Most of us, were blessed with wonderful parents, who cared for our every need as we developed into the people we are today.

Caring for a family member

Caring for an ailing family member is something that almost 5 million Canadians between the ages of 45 and 64 face. Almost 50% of that number are caring for an aging parent.

People from this “sandwich” generation worry about providing education for their children, caring for their parents, and preparing for their own retirement years. They are very aware that their retirement days are really just around the corner.

Few people in Canada think about or prepare for the emotional and financial commitment involved in taking care of an aging parent. With planning, you can address these issues, and make the experience much more positive for both you and your parents.

There are four important areas to consider; Planning for Long Term Care, Renovating Your Home, Managing Your Finances and Estate Planning.

Planning for Long Term Care:
Most people think of long-term care as something provided in nursing homes, however, 92% of older people in Canada actually live in their own home, or with a family member. An Elder Planning Counsellor can explore with you, options ranging from home and supervisory care, as well as day programs for older seniors requiring assistance. They can also help you understand the unique needs, wants and issues that may be needed, as your parent moves through their retirement years, from being independent to becoming dependent.

Depending on what province you live in, long-term costs can be anywhere from $20,000.00 to $50,000.00, and can quickly reduce a healthy portfolio.

Recently, one of my clients, a grandmother aged 88, suffered a severe fall and broke her collar bone. After a week, she returned from hospital to live in her retirement residence. Soon family members realised that she was no longer able to feed or dress herself, and was not even able to push her walker to and from the bathroom.

All of her siblings and children lived out of province, except for one daughter who lived nearby. She decided to accept the responsibility to oversee her mother’s care. Since the daughter worked full-time, there was no choice but to hire a care giver. She reluctantly withdrew $20,000 from her mother’s investments to cover the attendant’s costs, which were above and beyond the monthly residential fee.

In another instance, while still living at home, an elderly man fell and injured himself. In this situation, he required care 24 x 7. The expenses for the care giver, running of the home, electrical, water, property taxes, outdoor maintenance and housekeeping added up to a staggering $30,000.00, for just one month!

For financial planning purposes, a very cost effective strategy we discuss with our clients is the option to leverage their current Permanent Life Insurance to cover unexpected large bills. This really comes in hCaring For an Aging Parentandy. Instead of taking money out of their registered savings accounts and paying the taxes, which could seriously deplete their savings and potentially reduce their income, they pledge the policy to a bank for a bank loan, which is usually provided at their lowest rate of interest. They end up with more untaxed funds, while still maintaining their income.

Exploring all your options for your Future Care is so important. Please call me today at 905.206.9387 for your complimentary article, Options for Care as You Age.

Remember… it’s never too late to form a plan. Call me today, I can help.

Margaret Janecki
Margaret Janecki, EPC
Tel. 905.206.9387
Cel. 519.573.3147

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Source; BMO Wealth Management

The Sandwich Generation: Caring For Aging Parents, by Margaret Janecki EPC

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