facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog external search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
5 Financial Strategies for Retired Military Officers Caring for Elderly Parents Thumbnail

5 Financial Strategies for Retired Military Officers Caring for Elderly Parents

Managing Your Finances

After you retire from the military (or maybe before), there is a pretty good chance that you'll have to help or even take care of your parents. Anyone who is planning to care for elderly parents should consider some financial strategies to help make things easier.

Considerations Before Deciding to Care for Your Elderly Parents

You probably know your parents as well as anyone. You know whether they are proud or easy-going. Yet, you may not know how things have changed for them. You may want to help; however, they may not be ready to accept. Before even broaching the subject, look for signs that they may be struggling (financially or otherwise).

  • Check the fridge and cupboards. Does it appear they are buying less food than usual?
  • Are they taking their medication when they should and at the proper dosage?
  • Is their home or apartment in any disrepair?

These could be signs that they are in some financial stress. You may also want to look for common signs of the onset of dementia or any physical ailments you haven’t witnessed previously. If you see any of these signs, it may be time to talk.

Now, it’s time to consider strategies regarding how you’re going to manage the responsibilities you’re about to take on.

1. Don’t Fear Government Assistance

If you’re already well-off financially, this won’t be an issue for you. However, a dearth of finances may soon become one if you are taking care of two families. To begin with, see if you can qualify your parent(s) as a dependent(s). This may allow you to avail yourself of some benefits like Tricare Plus. Government assistance may have a negative connotation among some people you know. Yet, you’re undertaking a massive responsibility if you’re eligible, the government may help. You or your parents may qualify for:

  • Veterans benefits
  • Secondary Dependency from DoD
  • Medicaid/Medicare
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
  • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANIF) benefits
  • Help with utility bills and other services from your local government
  • Low-cost, subsidized cellphone service for seniors

The eligibility requirements for receiving some assistance is need-based. You might not qualify with your current, three-person household. However, if that household expands to five, things may change.

2. Make a Budget

You need to have an idea of what you can spend as well as what you need to spend. There’s likely to be a conflict between those two figures. You may be tempted to dip into any savings you may have, and that’s okay as long as you aren’t forced into depleting your savings.

3. Avoid New Debt

You are probably going to be relying on credit for some expenses, but it would be wise to avoid increasing your debt levels with new cards or personal loans. However, if the need arises, check out a local credit union for a low-interest option tailored to your needs.

4. Open a Savings Account

You'll want to have some extra funds available for the unexpected. Currently, savings accounts aren’t yielding the kind of interest your parents may be familiar with; however, they are very liquid and you can get your money regardless of what "the market" does. Online accounts may yield higher dividends because of the lack of overhead.

5. Secure Some Help

Your immediate family and siblings, or even extended family, may be affected by your decision to become the caregiver to your parents. You will need to talk to them to see if they want to help financially or otherwise or if they have objections to what you are doing. You may also consider talking to a financial advisor to see whether you are making as sound decisions with your money as you are in becoming a caregiver to your parents.

If you liked this article, you might like the following:

How to Avoid Getting Financially Squeezed in the Sandwich Generation

Affording Care for an Aging Parent


Top 5 Things Retired Military Business Owners Should Know about a Sep IRA

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC ), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC website or incorporated herein, and C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience, educational, and informational purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC . To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC ’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. DISCLAIMER OF TAX ADVICE: Any discussion contained herein cannot be considered to be tax advice. Actual tax advice would require a detailed and careful analysis of the facts and applicable law, which we expect would be time consuming and costly. We have not made and have not been asked to make that type of analysis in connection with any advice given in this blog post. As a result, we are required to advise you that any Federal tax advice rendered in this blog is not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by the IRS. In the event you would like us to perform the type of analysis that is necessary for us to provide an opinion, that does not require the above disclaimer, as always, please feel free to contact us.