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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

June 18, 2012
The High Cost of Caring for Your Parents

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Helping your elderly parents financially doesn't have to jeopardize your financial wellbeing and future. Find out how to protect yourself.


If you're part of the "sandwich generation" that supports their parents financially in addition to their kids, you need to make sure you're also protecting your own financial wellbeing. Here are a few tips:

  • You may be able to claim your parents as dependents for tax purposes if you provide more than half of their financial support.
  • If you participate in employer-sponsored flexible spending accounts, ask HR whether expenses you pay for your parents' health and dependent care qualify for reimbursement.
  • If your parents are low-income, there's a broad range of government-sponsored programs that supplement food, utility, rent and medication bills.
    • Bottom line: Helping your parents is a noble goal; just don't let your own finances suffer.

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