Nearly half of baby boomers manage finances for their parents, but they’re going it alone
New e-book from Holiday Retirement addresses financial caregiving and provides tips for managing senior finances
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (June 20, 2017) — Nearly half of baby boomers either manage or help manage an aging relative’s finances, according to a recent national poll of American adults ages 53 to 71, an age group which makes up nearly one-fourth of the U.S. population. As baby boomers tackle financial caregiving, their learnings can provide important insights for caregivers of all ages who are currently confronting one of the more delicate, yet important, decisions of their families’ lives: when and how to step up to protect an aging parent or loved one’s financial security.
Holiday Retirement commissioned the survey to understand baby boomers’ level of involvement in managing their parent’s or other aging loved one’s finances. The survey also uncovers the actions baby boomers have taken and tools they have used to help adults better understand how to manage an aging loved one’s finances.
“For adult children of older adults, stepping up to help a parent – without overstepping boundaries – can be challenging and awkward at times,” said Jamison Gosselin, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Holiday Retirement. “This is true when making decisions about senior living, about health concerns, and particularly about finances. In all of these areas, learning from others can help you feel more comfortable and prepared to be a resource to your aging loved one.”
The survey revealed the following key trends.
Half of baby boomers provide financial caregiving.
While baby boomers more frequently assist with finances rather than take the reins, a significant number are stepping up to help manage their parents’ money.
- Nearly half (43%) of surveyed baby boomers manage or help manage finances for a parent or aging relative.
- Nearly twice as many (28%) surveyed baby boomers assist with an aging loved one’s finances rather than directly manage (15%).
- The oldest respondents (67-71 years of age) were likeliest (53%) to manage or help manage an aging loved one’s finances.
Most who are helping felt obligated to help.
Survey respondents who help manage or directly manage their aging loved one’s finances were either asked to do so or had an external indication that it was time to intervene.
- At 29%, respondents most frequently cited diminished capacity, such as from dementia or Alzheimer’s, as a main motivation to manage a loved one’s finances.
- About 1 in 6 (16%) surveyed baby boomers say a loved one asked them to help or expressed disinterest in handling finances on his or her own.
- Another group (16%) of respondents noticed mismanagement affecting the parent’s or loved one’s livelihood and felt obligated to step in.
Those who help their parents do not seek help themselves.
Among the surveyed baby boomers, two-thirds (65%) have access or visibility to their parents’ bank accounts, half directly pay their parents’ bills, 42 percent have financial power of attorney and 41 percent have a joint bank account with the loved one they are helping.
However, many boomers are going it alone, and few use technology (4%) or have hired professional help, including financial planners (3%) or estate planners (5%), to assist with the management process, despite the large undertaking.
Lack of planning and protection are pain points.
Survey findings revealed that baby boomers are most concerned about their loved ones falling victim to financial abuse or insufficient planning.
- The most prevalent fear at 40 percent of respondents was that their parents would be scammed.
- Many survey respondents were concerned their loved ones would lack insufficient funds to afford retirement or senior living options (30%), pay medical bills (26%) or simply maintain their lifestyle (28%).
Saving for senior living was overwhelmingly lauded as the best financial decision made.
In the survey, 41 percent of respondents said that the best financial decision their parents had made was a retirement or senior living provision.
Tied for second place were preparing ahead for retirement (11%) and saving (11%).
Assisting with parents’ finances is on baby boomers’ minds weekly.
One-third of baby boomers surveyed spend 1 to 4 hours per week dedicated to financial caregiving.
Learning from others is key.
Holiday Retirement has developed a free resource, “Managing senior finances: stepping up to help your parent,” to help adult children understand when and how to step up as a financial caregiver and discover actionable steps for maintaining a loved one’s financial security.
Learn more about providing financial help to aging parents and loved ones at stepupfinances.com.
About the survey
Holiday Retirement commissioned a survey of American baby boomers to gain an understanding of their financial concerns about their aging parents or other relatives. The research was conducted by ORC International, a collaborative and consultative research partner to hundreds of organizations around the globe. The survey was live March 14-19, 2017, and conducted among a sample of 1,000 adults between the ages of 53 and 71. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.
About Holiday Retirement
Since 1971, Holiday Retirement has endeavored to provide its signature “Holiday Touch” to residents and their families. Today, Holiday is a trusted name in senior living and provides security, comfort, and value to independent seniors seeking a fulfilling lifestyle. Holiday operates more than 300 retirement communities, making it the second largest senior housing operator in the United States. For more information about Holiday Retirement, please call 800-322-0999 or visit www.holidaytouch.com.