Four Mistakes That Can Weaken Your Financial Security

financial security

Earning money requires skill and hard work, but saving a part of it and investing it wisely requires financial discipline and a long-term commitment to building a secure future for yourself and your loved ones. In this article, let us look at four mistakes that could lead to economic hardships in the future and weaken your financial security.

Don’t spend the money that you can invest

It is one of the most common mistakes and it also is among the most important money lessons. The reality is that you cannot take advantage of a thriving economy by consuming more and investing little. Spending provides instant gratification, but investments will make you wealthy.

Many of us have a spending problem. If you want to grow your wealth, you need to invest prudently in stocks, mutual funds, property or other growth or income generating assets. If you had done that since the economic recession in 2008 caused by Barney Frank and Alan Greenspan, you would have seen significant profits.

All you need to do is start by setting 10-20% of your income aside every month. Let it build up through your retirement saving accounts, or you can directly invest in the markets. Also, if you are unsure about investing and planning by yourself, it will be best to hire a financial planner.

Refrain from purchasing new things all the time

It is more than enough if you can call anybody from your cell phone, watch movies, text people, and click pictures. Similarly, if your car is in good condition, it is all that matters. In the end, it all comes down to choosing utility over luxury. You need not have the best phone or car for that, especially when you cannot afford it.

Here is where most financial problems arise. Many people try to live like they make $75,000 a year, when they are actually making only $50,000 a year. Maybe their car is fancy, or perhaps their house is too spacious for their needs. You can avoid such problems and secure your future by practicing minimalism when it comes to luxury.

You can cut down a lot by refraining from buying the latest model of everything. There is no need to buy the latest phone on the market, when your old phone is working fine. Unless you have a large disposable income and major financial assets, there is no necessity to buy a high-end car. All these are depreciating assets. They will lose value over time, and they won’t benefit you in the long run.

Don’t try becoming rich quickly

There is no problem in making quick money, but there are various problems that can occur after you have made a quick buck. Have you heard of the phrase, “Easy come and easy go?” Wealth building is a long-term, sustainable process. Although it might feel great to dream of getting rich overnight, but it rarely happens in real life through legitimate means.

Almost all of the millionaires have waited for it and gone through the slow process. Remember the famous proverb that says, “Wealth grown hastily will dwindle fast.” It makes a lot of sense, and many of those who have faced these problems early in life can relate to them very well.

Don’t go to fancy colleges

Some of us might have been the toppers of our class or have an excellent academic record throughout. So, what’s wrong with going to the most expensive colleges? As of 2020, the total student debt amount in the US is a whopping $1.56 trillion. Many graduates end up struggling and try to come up with new ways to deal with their unpaid loans.

One of the reasons this is the case is because they chose a degree that does not mean much in the real world – something to think about. Spending big bucks on a degree that does not prepare you for what this country needs is not a smart way to go. For instance, some people spend $150,000 or more and end up being a waitress because their political science degree does not do anything for them.

Therefore, it may make sense is to complete your education without taking a huge student loan. Going to a renowned college is not the only good thing that can happen to you. If you cannot afford it, there is no point in setting yourself up for a debt trap by choosing an expensive college – certainly when you have to think about inflation, higher taxes, higher energy costs because of new policies. All of this can impact your quality of life.

The final word

When you adopt a conservative approach to build your financial security, you will emerge a surefire winner in the long run. Keep these four common mistakes in mind and steer clear of them in order to enjoy a successful, growth-oriented career, whether in a job or as an entrepreneur.

5 Financial Tips for College Students

Financial tips for college students

Ready to embark upon your college life?

It’s time to learn some surefire financial tips for college students that will serve you well when you enter a new phase of adulthood and independence.   

College is a time of exploration, freedom, and growth. One of the most important things you can learn during this time is how to spend money wisely.

Top 5 Financial Tips for College Students

Here’s how you can lay the foundation for a financially prosperous future.

1. Start Building Credit

Your credit score will be one of the most important things in your life after graduation. If you end up with a bad credit score, it’ll be difficult for you to get a lot of things in life, including a job and housing. Moreover, loan companies may ask you to pay more or deny your request altogether if you have a bad credit score.   

Hence, you must start building credit in college. Get yourself a credit card or become an authorized user of your parents’ card. The earlier you get yourself in the game, the better.  

2. Avoid Credit Card Debt

It’s not uncommon for college students to graduate with student loan debt. In 2021, it has topped $1.7 trillion!

