How to Help Elderly Parents With Debt

Navigating Debt Assistance for Elderly Parents: A Comprehensive Guide‍

The roles often reverse as we grow older; children become caregivers to their parents. But the realm of financial caregiving can be tricky, especially when it comes to how to help elderly parents with debt. Discussing finances can be a tightrope walk, and it’s even more challenging if your parents are grappling with debt in their twilight years.

The Debt Dilemma in the Golden Years

According to the BDO’s latest Affordability Index, 44% of individuals aged 55 years and above are in debt. This rising trend of debt among the elderly population makes it essential to know how to help elderly parents with debt.

The Unexpected Revelation: Parents in Debt

Rebecca shared an all too common story about an elderly client she assisted, Evelyn, a pseudonym. Evelyn, in her late 70s, was a widow left to manage her deceased husband’s business debt. Their children were unaware of the financial troubles until one day, an email regarding the debt popped up on Evelyn’s iPad.

This shocking revelation led Evelyn’s son to research online and seek professional help. At the time of the first meeting with Rebecca, Evelyn had an unsecured debt of over $60,000.

Debt Management: The Road Ahead

Evelyn’s fear of losing her home and possessions was understandable, given her perception of debt assistance was limited to bankruptcy. Rebecca reassured her by introducing her to a consumer proposal, a debt reduction tool where a Licensed Insolvency Trustee negotiates with your creditors to cut down your debt. In Evelyn’s case, her debt was decreased by 70%, bringing her monthly payments from $900 to $275.

Detecting Debt: Indicators to Look Out For

As parents often hesitate to discuss their debt with their children, recognizing the signs of financial distress becomes vital. Unopened bills, sudden asset sales, and financial troubles following the loss of a spouse can be indicators of a debt problem.

Assisting Parents with Debt: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Empathize: Understand Their Concerns

Recognizing your parents’ debt can be a challenging revelation, and knowing what to do next can be even harder. Approach them with empathy, understanding their fears and hesitations.

2. Be Proactive: Get Involved

If your parents’ debt has reached unmanageable levels and they’re not seeking help independently, it might require you to be more involved. This could involve helping them understand their financial standing, creating a sustainable budget, or exploring debt relief options.

3. Facilitate Debt Relief: Be Their Pillar of Support

If it becomes apparent that your parent needs professional debt help, stand by them as they embark on this journey. Remember, the first step is often the hardest.

4. Follow Up: Offer Continued Support

Once your parent has entered a debt relief program, continue to check in on them. Ensure they’re managing their payments and assess if they need an alternative debt relief program.

Consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

An encounter with financial trouble can be unnerving, especially for elderly parents who have managed their finances independently all their life. Consulting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help alleviate their stress and worries. Experts like Bankruptcy Canada’s Licensed Insolvency Trustees take time to understand your parents’ unique circumstances and recommend the best debt relief option.

Helping elderly parents with debt may seem like a daunting task, but with empathy, patience, and the right assistance, it can be managed effectively. After all, the journey is about empowering them to regain control over their finances and live their golden years with peace and dignity.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.