p>Remember this when times are tough, when everyone is arguing and you feel so poor and you're questioning your decisions. I said at the beginning that what you do matters, that living in alignment with your values is important, and that's true whether you are having a good day or an awful one.</p> <p>So decide what you want to teach your kids and live that out. Live out your financial values and your other ones, too. Live it in everything you do, and you will teach your kids to live the same way.</p> <p><em>What frugal truths help you as a SAHM or a SAHD? How do you get through a bad day at home with the kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-living-truths-every-stay-at-home-parent-should-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-teachable-money-moments-to-share-with-your-kids">6 Great Teachable Money Moments to Share With Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-you-should-make-your-kids-pay-for">21 Things You Should Make Your Kids Pay For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family money lessons parents raising kids single income households stay at home dads stay at home moms Wed, 25 May 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1713143 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_mom_grandmother_000065344773.jpg" alt="Young woman learning how the sandwich generation can get ahead" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Sandwich Generation &mdash; those caught caring for aging parents while still supporting children &mdash; face daunting financial challenges. How can they live up to their responsibilities, while still reaching their own financial goals? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set Boundaries</h2> <p>Simultaneously caring for a minor and parent is taxing on your &quot;me time.&quot; All told, 42% of Gen Xers and 33% of Baby Boomers are <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2013/01/Sandwich_Generation_Report_FINAL_1-29.pdf">living this scenario</a> &mdash; and feeling the squeeze in places other than just their wallets. So, how to make time and energy for oneself when so many others are depending on you?</p> <p>One way is to set boundaries. Maybe you need one or two days away from catering to the needs of others. Set up a schedule with other members of your family so that a spouse or brother or cousin is available to relieve you from in-home care duties on certain days. Perhaps common errands like lawn mowing and grocery shopping are becoming difficult to juggle. If you have a mature and capable child, consider delegating out some of these chores.</p> <p>Setting boundaries might be as simple as carving out a two-hour block each day during which you engage in whatever activities &mdash; napping, exercising, reading &mdash; benefit you. The key, of course, is sticking to it. Honor that time you've created for yourself and know that it's helping not only you, but those who depend on you, too.</p> <h2>2. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance</h2> <p>If you're caring for an ailing parent, you may want to mandate that Mom or Dad invest in long-term care insurance. If they're resistant, explain that it's for you as much as it is for them. After all, you don't want to go bankrupt, and your parent doesn't want that for you either. Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount for services to assist with the cost of daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or eating. The cost of a long-term care policy is determined by factors such as how old the policyholder is when he or she buys in, and the predetermined maximum amount that the policy will pay per day.</p> <h2>3. Invite Mom and Dad to Move In</h2> <p>If your parents move in with you, you can all save money in property taxes &mdash; up to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on where you reside. Not to mention, the average annual cost of a <a href="https://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/2012-market-survey-long-term-care-costs.html#keyfindings">private nursing home</a> room is about $91,000, while the the cost of assisted living falls around $43,000.</p> <p>Multigenerational housing eliminates such expenses and grants you the peace of mind that Mom and Dad are being well-cared for by yourself and other members of the family. Establishing a multigenerational household may seem daunting, but don't discount the many social benefits. Your children will have a better shot at developing a meaningful relationship with their grandparents if they're all living under one roof. Same goes for you and your parents.</p> <h2>4. Collect Rent From Grown Kids Who Move Back Home</h2> <p>At one time, it was embarrassing for a young adult to move back in with his or her parents. But today, that simply isn't so. In fact, thanks to The Great Recession, there are so many young adults moving back in with Mom and Dad that the stigma is practically non-existent.</p> <p>Living at home eases the burden of student debt while helping young adults save for their education, a car, and a place of their own. But remember that all of these benefits are still well in play when you charge your son or daughter a fair rent. And you should. Young adults who pay to live at home are more likely to feel motivated to get a good job, establish a career, improve their education, and put their degree to good use. You needn't charge the amount it would cost to rent an apartment in your city or town. A couple hundred dollars a month is typically enough to keep your son or daughter edging to better themselves.</p> <h2>5. Claim a Parent as a Dependent</h2> <p>If you're caring for a parent who has a gross income of no more than $3,950 &mdash; this number excludes Social Security and disability &mdash; you can <a href="http://www.elderlawanswers.com/claiming-a-parent-as-a-dependent-3657">claim them as a dependent</a> when you file your taxes.