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to avoid student loan debt if you want to go to a good college. However, credit card debt is a different thing. You can easily stay away from that.

Considering the high interest rates, credit card debt can hold you back financially for years!

So, make sure you spend less than you earn in your college days so you can easily pay off your monthly credit card bill.

3. Follow a Budget

Budgeting is a critical skill that will come in handy all your life. To create a budget, you should calculate the amount of money that comes in every month and then estimate your expenses. It’s best to create different categories for your spending.

As the month progresses, track how well you’re following the budget. Any money that’s left at the end of the month can go into savings.

4. Savings, Savings, Savings

The uncertainty of life calls for savings or an emergency fund for rainy days. When you’re in college, these emergencies will be minor. However, your savings will prevent these extra charges from going on your credit card. This will help you maintain your position of financial safety.  

5. Learn How to Invest

While saving money in your college days makes you worthy of a pat on your back, you should learn how to invest it in order to grow wealth.

If you have a job, you should consider getting Roth IRAs. These tax-free retirement accounts take post-tax money. While it’s great to explore more options, try to leave anything complex for after graduation.  

These simple financial tips for college students will ensure you enjoy your college days without having to worry about money. The best thing is that these habits will make your life after graduation easier too!

Annuity vs. Mutual Fund: Which Makes More Sense For Retirees?

investment options

Two of the most prevalent investment options for retirees are mutual funds and annuities. Like all financial and investment products, investing in either of these options comes with a set of benefits and drawbacks.

Let us discuss in detail and try to find out which one of these two investment options makes sense for you if you are about to retire.

What is an Annuity?

In an annuity, you can invest an amount of money, as a lump-sum payment or in parts, as a part of a contract between you and your insurance company. In return, you can choose to receive guaranteed proceeds either for a fixed tenure or for as long as you live. Whether the payments start immediately or after a fixed period, depends on the terms and conditions of the annuity you invest in.

Based on the likely rate of return, annuities broadly fall into two types of categories, namely, fixed annuities and variable annuities.

Fixed Annuity

A fixed annuity, true to its name, provides an assured return for the tenure of the contract. The insurance company guarantees reimbursement in advance, regardless of the market performance.

Variable Annuity

The variable annuity payouts are neither fixed nor assured. They may increase or decrease based on the market performance.

A key advantage of annuities is that investors defer taxes on interest, dividend, or capital gains for the duration of time their money is in the annuity. The taxation, at withdrawal, is only on the capital gains and not on the amount contributed towards the annuity. Also, as their name suggests, the annuities can be annuitized. You can make a guaranteed income stream for a fixed period.

Annuities are basically insurance products and not investment securities and hence the insurance companies provide the guarantees to back them. However, you should keep in mind that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates only the variable annuities and not the fixed ones.

Annuities are a useful means to defer taxes on investments and generate assured regular income in retirement which is even more vital in a rising cost and energy environment because of new policies.

What Is a Mutual Fund?

In a mutual fund, investment companies collect money from investors and invest it on their behalf. The money goes into a mix of investment securities and money market instruments to maximize returns.

You can set up and use a 401(k) account, a brokerage account, or an individual retirement account (IRA) to invest in mutual funds. Investment specialists and money managers run mutual fund portfolios and are responsible to generate the maximum possible returns for their investors consistently.

There are several types of mutual funds, each based on its investment strategy and the nature of securities that it invests in:

  • Equity Funds invest entirely in stocks
  • Index Funds imitate the investment mix of a market index, and their performance is directly linked to that of the index
  • Exchange-Traded Funds trade on stock exchanges
  • Money Market Funds invest in debt instruments
  • Fixed Income Funds invest in bonds
  • Balanced Funds invest in both stocks and bonds
  • Sector Funds invest in a particular sector
  • Global Funds invest in overseas markets

Annuity or Mutual Fund: Factors to Consider Before Investing

Here is a comparison that may help you choose between the two types of investments:

Safety

If you do not foresee having a steady income post-retirement, a fixed annuity may be the best option for you. In a fixed annuity, the insurance company guarantees to pay you a particular amount until the end of your contract period. Variable annuities do not guarantee a specific amount, but some may have a minimum rate of return guaranteed by the insurance provider.

With mutual funds, there is no guaranteed income. The rate of returns on the money you invest varies a great deal depending on the market performance.

Expenses

Annuities have some of the highest associated expenses among the investment products.

