South Shore Breaker
Caregivers must look after their finances
If you’re a caregiver, possibly for a loved one dealing with an illness, you’re probably already facing some significant emotional and physical challenges — so you don’t need any financial ones as well. Yet, they are difficult to avoid. What steps can you take to deal with them?
Whatever your relationship to the individuals for whom you’re providing care, you can take some steps to protect your own financial future. Here are a
You may have benefits through your employer that provide you with flexibility and/or income in the event you need to take time away to provide for the care of a loved one. The federal Employment Insurance programs provides financial assistance of up to 55 per cent of your earnings, to a maximum of $573 a week. Benefits may be available for you to provide care or support to a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care.
EVALUATE JOB OPTIONS
If you have to take time away from work — or even leave employment altogether — to be a caregiver, you will lose not only income but also the opportunity to contribute to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan or other employersponsored retirement plan. But you may have some options, such as working remotely, or at least working part time. Either
arrangement can give you flexibility in juggling your employment with your caregiving responsibilities.
Depending on your circumstances, and those of the loved ones for whom you’re providing care, you might be able to work out an arrangement in which you can get paid something for your services. And as long as you are earning income, you can contribute to an RRSP or invest in a Tax-free Savings Account to keep building resources for your own retirement.
You may well want to discuss legal matters with the individual for whom you are a caregiver. It may be beneficial to work with a legal professional to establish a financial power of attorney — a document that names someone to make financial decisions and pay bills when the person no longer can. And whether you or someone else has financial power of attorney, the very existence of this document may help you avoid getting your personal finances entangled with those of the individual for whom you’re caring.
Kevin Dorey is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. Based In Tantallon, Kevin specializes in helping individuals reach their serious, long-term investment goals. Edward Jones is a member of the Canadian Investor rotection Fund.