You’re caring for an elderly parent
As your parents age and become increasingly frail, they will no doubt lean on you more and more. While it can be easier to provide that care if you’re no longer working, caregiving can also have hidden costs you may not be aware of at the outset.
If your parents (or in-laws) move in with you, you may need to make modifications to your home to accommodate their physical limitations. Or you may need to hire outside help, even if you plan to do the bulk of the caregiving yourself.
Talk openly with your parents when they are still healthy about what kind of care they want if their health declines. Find out about what resources they have available to pay for care — for example, long-term care insurance — so you’re not caught off-guard by a major medical expense.
And if you must provide significant care and support for your parents, look at tax credits and deductions Opens in new window to help offset some of these costs. Caregivers may be able to claim parents as dependents, deduct medical expenses and take the dependent care credit.
Your home needs updating
Over 80% of people who are 65 and older want to “age in place Opens in new window,” continuing to live in a home full of memories in a community they love. But a home that was perfect at 30, when you were still raising a family, may not work well when you’re in your 70s or 80s and are having more difficulty climbing the stairs.
Some home modifications, such as adding a grab bar in the shower or changing door knobs to levers, may cost less than $50. But others, such as widening doorways, creating entryways without thresholds or making bathrooms more accessible, can be substantial.
If you know that remaining in your home is an important goal, start budgeting for these renovations as soon as possible. Seniors with limited resources may be able to get some assistance through the Department of Health and Human Services. The ElderCare.gov Opens in new window website has more information.