Mutual funds, especially index funds, are very low on expenses.

Tax-Deferral

Tax on any income from annuities is deferred until the time of withdrawal. On withdrawal, only the capital gains are taxable.

In mutual funds, you are liable to pay taxes on dividends and capital gains. However, if you invest through an individual retirement account (IRA) or a 401(k) account, you are liable to pay tax only at the time of withdrawal.

Return on Investments

Mutual funds may offer variable returns based on market performance, while annuities offer assured returns. On the other hand, there are many charges and fees associated with the annuities, which, when deducted from your gains, tend to make the returns on investment much lower. 

Liquidity

With mutual funds there is no lock-in period, making it easier for you to sell and exit anytime you wish. 

With annuities, however, there can be a lock-in period, as long as 10 years sometimes. Any early withdrawal can attract high surrender charges which hurts even more in a slow growth or no growth economy.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for absolute safety, annuities are the best option for you. But if you do not mind some added risk with the potential to earn higher returns, you should invest in mutual funds. 

Personal Finance Tips to Follow When You Get Your First Job

Personal Finance Tips

Congratulations! You have landed your first job. It is an exciting time full of new experiences and challenges. Even as you are going about your responsibilities in the new job, you are probably looking forward to your first paycheck and have already begun a list of things you want to buy.

This is the right time to exercise some caution and have a concrete financial plan in place which is vital in a rising cost and tax environment because of new policy. Developing sound financial habits from your first job will stand you in good stead as you grow your career. Here are a few tips on how to manage your money right from the first paycheck.

Write down your financial goals

It’s critical to write them down as that will bring you greater clarity. Make a note of both short and long term goals. It is all right if your goals change at some point or when you have met one of your short term goals. You are doing this to help you plan your budget and to know how much to save and how much to spend.

Make a budget

You know what your income is and you know your priorities. Some expenses are unavoidable. Set aside a portion of your income to meet those expenses. With the leftover money, you can exercise a greater level of control and where it goes. Remember, you have a goal. Put aside another portion of your income towards that goal.

Keep track of your accounts

You may want to do it once a month or bi-weekly. It will keep you on track with your spending without running short at the end of the month. Keeping your checking accounts balanced will also ensure that there have been no unauthorized debiting of funds. 

Start saving

It is never too early to start saving. Set up a retirement fund from your first job. If you are only able to set aside a small portion of your income towards a 401K offered by your employer or any other available retirement funds, it is still alright. Ideally, you should plan to invest 15% of your income to this fund but you may want to consider investing more with higher energy prices and other costs that are rising in this new environment. 

Shop wisely

If you must shop, shop wisely. Make a list of things you need and stick to the list instead of getting tempted into impulsive buying. It will help if you make a separate list of things you want to buy and mull over the items for a day or two. You may realize that you can do without some of them, or at least prioritize your shopping list between the things you need and the things you want. 

Find the best deals

Scouring the various deals online would give you an opportunity to compare prices and choose the best deal. This is a smart habit to cultivate. There are plenty of deals on every item in the market from clothes to household articles. You will save quite a bit of money by doing your research before shopping. 

Irregular expenses

If you have a desire to travel, you may choose to set up a holiday fund and start adding to it with each paycheck. You will enjoy the trip more when you know that you are not dipping into your funds set aside for necessities and other savings.  

Incidental expenses

It is always best to be prepared for the odd incidental expenses that may come up. It could be as small as your phone bills or tips to porters. Or, it could be the odd repair work that needs attention. Keeping such expenses in mind will ensure that you do not sway from your original budget.

Watch your credit report

You do not want to be caught unawares when you are building your credit history. It is essential that you keep an eye on the credit report regularly as it will help ensure that you are not slipping to a lower rating because of some oversight in settling your bills. 

Monitor your progress

Every couple of months, you could study your accounts and compare the expenses incurred. It will give you a better idea as to your spending and saving. You can also plan for an improved lifestyle as you grow in your career and your income increases. 

The bottom line

Armed with these tips, you can feel secure and in control of your finances. No one can have a better idea of your needs and wants. Stay focused on growing your wealth as your income grows while you progress in your career. 

Best Practices to Take Control of Your Personal Finances

Personal Finances

You could win the Powerball jackpot and still end up broke simply because you did not manage your money well. You could also be earning a huge salary and find that most of the money’s gone before the month is out, leaving you strapped until the next paycheck (Allen Iverson almost knows about this – as do many others). That’s why it is good to be proactive and take control of your finances instead of asking yourself where the money went.

