When using holiday gift cards, 51% of recipients
spent more than the value of the card.
Should I cosign a
loan or credit card
for my son?
No. That’s too risky for you. A cosigned loan or card appears as outstanding debt on your credit report,
which could hurt your credit score
and then your ability to borrow. Being
held responsible for your son’s debt
could damage your credit rating even
more if he winds up making late payments. And if your son were to default
on the loan altogether, the lender
could come after you and your assets.
What are the potential
expenses—if my mom
moves in with us?
The savings can be big. Living with
you eliminates mom’s mortgage or
rent, property taxes, homeowner’s
insurance, utilities, and home-
maintenance bills. Her transporta-
tion costs will be reduced if she no
longer needs her own car, and you’ll
save by not traveling to visit her.
Who can help me
if Dad moves in?
Research your community’s
senior care resources. This is important, since it’s not always easy to
find dependable transit services or
physicians accepting new Medicare
patients. Your dad may need help
getting to doctors’ appointments and
developing a social life. “Many communities have wonderful volunteer
services that can help on both fronts,”
says Karen Schaeffer, a Rockville,
Maryland, financial planner whose
mother and mother-in-law have lived
with her and her husband at different
times. Towns and counties often have
agencies on aging dedicated to helping elderly residents. Another useful
resource is a geriatric care manager,
who can tell you what’s likely to work
best for your situation. Cost: typically
$50 to $200 per hour. You can find
these pros at caremanager.org, or ask
your agency on aging for referrals. ;
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Back of the Envelope
FROM TOP: ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVER MUNDAY; PHOTO: NICHOLAS EVELEIGH (PROP STYLIST:
JESSE NEMETH); ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE SANFORD; GIFT-CARD SOURCE: BIGRESEARCH SURVEY
CARING FOR A
Get tips and interactive tools at the Caregiving
Resource Center, aarp.org/caregivers.