5 MONEY TIPS for new caregivers
Hi, my name is Renee, I am a working female, a caregiver for my aging parents, and I am a complete dummy when it comes to MONEY! (yup)
Caregiving for a loved one can financially ruin you especially if you don't have a solid financial foundation to start with. Many won't understand the above reality until becoming a caregiver for a loved one. For me, becoming a caregiver was my financial health wake up call. Managing my parents' assets, applying for Medicaid for my mom, doing some ad-hoc estate planning all while dealing with my mom's critical illness lead me to the (following) revelation ....I am so financially unprepared for my future.
YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH IS THE FOUNDATION TO
SMART AGING & SMART CARING
I started T.U.E to be a resource of smart aging and smart caring tech solutions for caregivers like myself. In my experience I have learned, your financial health is the foundation to smart aging and smart caring. This is why here at T.U.E we have a complete section dedicated to MONEY where we share with you money related tech resources.
The below 5 MONEY tips are not the end all be all tips but more so starting guidance that I can honestly share based on my experience. #KnowingWhatIKnowNow
1. Don't Quit Your Day Job
As hectic at times will get when you have to juggle your career and caregiving DO NOT QUIT your DAY JOB. Check the stats! "Women who are family caregivers are 2.5 times more likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive Supplemental Security Income. " But if you have to quit your day job consider getting a flex job... WERK can help with that!
2. Research Workplace & Public Benefits
Ideally this step really should come before you become a caregiver but hey the past is the past. #MovingForward Recently I found out my employer benefits includes WillPrep and Work-Life matter services. Within these two employer provided benefits I could have handled things like power of attorney, Living Will, Will, and I could have received counseling on how to handle my caregiving crisis. Who knew? Clearly I didn't!
Learn from my mistake...get the details of your employee benefits package and research public benefits. The sooner you know, the better prepared you will be to handle any crisis ahead.
3. Estate Planning
Before becoming a caregiver I assumed estate planning was for rich folks. During one of my significant caregiving crisis, God blessed me with a fantastic Eldercare lawyer. I will never forget when she told me "there are much richer people than your family receiving Medicaid Renee!" My first reaction to her statement was complete confusion as to how this woman could possibly think my family is rich when we are obviously far from it.
But then after going through the grueling process of qualifying my mom for Medicaid I now get what she was saying. Long story short managed care is a business, and that business has no qualms with taking all your hard earned money & assets to pay their exorbitant bills.
ESTATE PLANNING is for everybody, rich or BROKE!
4. Don't Stop Saving & Investing for your retirement
Last night I attended a lovely Aging 2.0 event hosted by Atria WEST 86th senior living community. This community is stunning! The rooftop deck & panorama city views, clean lines, elegant studio apartments, and a plethora of amenities sure makes this millennial want to move into this senior living community TODAY, please!
Well, I can't move in today and won't be able to move in when I need to if I don't get my retirement ducks in order. Entry-level access starts at $7,890 per month (gasp). Can your retirement plan handle that? Mine cant! Oh and heres another interesting fact: The negative impact on a caregivers retirement fund is approximately $40,000 more for women than it is for men.
5. GOT LTC ?Long Term Care Insurance
I learned about Long Term Care Insurance after becoming a caregiver. While going thru the process of finding a nursing home for my mom one of my older friends asked me if my mom had Long Term Care Insurance. I had no idea such a thing existed, and clearly my parents had no clue either or maybe they didn't deam it necessary?
Anyways it is too late for LTC insurance for my mom. But it's not too late for millennial caregivers like myself to invest in LTC insurance plans for ourselves. A good LTC insurance plan can help offset the high costs of long-term care.
Do you have any tips to add? Share them here in the T.U.E community.
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