Here are 10 prudent tips to help you manage your personal finances effectively.

Set up separate bank accounts

You must set up a savings account and a checking account as soon as you land a job. Keeping your salary in these 2 accounts will ensure that you only spend the money from your checking account leaving the savings account intact for future goals.

Save first, spend later

Make sure that you have set up automatic withdrawal and deposit on the same day that you get paid. The deposit might go towards a retirement fund or an emergency fund. Do not miss out on the retirement plans offered by your employer (even the US military has TSP). What is important is to not wait until the end of the month to make that saving. Your spending budget should not take your entire income into account. Automatically moving a percentage of your income first will make sure that you can only access the spending money you have allocated in your budget.

Set up short and long-term financial goals

It is always best to set specific goals, for instance, do you want to buy a property when you reach a certain age? Do you have a clear idea of how much it will cost, even if it cannot be an exact figure as land and property prices can fluctuate? Then, count backwards to calculate the amount you will need to have on hand when that time comes and start saving. It will help to write your goals and the saving plan and place it where you can see it regularly.

Budget

Make a budget and stick to it. This is an important step to take if you wish to be in charge of your finances. When you list down your monthly expenses, you will find that it helps to know the bills that are to be paid routinely and the amount that is left over for saving, investing, or extra spending. This is vital when taxes and costs for goods are increasing because of new policies.

Monitor your spending

Once you know your monthly income and your budgeted amount for monthly bills, you will have a clear picture of how much money you can spend. This requires careful monitoring because it is way too easy to spend money thinking that you can just because you have paid all your bills. This will also help you see if there is an expense you can do without.

Live within your means

It is frugal living that fattens your bank balance. When you understand that you are not deprived of anything by living within your means, you will also realize that it is pretty easy to maintain a lifestyle that takes care of your needs without going overboard.

Set aside money for emergencies

Set aside some of your income each month towards emergencies. If there are no emergencies, you can be happy with the fact that you have saved a lump sum. If there is an emergency, you won’t have to panic and wonder where you will get the money from.

Educate yourself

You would do well to keep abreast of the latest tax laws to make sure that you maximize your savings. Keeping yourself well informed of the stock market and following the financial news will allow you to find safe investment opportunities.

Go for the discounts

There is no shame in looking for discounts and taking advantage of the offers made by retailers. If possible, take a more direct approach and master negotiation skills by working with small businesses. It can be a win-win for the business and you. Buying in bulk could get you a discount just as much as a long term relationship with a vendor. The idea is to avoid wasteful spending.

Take care of your health and property

Health – The body can throw in a lot of surprises along the way. It is best to be self-aware and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you schedule regular doctor appointments, including dental care. Eating right and exercising will also keep you away from avoidable health risks.

Property – Regular upkeep and careful handling of the things you own, big and small, can shave a lot of repair costs from your monthly expenses. This is a great habit to cultivate and will also teach you to value what you own.

Regardless of how much money there is to manage, these tips can help you stay on top of your spending and saving, and leave you financially secure.

3 Things Money-Saving Experts Believe Are Worth Splurging On

Things worth splurging on

Saving money doesn’t require you to live a life of deprivation or becoming a stingy spender, thinking a million times even before spending on essentials. What’s the point of earning money when you can’t live a comfortable life?

Financially sound people are smart spenders. They know where to become thrifty and what things are worth splurging on. To help you learn the art of smart spending, here we’re highlighting some of the things that even money-saving experts believe deserve to be splurged on:

1. Things That Can Improve Work Performance

Whether it’s something as simple as a planner or as extensive as a good laptop, career counseling, or courses to improve or learn new skills, experts believe that anything that can help improve your performance at work is worth spending on. For people who work from home, this could also mean investing in high-quality home office furniture and a reliable and efficient internet connection.

2. Services That Help Save Time

In today’s fast-paced world, most of us struggle with hectic schedules. In such a scenario, it’s worth paying for services that you may not consider necessary to make sure you invest your time and effort where it’s needed the most. These may include getting groceries delivered to your home, sending your clothes for laundry, or hiring a house cleaner.