</p> <h2>6. Write Off Your Parent's Medical Expenses</h2> <p>The IRS understands the strain of paying for a parent's medical tab. If you footed the bill for a parent's medical care, you may be able to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_2015_publink1000178856">deduct those expenses</a> when you file your taxes. To quality, total medical expenses, including the cost of prescription drugs, hospital care, and doctor's visits, must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.</p> <p><em>Are you part of the Sandwich Generation? How are you coping?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle baby boomers dependents gen x insurance parents sandwich generation taxes Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1646408 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can't http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_classic_car_000013375059.jpg" alt="Boomer parent affording things that we can&#039;t" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us have probably been subjected to the judgement of our Baby Boomer parents, who wonder why younger generations are facing more debt and financial troubles.</p> <p>I won't defend the spendthrift ways of Millennials and Gen-Xers, but the truth of the matter is that many things are simply more expensive now than they used to be. Baby Boomers &mdash; those born between 1946 and 1964 &mdash; paid less for many of the things considered essential now.</p> <p>Here are eight things that our Baby Boomer parents could afford more easily than we can.</p> <h2>1. A Home</h2> <p>Interest rates were probably higher for Baby Boomers, but the average price of a home was considerably lower, even after adjusting for inflation. The <a href="http://www.multpl.com/case-shiller-home-price-index-inflation-adjusted/">Case Shiller Home Price Index</a> offers a good examination of home prices over time. Through most of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, the index was at about 120. Now it's near 170, an increase of about 40%. During the housing bubble, it topped 220 &mdash; that was a near doubling of prices after inflation. No wonder so many of us got into unnecessary housing debt.</p> <h2>2. College</h2> <p>We've all heard stories about Baby Boomers who claim to have attended college for just a few hundred bucks a semester. Indeed, education was a relative bargain for our folks, who in 1975 paid the <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-board-time-1974-75-2014-15-selected-years">equivalent of $2,469</a> for a year of tuition and fees at a public university. The cost is more than four times that today. The College Board reports that we experienced increases of 9.5% above inflation during the 2009-10 school year, and another 6.5% above inflation in 2010-11.</p> <h2>3. A Car</h2> <p>A Baby Boomer may have bought his or her first car in 1970 for $3,450, or $20,781 in today's dollars. The average price of a car is now more than $30,000. The good news for today's car buyers is that quality of cars has improved, and there is a wider range of choices, including many at the more affordable end.</p> <h2>4. Child Care</h2> <p>There's not a lot of data on child care costs for older Baby Boomers, but for those raising kids in the 1980s, things were much easier on the wallet than today. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the <a href="https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-135.pdf">average weekly child care payment</a> in 1985 was about $40, or $84 in 2011 dollars. Compare that to the $143 weekly paid by families in 2011.</p> <h2>5. Food</h2> <p>It cost less for your parents to serve dinner. The Department of Agriculture reported that the price of food has <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2015-july/growth-in-inflation-adjusted-food-prices-varies-by-food-category.aspx#.ViZwTH6rRaR">outpaced the rate of inflation</a> in many areas, including fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, red meat, and poultry. Fresh fruits and vegetables are 40% more expensive than in 1985, and that's after adjusting for inflation.</p> <h2>6. Health Care</h2> <p>In 1970, per capita spending on health care was a mere $356, or $2,144 in today's dollars. That rose to $8,402 per person in 2010. Some of this increase could be due to the availability of more advanced medical treatment, but there's no doubt it costs more to get sick these days.</p> <h2>7. Going to the Movies</h2> <p>In this case, it may actually depend on the year. A person born in 1946 might have attended the movies as a teenager for 50 cents, or about $4.15 in today's dollars. That's a steal compared to a current ticket, which comes in at $8.61, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But a Baby Boomer attending the movies in the 1970s may have paid prices that, when adjusted for inflation, weren't too much less than today. One thing is for sure: Moviegoers of yesteryear were not subjected to the additional charges for 3D or IMAX screenings that can often add several dollars to the price of a ticket today.</p> <h2>8. Pro Sports Tickets</h2> <p>A ticket to a baseball game cost an average of $28 in 2015, according to Team Marketing Report. The average ticket price is $54 for the NBA, $86 for the NFL, and $62 for the NHL. The cost of player salaries and state-of-the-art stadiums has brought us away from the days when a bleacher seat could be had for $1. At the first Super Bowl in 1967, the average ticket price was $12, or $85 in today's dollars, Sports Illustrated reported. The average ticket price for the Super Bowl in 2014 was an eye-popping $1,250.</p> <p><em>What else was cheaper for Boomers than the generations following?