Financial planning: How to prepare to become a caregiver

Financial caregiving is more than just physically taking care of loved ones; it also includes paying bills, managing investments and even filing taxes.

Currently, there are 40 million caregivers in America and 90% give some kind of financial support or provide their own finances to loved ones, according to a new study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave Bank.

“It’s hard, it’s a lot of time, [and] it’s a lot of emotional stress,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch retirement executive Kevin Crane told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”

Americans are spending $190 billion a year caring for parents and older loved ones, and while it has become a tremendous issue in terms of preparations, there are a number of things a caregiver can do to prepare.

The first thing a caregiver should do is get financial authority.

“What is the power of attorney that you need to execute? How do you get third party access? How do you set up the joint accounts?” Crane said.

The study also found  41% of people become sudden caregivers while also taking care of children. However acquiring financial planning support could help caregivers lay the groundwork for assistance.

“The sandwiched generation may be taking care of their children, maybe taking care of their… parents,” he said. “[Caregivers must have] the right financial planning to plan for—that they have the assets because they are giving $7,000 a year on average of their own money.”

For those who are elderly and may need outside assistance, caregivers should seek support in choosing the care for the people long-term.

“If you’re dealing with assisted living and a nursing home getting help in terms of what is the right facilities. How could you choose them and in what way?” Crane said.