So I’m feeling pretty good. My mind is a buzz, and I got a lot done at work today (Wed, 30May2018). It was a busy day but I still managed to get some personal stuff done as well during downtime and breaks. Namely, I was able to tackle some errands for my aunt. If you’re just joining us, she was staying with me for awhile and is slowly losing her mind. I’ve taken over managing her finances and what was overwhelming 3 weeks ago has been chopped down to bite-sized tasks that I’ve slowly tackled. Today was another mammoth task-ticking day and I thought I’d celebrate this mini-milestone with My Journey readers…all 3 of you 👀! In fact almost every day in the the last week or so has generated some new idea for a blog post. So before I draft them all into incomplete draft obscurity, here’s a quick listicle of what I learned just today from managing my aging aunt’s finances!
What no one tells you about managing your aging parents’ finances
- They will be auto-enrolled by someone in lots of things for which they no longer remember the email address or password.
- You will spend lots of time getting to know customer service agents via phone no less… during your work day (for those of us not FIRE’d).
- They will likely have been swindled by some automatic withdrawals for fees or services they don’t utilize or of which the are unaware.
- There will be late fees.
- They will have overpaid for something or many things.
- They will have purchased something for which they have no need (e.g. loss of income insurance, international calls, and unlimited texting).
- The medical bills are plentiful and outrageous. Donut hole…what that? Medicare Part what now?
- You will have to navigate life as caretaker and child (care-receiver).
- It is difficult establishing your independence while they assert theirs.
- They have two to six cell phones for some reason. None of which they know how to adequately use.
- They bought DVDs for you to watch the next time you come visit and for you to take home with you. You don’t have a DVD player.
- They’re happy to see everyone… all the time. It’s as though they can feel their life slipping away from them even if little else registers.
- So many unanswered questions that will remain that way.
- Why are you using $150 worth of electricity/month for just you? In your country, you used to fetch kerosene.
- You’re really paying $100 for just cable? For what again?
- Why do you need so much car insurance?
- They’ve forgotten how to bargain shop or can’t be bothered. Why do you have chips that cost $7? Where did you even get those?
- This is a woman who used to split an extra value meal among 3 kids instead of getting each a Happy Meal. #thrifty
- We used to get Blizzards only when they were free at Dairy Queen when the temperature was below zero.
- Some companies (no affiliates) are really helpful when you share your experience and even when you don’t.
- Amazon Prime refunded monthly charges for 7 months where my oldie had signed up and not used the service.
- Credit One removed late charges when asked.
- Bank of America credit card (worst bank based on previous experiences) refunds security deposits. Apparently if your credit is bad enough, they require a security deposit.
- Bank of America in branch customer service was helpful when trying to re-establish online access.
- Spectrum (internet/cable provider) stops charging late fees on balances after the internet/cable account is deactivated for non-payment.
- Meals on Wheels didn’t charge late fees for a past due balance.
- Some companies are not really helpful.
- SANTANDER is the worst. The literal worst. They will break usury laws and get away with it because they don’t offer car loans…they offer “retail installment contracts.”
- Said installment contract for my oldie’s car has now tallied up 30% of simple interest and counting. The limit for her state is 18%.
- After you stop being annoyed with all the additional responsibilities of caring for your favorite oldie, you’ll learn to enjoy their company once again. Cheers!
Comment below and share your story. How have your parents changed as they’ve gotten older? Did they get more lax or less bothered about anything? What about between siblings?