They taught you how to read, ride a bike, and look both ways before crossing the street. Now that they’re older, a parent may need your help. From keeping an eye on their checking account to teaching them about fraud, there are many ways to be there for them. Below are a few ways to help senior parents with banking.
You want the best for your parents. Sometimes, that means stepping up and helping them with money matters. If your parent is struggling with any of the following, we provide you with the best ways to support them.
Signs Your Parent May Need Help with Money Matters
1. Forgotten Bills
One forgotten bill isn’t the end of the world, but it’s important to not let this become a habit. On-time payments are a crucial factor in determining a credit score, and it’s important to maintain a good credit score even in retirement. Should they want to refinance, your parent is more likely to secure a mortgage loan with a favorable rate and term if they have a good score.
If you notice past due bills when visiting your parent, consider helping them set up automatic payments through their bank or credit union. This way they won’t have to make a trip to the branch and their credit is protected. Just be sure they have enough funds in their account each month. For an added layer of protection, help them review their options for overdraft protection.
2. Scam Calls
Is your parent receiving a slew of unsolicited calls from people they don’t know? Help them avoid elder fraud by teaching them how to respond if they suspect it. Unsolicited calls from people claiming to be from a government agency, charity, or financial institution are a red flag. Remind your parent they should never:
- Answer a call from a number they don’t recognize.
- Share personal or bank information with someone they don’t know or trust.
You can adjust the settings on your parent’s phone to potentially silence unknown callers and send them straight to voicemail.
3. Disorganized Documents
If you needed to find information about your parent’s finances, would you or they know where to look? If the answer is no, it’s crucial to sit down and help them organize important documents. A filing system for records like powers of attorney, bank statements, tax returns, and more will ensure all items are at your disposal should they be needed in the future.
4. Missing Budget
Does your parent have a good grasp on any retirement income coming in along with necessary expenses for the month? If not, a budget can help them identify where money is coming in, where it needs to go, and if they need to make any changes to set themselves up better for the future.
Tip: You can sit down with your parent and view all their accounts – even those from different financial institutions and investment companies– with Money Management. This highly visual dashboard gives you a holistic picture of your finances so you can monitor debt, track goals, and more!
5. Room for Guidance
If aspects of your parent’s finances fall outside of your wheelhouse, like investments or retirement income, don’t shy away from seeking professional assistance. An Investment Services advisor available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P.1 will develop a plan tailored to your parent’s needs based on flexible solutions.
GECU is ready to serve your family, generation after generation. We do everything we can to set you and yours up for success. This includes providing: