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Making Finances Easier for Older Family Members

3. Health care. Some older people are reticent to ask for the health care they deserve and are entitled to. It's easy to get lost in or confused by the Medicare bureaucracy. A younger-generation family member can intervene to make sure loved ones receive appropriate health care and do not overpay for health insurance or out-of-pocket medical expenses. Be available to help your family member deal with routine or non-routine medical needs.

4. Investments. While many retirees enjoy paying attention to their investments, the time may come when they are no longer able to do so. To handle this possibility, ask the relative to request that duplicate copies of investment statements go to you—even if the relative uses an adviser—so that you can monitor what's going on with your loved one's nest egg. In addition, encourage your parents to contact you any time anyone asks them to make an investment they don't understand.

5. Day-to-day money concerns. Be alert for situations causing or revealing money problems. A sudden change in spending habits, late filing of tax returns, or late payment of bills may indicate that a parent or other relative is simply unable to maintain his or her day-to-day finances. That doesn't necessarily mean that a parent is having trouble making ends meet, but the assistance of a child or other family members is probably necessary. This may involve taking over the chores of paying bills and making sure household and income records are organized.

All the information presented on AARP.org is for educational and resource purposes only. We suggest that you consult with your financial or tax adviser with regard to your individual situation. Use of the information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.

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