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Like many young people, Gene Holmes from Chicago sometimes looked at her mother for financial help. However, the role was canceled a couple of years ago, when the income of a 34-year-old public relations officer increased, and her 70-year-old mother retired.

"He turned from me, asking me to borrow money, so she asked me to borrow money," Holmes said. Today Holmes allocates money every month to help her with rent and other bills. "She retired and receives social security, which is not even close enough to get through," says Holmes.

An increasing number of elderly people find themselves in need of financial assistance. A study published this month by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project showed that filing bankruptcy petitions among people over 65 years has tripled since 1991. Sometimes medical expenses are to blame; in other cases, older people believe that they did not save enough to retire. Like Holmes, many adult children come in to provide their parents with financial assistance.

"Out of love and anxiety, we often try to help our family members, but we need to understand some compromises," said Camila Williams-Kemp, vice president of long-term care for Northwestern Mutual.

If you plan to provide material assistance to mom and dad, here's how to balance it according to your own needs:

Determine the cost

Before you take financial assistance, make sure that you are clear about the costs. According to the North-West mutual in 2018, C.A.R.E. The study, 34 percent of caregivers spend more than 20 percent of their monthly budget on caring for loved ones. It can easily add from 500 to 1000 dollars a month, says Williams-Kemp, so make sure you understand what you are subscribing to.

Speak

Ask your parents what they need and tell them how you can help, "said Josh Simpson, an investment adviser at Lake Advisory Group in The Villages, Florida. Include brothers and sisters in conversations. They can contribute, which will reduce the burden on any person. You can also find out that your parents have a source of funds that you did not know about, says Williams-Kemp.

View the personal cost

Think about how to help mom and dad affect your own future. Do you have to postpone retirement? Will you take extra debt? If you are married, make sure that your spouse is ok with your plans, "Simpson says.

Look for ways to save your savings

Look, there are government benefits that could help your parents financially, suggests Simpson. Website of the National Council on Aging BenefitsCheckup.org can help you determine the programs that your parents can claim. Some people also take more hours at work or get part-time jobs to help with additional costs, so they do not need to spend their savings, says Williams-Kemp.

Avoid sabotaging your retirement

"If you can not afford to keep your own retirement, you are really limited to what you can do to help your parents," Simpson says. If you use retirement savings to help, your children can eventually help you in the future. Instead, cut spending on discretionary spending, such as family vacations, food and entertainment.

Prepare in advance

James Colzo began to help his parents financially at the age of 39 after his father fell ill in 1992. "In 1993, I took on family finances and fought them monthly until 2013, when my mother passed away," he says.Colozzo, now 57, says he is still trying to recover from the loss of financial care. others in this situation, he wrote a book about his struggle called "You must do what you need: my experience as a guardian caring for my parents for more than twenty years." He calls someone with aging parents to find out what they are will do if their parents experience a financial crisis.

"Find out if they have insurance for a long time. Most people who have live parents should think about it. "

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