Grandparents Day for most is a time to head out to lunch, and maybe pick up the tab for the dishes your grandpa and grandma order every time, at their favorite restaurant. There are hundreds of ways to show your grandparents you care; even macaroni art is appreciated (although at 26 years old, your grandparents might be thinking you are getting too old for this).
Lame jokes aside, if you have reached adulthood and have at least a decent grasp of your finances in this digital age, you might have more to offer than your creativity! More than likely your grandparents come from the generation before the technology boom, and if your grandparents are starting to lose track of daily responsibilities, it might be time to step in with some new tools to assist them. Here are some ways to help them prepare for their immediate financial futures:
Explain What a Financial App Is
We covered some amazing personal finance apps in a previous write-up, but financial apps can perhaps address the most difficult task your grandparents face when managing their finances in retirement: The inability to keep track of all expenses – especially if the numbers change on a monthly basis. Make it as easy as possible for them to use the mobile app or website:
- Set up their login with something you will both remember, in the event that they forget
- Ask them for their bills and bank statements, and enter them into the new app for them
- Set reminders on your devices to check in with your grandparents, while also using a reminder method that they can use around their house or home
- Engage their minds by sending them articles and/or books you are reading
Walk your grandparents through the app, and show them how the functions of the app look similar to the things they are already doing with pen and paper.
Discuss Available Government Programs
This idea is inspired by a Debt.org blog post that brilliantly details all of the various programs in each aspect of expenses for seniors. Debt.org mentions why this is important: “Use government programs to bridge the gap between your expenses and income. There are senior-specific government programs available at the local, state, and federal levels. Three of your major expenses after retirement will be housing, food, and healthcare.”
More than likely the most important program will involve health care. Debt.org continues: “Approximately 40% of retirees report that their health care expenses in retirement are higher than they expected, according to the Retirement Confidence Survey done by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.”
Housing, healthcare, food, and potential jobs are the focal points of the read. However, it is important to mention the available programs for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For that, we check in with Huffpost.com: “Administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI provides monthly payments to very low-income seniors, age 65 and older, as well as to those who are blind and disabled. SSI pays up to $733 per month for a single person and up to $1,100 for couples.”
Point to the Ways Senior Citizens Climb Out of Debt
First and foremost the focus should be on protecting the retirement fund. One of the beautiful things about Golden Financial Services’ debt and budget calculators is the ability to compile every expense and piece of income (in this case likely social security checks) into a calculator to discover a very specific dollar amount that exists between total expenses, and total income.
All the hallmarks of frugal spending for debt recovery still apply: Create a budget, consider downsizing, and staying current on bills. However, InCharge.org also offers an outside-the-box reminder about asking for help: “If you’re in over your head, why not turn to family or friends? In some instances, if a family member or friend is assigned power of attorney, that could help negotiate a lower debt payoff amount. It’s natural to hesitate in asking for such assistance. Also consider the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, which can connect seniors to local resources.”
Research Other Resources
In addition to government programs, there are also agencies that specialize in care for the elderly. Not all programs are designed to be strictly financial. Some support programs are designed for quality of life. These programs can typically offset the simple costs of living, which adds a secondary way to save money in the event of debt troubles later in life. Some of these non-government agencies include: The National Council on Aging Benefits for healthcare, Meals on Wheels delivers food to the homes of the elderly, and the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) focuses on stepping in to help widows that aren’t accustomed to handling personal finances.
SeniorAdvisor.com has an excellent list of additional tools for seniors including PACE, SHIP, and others.
If you found our blog looking for financial advice or assistance with credit card debt relief or debt consolidation, call Golden Financial Services today at (866)-376-9846 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out the rest of our blog here, and do your research on our services here. Let’s talk soon!