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses">First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance baby boomers inflation parents saving spending tuition Thu, 29 Oct 2015 15:15:44 +0000 Tim Lemke 1602062 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/elderly_parents_000018870545.jpg" alt="Woman moving parent into assisted living facility" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's tough to watch your mother or father age. And when you need to sign your parents up for an assisted-living facility? That's never an easy job.</p> <p>Getting the paperwork ready is enough of a chore. But the most difficult task might be keeping yourself sane as you go through the difficult process of convincing your aging parents that living in an assisted-living facility is the right choice.</p> <p>This will never be an easy process. But here are six tips for making the transition as easy as possible for all involved.</p> <h2>1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time</h2> <p>Don't expect to check your parents into an assisted-living facility in one week. It takes a long time to gather the paperwork and schedule the medical evaluations that most facilities require.</p> <p>But even if the process didn't take as long, you should still give yourself and your parents plenty of time to prepare for a move to an assisted-living facility. Let your parents mull over the thought for several weeks before you begin moving them into their new home. They'll need time to accept that this move is the best one for them. If you rush the process? Your parents will be more likely to resent the decision; they'll feel that they are being forced to make this move.</p> <p>The best time to start talking with your parents about an assisted-living facility is as soon as you start seeing the signs that they need help with everyday tasks.</p> <h2>2. Let Your Parents Remain Decision-Makers</h2> <p>It's tempting to try to handle all tasks involved in getting your parents into an assisted-living facility. Resist. Not only will taking on all this work by yourself result in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress">loads of stress</a>, it will also alienate your parents. Remember, your parents are the ones who will be living in the assisted-living facility, not you. You need to give them plenty of input.</p> <p>Ask for your parents' advice on everything from what they're looking for in a facility, in what part of town they'd like to live, and on what date they'd like to move. The more you involve your parents in the process &mdash; to the extent that this is feasible &mdash; the smoother the transition to assisted living will go.</p> <h2>3. Work Closely With the Staff</h2> <p>The professionals working at assisted-living facilities have helped countless people like you and your parents. So take advantage of this expertise. Any time you have a question, even if you think it's a small one, call up the facility. You aren't bothering anyone. Remember, you or your parents are paying for the assisted-living facility. Like any customer, you have the right to ask for help or for answers.</p> <p>It's easy to become overwhelmed. The quickest way to relief is to rely on the guidance of the medical and administrative staff at the facility you and your parents have chosen.</p> <h2>4. Expect Short Tempers</h2> <p>Don't be surprised if your parents lash out at you during the transition. And don't take it personally. When you help your parents move into an assisted-living facility, you are reversing the roles you and your mom and dad have long held. Basically, you are becoming the caretaker that your parents once were for you. This is not an easy transition for anyone, and your parents wouldn't be human if it didn't frighten or annoy them.</p> <h2>5. It's Time to Downsize</h2> <p>One of the bigger challenges might be convincing your parents to get rid of a large amount of their personal items. The space they are moving into will undoubtedly be smaller than where they are living today. You can make move-in day less stressful by helping your parents downsize their possessions before they're ready to move.</p> <p>Expect some resistance here, too. Even if your parents understand that their new home doesn't offer nearly as much space, they might still resist parting with their possessions. You might make it easier for them by helping them donate these items to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. This way, your parents will know that their furniture and mementos will be going to people who really need them.</p> <h2>6. Show Them You Haven't Forgotten Them</h2> <p>Once your parents have moved into their new home, make sure they know you're not forgetting about them. It's easy to feel ignored when you're adjusting to a whole new life filled with people you don't know. Ease the transition by visiting your parents often, bringing them back to your home for regular dinners and taking them out to the movies or shopping.</p> <p>The more you make them feel connected to your family through regular visits and phone calls, the easier it will be for your parents to accept and welcome their new living arrangement.</p> <p><em>Have you had to move your folks into an assisted living facility? How'd it go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-assisted-living-facility">12 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">How to Manage a Family Member&#039;s Finances Long Distance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-long-term-care-more-affordable">5 Ways to Make Long-Term Care More Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance">The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family assisted living caretakers elderly nursing homes parents Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:00:18 +0000 Dan Rafter 1538222 at http://www.wisebread.com