Who's going to take care of me?

By Anne Chun, C.A., CFP

The cornerstone of a traditional Chinese family's financial and estate planning is to have a large family. You take care of the kids when they are young and they will take care of you when you are old. This worked in my grandmother's generation and still works in some families, but there is a new reality. Families are smaller, people are more mobile and your children could be living half way around the world from you. On the other hand, there are more singles (by choice or their spouse predeceased them), and of course, there is the situation where none of your children are able or willing to look after you when you are old and frail or that you don't trust them.

How can we maintain our standard of living, independence and pride?

There is a new service offered by some chartered accountants called Eldercare or PrimePlus. This is an array of financial and non-financial services that the client can choose from and tailor it to their needs. Some examples are:

  1. Preparation of income tax returns and tax planning.
  2. Payment of expenses, deposit of pension, investment or other income.
  3. Acting as Financial & Healthcare Power of Attorney.
  4. Review insurance coverage including long term care insurance.
  5. Budget for retirement expenses and lifestyle spending.
  6. Set up an Estate plan to minimize income tax and probate fees.
  7. Review and/or restructure investment strategies.
  8. Structure Family or Alter Ego or Spousal Trusts.
  9. Manage real estate and other property.
  10. Address Snowbird issues.

In the event family members are not able or willing to look after your financial affairs, or if an independent party is desirable, Eldercare/PrimePlus is your best solution. If you are one of the children and feel guilty that you may not be able to care for an aging parent or relative, Eldercare/PrimePlus ensures that your loved ones are cared for and their finances are monitored and managed in their best interest.

Eldercare/PrimePlus is suitable not just for seniors but for persons with disabilities.