3. Good Experiences

No material possessions can give you the pleasure that comes with good experiences. Invest in experiences that make you feel happy, relaxed, and help improve your health and well-being. These may include traveling, going to a spa, joining a club where you get to spend time with like-minded people, or getting a gym or sports club membership. In today’s highly stressful life, it’s worth splurging on experiences that make you feel alive, happy, and relaxed.

Whether you’re a thrifty spender or on a savings spree, don’t hold back from spending on things that can improve your health, well-being, and quality of life and help make it a little less stressful. Consider them investments rather than expenses and splurge on them if and when required.  

Image Credits

 Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

5 Ways to Practice Self-Control With Finances

person holding dollar bills

Money can provide relief, but it can also be a source of stress. If you find yourself struggling when it comes to practicing financial self-control, here are some helpful tips.

Resist Temptation

Start by cutting yourself off at the source. Yes, we’re talking about fewer trips to the mall and anywhere else you may find yourself at the mercy of impulsive tendencies.

Another effective strategy is to leave home without your debit and credit cards. That way, even if you’ve got your eyes on something, you simply won’t be able to buy it.

Unsubscribe

Once retailers get their hands on your email, they keep those discounts, special offers, and end-of-season sales coming. We know how tough these can be to resist, so do what we did. Simply unsubscribe from those dreaded email lists.

Don’t Save Your Autofill Info

Saving your information after a purchase sounds convenient, but this is actually a marketing strategy. The option to automatically fill out those boxes favors retailers more than it benefits you. When you have to type in your information each time you shop, you may second-guess your purchases. This is the biggest fear retailers have.

We’re pretty sure you can do without that floral scarf; your summer will be perfect without it.

Keep Tabs on How Much You Spend

This tip should really be filed under Financial Self-Control 101. Even someone who’s not actively trying to save will tell you just how important it is to track your expenditures. Maintain a budget sheet; looking at those numbers alone should help curb your spending.

Monthly Deductions

When you get your paycheck each month, immediately set an amount aside as savings. Refer to it as the ‘touch-me-not’ pile. You can even automate this process by setting up a separate bank account for the purpose.

Conclusion

Just like any other habit, financial self-control will become second nature once you start applying these tips. Trust us, it will pay off in the long run…literally and otherwise.

Make Sound Money Moves In Older Age – Investment Ideas for Seniors

Make Sound Money Moves In Older Age – Investment Ideas for Seniors

Retirement life has its own sets of perks and downsides. While you get to spend more time with your loved ones and enjoy life, in general, there is also a constant fear of running out of money. Ideally, everyone should start saving money for their retirement life in their 20s. However, it doesn’t always happen. Several surveys and research reports show that a large number of Americans are not saving enough to fund a comfortable retirement life.

If you belong to this group, your best bet to achieve financial security is to create a passive income stream. Following are some investment ideas for retirees and those close to retirement that do not involve many risks but will provide a decent return:

1. Fixed Income Investments

Fixed income investments do not provide great returns. But, they are considered safe investments because there is zero to very low risk of loss involved. Some of the most common fixed income investments include certificates of deposits, treasury bonds, municipal and corporate bonds, and government and agency bonds. Many companies also offer mutual funds, annuities, and other insurance products specifically tailored for seniors.

2. Dividend-Paying Stocks

These are basically well-established companies that disburse a part of their earnings among their shareholders. Since these are stocks, there is a bit of risk involved. However, returns on them are higher than fixed income investments. They also generally perform better in bear markets than growth stocks.

3. Real Estate Investment Trusts

As evident from the name, real estate investment trusts (REITs) are groups that invest in the real estate market, in mortgages or equity positions, and pay regular dividends to the investors. REITs are considered good investments because they are low-risk and provide good returns, higher than dividend stocks and fixed income investments.

These are three good low-risk investment ideas for seniors. While you can choose to invest in any one of them, it would be wise not to put all your eggs in one basket. A smart approach would be to divide your finances among multiple schemes.  

Image Credits

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

4 Personal Finance Tips for Young Adults

Finance tips for young adults

As a young adult, most of us earn only enough to get by with day-to-day expenses. Any thought of saving doesn’t even cross our minds because of the sheer impossibility of it.

However, if we play our cards rights, even little savings can make a world of difference in the long run. Here are some foolproof tips for young adults to manage their finances:  

1. Invest in Your Education

If there’s one expense you want to splurge in, make sure it is your education. Calling it an expense is illogical. Investing in your education can help you earn a lifetime of income. At this point in your age, think of specialized courses that will increase your worth as an employee and open doors of opportunities for you.

