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Aging parents, ageless money issues

How are your parents doing? Not just physically and emotionally, but financially?

That's a question more Baby Boomers are asking every year.

It's a difficult topic, for both parents and adult children. And in most families, there are no easy answers for anyone.

Today's New York Times looks at the situation in Taking Care of Parents Also Means Taking Care of Finances.


Photo of aging bench warmers by jonrawlinson

Recommendations in the NYT article include taking advantage of government and nonprofit programs and services available to help the aging, as well as hiring a private caregiver. I mentioned several such options (with links) in Taking care of father.

Of course, the first, and often hardest, step is having the discussion with Mom and Dad (and your siblings) about whether help is needed and if so, how much. The key here is involving the whole family and making sure your parents know you respect their needs and wishes.

Finally, remember that if you do help care for your parents, you might be able to get some tax help. Again, these are discussed in my earlier post, but the basic breaks you might be able to claim include counting your parent as a dependent, writing off some parental medical costs and claiming the dependent care credit if your parent lives with you and you must hire someone to care for Mom or Dad while you're at work.

Here's hoping your folks are doing fine in every respect. But when the time comes that they need your help, be sure to look into getting some help yourself from Uncle Sam.

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