Financial advice for my aging mother

Discussion in 'Money makeover' started by bess, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. bess

    bess Frequent Poster

    I am trying to support my mother to sort out some of her financial affairs. She is avoidant and although we should probably engage the services of a financial advisor, I don't think I'll get her that far. Today we looked through her latest bank statements - the last time we did this was in 2013. I am looking for some simple straightforward pointers (e.g. specific accounts/funds) to work towards. I am one of four children, we are all financially independent of her.

    Age: 70
    Spouse’s/Partner's age: NA (Father RIP)

    Annual gross income from employment or profession: total approx 22k (10 k farm income and 12 k widows benefit)

    Monthly take-home pay (approx 1700?)

    Type of employment: My mother inherited a farm (approx 70 acres) which she ran until she married and then with my father. She kept this going until about 15 years ago when it became too much for her. At the moment, she has leased sheds and fields etc to neighbours at a rate set years ago. Definitely mates rates but her priority is also hassle free... She has a herd number and the 10k income is made up of grants/subsidies. She is pretty vague on the details here and I myself haven't a clue of how the farm worked/works at the moment.

    In general are you:
    (a) spending more than you earn, or
    (b) saving?
    She is living within her means

    Rough estimate of value of home: 140k
    Amount outstanding on your mortgage: 0
    What interest rate are you paying?

    Other borrowings – car loans/personal loans etc: None

    Do you pay off your full credit card balance each month? NA
    If not, what is the balance on your credit card? NA

    Savings and investments:
    So here are the main queries...
    My mother has 135,000 sitting in current accounts in various banks- for a couple of years these were in funds/savings accounts

    Do you have a pension scheme? No.

    Do you own any investment or other property? No

    Ages of children: 40, 38, 36, 34.

    Life insurance: None

    We are looking at doing some renovations to the house- approx 20k (ie installing downstairs bathroom/shower and kitchen living renovations to support comfort for older age.) and also at updating car- approx 12 k. She manages to pay the big expenses like car insurance and health insurance from her yearly

    Does anyone have any advice going forward? I would like to support her to both protect her assets and also protect herself as she is pretty clueless financially and could easily be talked into unwise financial decisions...
  2. SBarrett

    SBarrett Frequent Poster

    Your mum seems to be doing alright. Maybe streamline the bank accounts so they are easy to manage. Keep the money in cash. The new car and house refurb can come out of savings. Is her will up to date and does she have enduring power of attorney so someone ie you can manage her money if her mental capacity goes?

    Maybe get a grasp on what is going on with the farm and how the subsidies, rents etc work. Can a neighbour help you with this?

  3. Firehead

    Firehead Frequent Poster

    You should contact your Local Authority as they have grants available for people over 66 to do work to the house as outlined.
  4. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

    A 70 acre farm is a valuable asset and depending on where it is, might be an extremely valuable asset. Is it her intention to carry the farm while she lives, then leave it to someone or everyone, or God forgive me if she has to move into a nursing home will it have to go towards subsidising that scenario when/if it happens? New rules are going to come in on that. Not nice for any of you to bring this up but it needs doing in my opinion for everyone's peace of mind. Good advice has already been given on other points raised.
    Dan Murray likes this.
  5. Dan Murray

    Dan Murray Frequent Poster

    Can you explain what this means precisely please?
  6. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

    "Precisely" I cannot do as no details are available. The goverment were talking of a new fair deal scheme and one wonders how they will class a persons assets if a farm is involved.
  7. Dan Murray

    Dan Murray Frequent Poster

    Gotcha - thanks......was just wondering had I missed something. Thanks again.
  8. elcato

    elcato Moderator

    Consolidate all the bank accounts into two accounts (existing is probably easier), one for savings only say 100k and one for day to day expenses say the remainder. Get online banking on the day to day and just take a note of the other. I'm guessing she has a normal current account anyway so adding online might be just easier. Explain to your mother about the 100k maximum cover for deposits and tell her it is easier all round to keep it simple. My mother always liked using cheques so maybe that would be more comfortable for her to keep a track and just tell her that the online access will make it easy to track those cheques.