Saving for yourself and others: 10 tips for financial caregivers

By Maria Perez

Caring for someone close to you with a disability or illness, or as they age, can be challenging – in addition to providing physical and emotional support, there's often a financial aspect of care.

Many people serve as unpaid caregivers for family members or loved ones. Here are 10 tips to help you manage the process of becoming a financial caregiver as you save for your own retirement:

  1. Get organized
    Make a checklist of everything that needs to be taken care of, both with their finances and yours
  2. Get access
    Know the location of the care recipient's personal and financial documents and make sure that you can get access to them in case of an emergency
  3. Check coverage
    Review their financial assets and other sources of income and then figure out what kind of coverage is offered through their life insurance and medical insurance
  4. Do the paperwork
    Talk with your care recipient about wills, estate planning and power of attorney options, then talk with a lawyer to find out what works for your family
  5. Set up online deposits and payments
    Set up your care recipient's automatic online bill pay and have any benefits directly deposited, including tax returns
  6. Do the math on your own financials
    Review your retirement plan, benefits and financial situation to see how much you can afford to take on in addition to your own expenses
  7. Get professional help
    Get advice from professionals – bankers, lawyers, accountants, insurance agents and financial planners can help you with money management
  8. Pay attention
    Be vigilant about protecting yourself and your loved one from fraud and scams that target people in vulnerable situations
  9. Ask about your own retirement
    Ask what impact reducing your hours will have on your 401(k) contributions and pension benefits, in case you need to work less
  10. Take care of yourself
    Use assistance programs and support groups, and if possible, share duties and expenses with other family and friends

Additional resources

For older adults and caregivers

Get tips and tools from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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