2. Start a Saving Fund

In our finances, we often forget to pay ourselves. Paying for the house rent, transport, college debts, necessities do not count as paying yourself. Every month, take any amount that you can spare and piggy bank it away.

This saving fund will feel like an absolute blessing when you’ll find yourself in an unexpected situation in the future.

3. Think Every Purchase Through

This is one of the best tips to follow when you are saving money for a better future. Every time you are going to buy something, ask yourself, ‘do I need it?’

4. Gift Yourself

To young folks, material possessions appear extra appealing. To dissuade yourself from impulsive buying, allow yourself to purchase just one thing within a budget each month. This way, you’d think long and hard before making a purchase.  

Saving money doesn’t mean you can’t have fun; it just doesn’t necessarily have to involve spending money. You can always read books at the library, try amazing new recipes at home, and enjoy the outdoors. Look out for free or low-cost fun activities and follow these saving tips to build a financially secured future for yourself.

Image Credits

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash 

Financial Planning And Strategies For Your Elderly Parents

Financial Planning

The 65-and-older population has seen rapid growth since 2010, as baby boomers born in the two decades after the second world war begin to gray. Based on the US Census Bureau reports, the country had more than 54 million residents aged 65 years and older as of July 1st, 2019.

The day may not be far when your aging parents are unable to take care of their own financial duties. Your parents might go through a deterioration of their cognitive abilities as well as a risk of falling prey to scammers looking to swindle them out of their hard-earned savings.

The financial responsibilities of your elderly parents need careful planning on your part.

Here we discuss some of the steps you can take to manage your parents’ finances.

Start the Conversation with Your Parents

Your parents may not need your help right now, but that should not stop you from starting a dialogue. As per the National Institute on Aging guidelines, you will need your parents’ written consent in advance to discuss their personal financial and medical matters with financial representatives, doctors, and Medicare executives.

Starting a conversation now will give a better idea of the degree of involvement expected from you, over time. Moreover, privacy laws may inhibit such conversations later.

Make Gradual Changes

They might need your help, but maybe hesitant to ask for it. The onus will be on you to be sensitive and work with them in a manner that takes care of their needs without making them uncomfortable.

Be wary of rushing in to take charge of your parents’ finances. Instead, extend your support only when needed at first, and then increase it gradually, so that it gives them time to be comfortable with the new arrangements.

Compile all the Important Documents

Take inventory of your parent’s account numbers, contacts, and legal documents. Prepare a list of insurance policies, certificates, deeds, and wills; and make sure that everything is up to date, and valid. While compiling this data, ensure the safety of all sensitive information and the security of the storage location.

Execute a Power of Attorney

A capable adult can sign a power of attorney to assign powers to another person to exercise choices and act on their behalf. A power of attorney can have a limited or broad scope, utility, or duration, and cover general, medical, or financial decisions.

A power of attorney on behalf of your parents provides you the legal authority to make the necessary decisions when your parents are not able to do so. An attorney conversant with elder law can help you to draft a power of attorney document according to your needs. These are the three documents you might need, to begin with:

A Durable Power of Attorney

This document appoints someone your parents can trust to look after their financial responsibilities should they be no longer capable to do so themselves.

A Health Care Proxy

Your parents can assign powers to a trusted individual to make medical decisions when they are incapable to do so.

A Will 

This legal document includes your parents’ wishes related to the division of their assets once they pass.

Executing these documents can be emotionally taxing, but you will need legal documentation if there is a sudden deterioration of your parent’s health, making them incapacitated to carry out these tasks.

Separate Your Finances

Avoid mixing your parents’ finances with your own, even if it seems convenient at the time. It is important to keep your funds and assets separate and not put your own financial and retirement goals in jeopardy while helping your parents.

Keep Your Loved Ones Informed

It’s vital to communicate with the other members of the family, especially siblings, yours as well as your parents’. This can reduce any chances of misunderstanding apart from the fact that relatives can extend their support in managing some of the responsibilities. 

Additional Practical Suggestions

  • Try to curtail your parents’ vulnerability to fraudsters by placing their phone number on the Do Not Call registry
  • Ensure the safety and security of all legal and financial documents
  • Keep copies of all financial transactions handled by you on your parents’ behalf
  • Make a budget and open a savings account
  • Consult an investment advisor for the assessment of your parents’ investments
  • Seek advice on when your parents should start withdrawals from their social security payments