Five Tips For Saving Money When You Are Caring For An Elder Relative Or Loved One

8 January 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Caring for an elder relative who can no longer care for themselves can be a loving and rewarding way to spend your time, but it can also be hard and expensive. Want to shave some of the costs down? Take a look at these ideas:

1. Explore the caregiver tax credit.

If your loved one is mostly or completely reliant on you and he or she earns less than $3,950 annually, as of 2014, you may be able to claim him or her as a dependent on your return. This means you will receive a standard deduction for this dependent, and that deduction helps to lower your taxable income, reducing the amount of tax you owe.

2. Track your expenses.

If your loved one qualifies as your dependent, you can take his or her medical expenses into account on your income tax return. You can include everything from co-pays, to insulin as medical expenses, and if the total exceeds 10 percent of your income, you can claim the excess as a deduction on your income tax return.

If you are over the age of 65, you may claim a deduction for all of the medical expenses over $7,500.

3. Buy supplies with a flexible spending account.

If you don't qualify for the caregiver tax credit, consider buying your loved one's medical supplies with a flexible spending account. This employer-based perk allows you to spend pre-tax income on everything, from medication, to contact solution.

Also, remember to check the tax rules. They are always changing, and new credits for caregivers have been proposed by some politicians.

4. Consolidate your living arrangement.

Maintaining separate homes can be very expensive, and if you are looking for ways to save money, consider moving in together. Even selling both of your homes and moving into one that is slightly larger can be cheaper than paying the bills from two homes.

5. Outsource some of your loved one's care.

Instead of doing all of the work, consider outsourcing some of your loved one's care to a professional. Spending money on a home health aid may sound counterproductive when you are trying to save money.

However, you need to crunch the numbers, and if you can earn more than you pay the caretaker, you may want to delegate some of the care responsibilities.

For more tips on how to save money while taking care of an elder loved one, contact a home healthcare agency {like Neighbors Home Care Services}.