Be Ready When Mom and Dad Move In With You
(USA Today 1-24-2012)
You can go home again — especially if you're Mom and Dad. An increasing number of older Americans are moving back in with their adult children. Since money is often a reason behind that decision, here are some financial guidelines:
See if Mom and Dad may be willing to contribute by regularly preparing meals or babysitting the grandchildren. Set clear guidelines.
Who can afford what?
Consider your parents' overall finances as well as your own to determine what's reasonable for everyone. Make obligations clear from the outset. "For instance, if the grandparents have a low retirement income but sizable nest egg, maybe they don't contribute financially every month but are responsible for their own medical costs and large one-time expenses," says Rebecca Schreiber of Solid Ground Financial Planning in Silver Spring, Md.
Consider listing them as dependents.
If you're paying most of your parents' expenses, you may be able to classify them as dependents for tax purposes.
Check your benefits.
Some workplace policies extend to adult dependents and cover such services as daily elder care.
Be open to options.
See if Mom and Dad may be willing to contribute by regularly preparing meals or babysitting the grandchildren. Again, set clear guidelines: "It's important to set boundaries about how the younger parents want to raise their children," Schreiber says.