Posts Tagged "parents"

Health Risks & Family History

Posted by on Nov 18, 2021 in Health Signals |

We don’t choose our blood relatives but, in some cases, our future health may depend on knowing more about them! Our genetic make-up may increase our risk or pre-dispose us to developing chronic conditions or diseases. Knowing our family’s health history may help us take steps today to prolong both our years of life…and add life to our years!   Lifestyle choices have a major effect on our health, but tuning into our family health history helps us know our risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer. Identifying these risks early on can spur us to take action to reduce them.   According to a recent article published by Manulife Financial, here are some things to look for in your family’s health history: several closely related individuals affected with the same or related conditions a common disease that occurred at an earlier age than expected (i.e., 10 to 20 years before most people would get the disease) sudden death in someone who seemed healthy an individual or couple with three or more pregnancy losses a disease that does not usually affect a certain gender (e.g., breast cancer in a male) certain combinations of diseases within a family (e.g., breast and ovarian cancer, or heart disease and diabetes) To put the risks in perspective, the article also suggests looking at the lifestyle habits of family members who have the same disease. This could be a key factor in increasing or decreasing your risk, depending on whether you share or avoid the same lifestyle habits.   Your whole family can benefit from you taking the lead on compiling your family’s health history. Include grandparents, parents and their immediate families as well as your own siblings, their children and yours, in these discussions.  Consult older family members who may recall information about relatives that you may never have known. Here are some things you can ask about: A list of health problems How long family members lived, and what they died from Pregnancy losses or birth defects Ethnicity (some conditions are more common in certain groups) Lifestyle habits that may have contributed to longevity, early illness or premature death   Share what you find out with your family doctor. Our family history is usually only one of several risk factors. Work with your doctor to help assess risks both for you and younger family members, and put together a plan for reducing those risks. (c) ElderWise Inc., 2012. You have permission to reprint any ElderWise INFO, provided you do so in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc., Canada’s go-to place for boomers with aging parents and for anyone who wants to do “age-smart” planning. For more information, visit     Ready to compile your own or your family’s health history? Learn more about our interactive workbook, My Passport to Health and Wellness.  ...

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Tax Breaks for You and Your Caregivers

Posted by on Apr 3, 2021 in Financial and Tax Matters |

With many Canadians caring for aging parents or receiving care ourselves, it’s good to know that there may be federal and provincial tax breaks available to us: Below are excerpts from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website,, detailing three of the available federal benefits. Click on the links below for more information, and note that these benefits apply not just to the elderly, but to any qualified care recipients over the age of 18, such as adult children. Caregiver Tax Credit You may be eligible for this tax credit if you meet ALL of the following conditions: • You maintained a dwelling where you and a dependant lived at any time during the calendar year. • Your dependant is: * your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child or grandchild; or *your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s brother, sister, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, parent, or grandparent who was resident in Canada. • This person was not only visiting you. • Your dependant meets all of the following conditions: * 18 years of age or older at the time he or she lived with you; * Net income in 2011 (line 236 of his or her return, or the amount that it would be if he or she filed a return) of less than $18,906; and * Dependent on you due to an impairment in physical or mental functions or, if he or she is your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent, born in 1946 or earlier. • You did not have to make child support payments for this dependant. • No one other than you claims an amount for an eligible dependant (line 305) for that dependant. Disability tax credit As per the Canada Revenue Agency website, claimants for the disability tax credit (DTC), must meet the three following conditions: • The claimant must have an impairment that is prolonged, which means it has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. • The claimant’s impairment in physical or mental functions must be severe and it must restrict him or her all or substantially all of the time. • The claimant’s severe and prolonged impairment must be certified using Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, by a qualified practitioner. If your dependant is able to claim the disability amount, and does not need to claim all or part of that amount on their tax return, they may be able to transfer all or part of this amount to you. Click here for a list of “impairments” that qualify for the Disability Tax Credit: Finally, if you pay for someone’s nursing home fees, you may be able to claim them under “medical expenses for other eligible dependents –line 331”. Provincial Tax Credits It’s worthwhile to check whether your provincial government offers caregiver tax relief as well. You can start by searching online for “caregiver tax credit” together with the name of your province. Need assistance with your CRA returns? Consult a tax professional or click on the link to our previous article to learn more about help available for older persons with preparing tax returns....

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Home alone - not anymore. Your adult child is back.

Posted by on Mar 28, 2021 in Family Relationships, Financial and Tax Matters |

Originally published at Used with permission. Call ‘em Boomerang Kids or KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement  Savings) – but by any name, the number of adult children living with their parents is on the rise. And for Boomers, that can be a double whammy because many are being sandwiched between caring for their adult children and for their aging parents. A recent survey* of Boomers revealed that four-in-ten who care for both children and parents say they have been forced to reduce the amount they’re investing for retirement, one-quarter say they have adopted a less comfortable lifestyle, and one-quarter expressed concern that this financial assistance will jeopardize their retirement security. There’s no doubt that having adult children at home creates financial challenges by increasing the cost of living, creating a drag on savings, and even causing a loss of freedom. Here are some practical ideas about how to reduce stress, hard feelings and avoid potential financial disaster: • Pay to stay: Treat your child as an adult and try to replicate ‘real world’ conditions by having them contribute to household expenses, chores, and even pay rent. If they aren’t employed, encourage them to actively seek work. • Invest in a secure future: As an alternative to paying rent, insist that your adult child establishes an investment plan to help pay a future down payment on their own home. • Tax relief: If your stay-at-home adult kid is also a student and has no tax to pay, you can relieve some of the pinch on your finances by taking advantage of unused federal tuition and education credits (combined). Up to $750 can be transferred from the student to a parent. (Provincial tax credits may also be available.) • Define ‘rent’: Is your child paying you fair market value rent or just enough to cover their share of home upkeep and the cost of groceries? If it’s the latter, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says you don’t need to report that income on your tax return but you cannot deduct expenses. If you attempt to claim a rental loss, the CRA will put you to the test of proving the rental rate is at fair market value, and there is a reasonable expectation of profit. With children taking longer to become self-sufficient and aging parents expected to live longer, Boomers could be in for a rough ride. The first step is to talk openly with your children about money and responsibility. And a good second step is to discuss your situation with your professional advisor to make sure your financial plans stay on track. *Boomers on Call Survey, 2009 – Harris/Decima for Investors Group.  Guest article provided by Investors Group Financial Services. © Investors Group. Reprinted with permission. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. DISCLAIMER: ElderWise is pleased to feature the work of guest authors and appreciate their insight and expertise. Any opinions or advice expressed by these guest authors are their own, and may not necessarily reflect the views of ElderWise.  ElderWise does not assume responsibility for any decision or action taken as a result of information presented. Please seek professional advice and perform adequate due diligence before taking action....

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Long Term (Care) Planning: It’s Not Just for the Old

Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in Planning |

Canadians have been quietly caring for their elderly for hundreds of years. Suddenly, however, it seems that long term care has worked its way from obscurity into the national limelight virtually overnight. If you consider the state of the country, the reasons are obvious. Canada’s population is aging rapidly. According to a Statistics Canada 2001 report the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to double from nearly 4 million in 2000 to almost 8 million by 2026. By 2016 at the latest, Canada will have far more seniors than children aged 14 and under, a phenomenon never before recorded. The most rapidly growing age group, however, will be those over 80. Canada’s health care system is being restructured province by province; change and upheaval are the norm. The only sure thing seems to be less money and care for the old who require the most care. Canadians are worried. By 2031, over 750,000 Canadians will have Alzheimer Disease or related dementia unless a cure is found before then. Almost 25 per cent of Canadians now have someone with Alzheimer Disease in their family. Family caregivers are beginning to understand that caring today does not last for a few weeks or months as it did in the ‘old days’ – it can now last up to twenty years or more, completely disrupting one’s personal, work and financial life. There is an undeniable financial burden involved in long term care. No matter where care is provided - in the home or in an institution - families invariably end up paying for some products and services out of their own pockets. In fact, informal caregivers’ financial subsidy of cost of services delivered to the home, and in casual expenditures (food, laundry, gas, parking, etc.) - total about $100 mission a week or more, suggesting that caregivers spend at least $5 billion a year. Many caregivers report they have had to cut back on their personal budgets, use up their savings or borrow money to meet their caregiving financial obligations. Although many of us are aware of these care realities, Canadians continue to put long-term care planning on the back burner. “It won’t happen to me”, “My spouse will look after me”, “The kids will look after me”, “The government will provide for me” – continue to replace critical planning steps we all need to take.  These include: 1.    Looking after our health. Diabetes and obesity are running rampant among adults – and our children 2.    Talking to our parents and spouses about what we all want as we age 3.    Talking to our financial advisors about what we want as we age, and together coming up with a plan to ensure we have the financial and social resources to care for ourselves till the end of life.   It’s never too early or too late to start planning for long term care. As the saying goes: Just do it! Guest Author: Karen Henderson, Founder, Caregiver Network    Vol. 2, No. 20; © Karen Henderson, 2005...

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The “Not-So-Empty” Nest

Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in Family Relationships |

 Today, adult children are living with their boomer parents longer than previous generations did.  There are also “boomerang kids”, who return to the family home after some time on their own.  Why is this happening? How do you learn to manage with a household full of adults?   First, some statistics: In 1981, only 28% of Canadians aged 20 to 29 were living in the family home. By 2001, that figure was up to 41%. In the 1970’s, the median age at first marriage was 21 years for women and 23 for men. Now, it’s 26 for women and 28 for men. For many young adults, living with parents at home is not their ideal life plan. Often, it’s a result of  financial necessity. With increases in the cost of living and post-secondary education, some young Canadians cannot afford to live on their own.  For others, the loss of a relationship, pregnancy, or change in career may result in staying in or return to the parental home.   It’s not all bad news, though. The majority of kids appreciate their parents’ help. Parents with adult children at home report more satisfaction with time spent together than parents who don’t live with their adult kids. However, these parents can feel more frustration and experience less personal time and space than those living on their own.  Money disagreements can increase for married couples with adult children living at home. Boomers nearing retirement may need to work longer to support the family if adult children are back at home. And those who are also caring for aging parents know first-hand the meaning of “sandwich generation” Adult families who live together successfully report three factors that help keep conflict to a minimum: 1. Firm rules about shared use of cars, electronics, living spaces and privacy in general. 2. Where possible, adult children pay rent. If not, they are responsible for some household duties or other contributions to the family. 3. Timelines are discussed. If schooling is part of the picture, there is a plan to finish and move out.  Others may also discuss where stay-at-home kids will be in six months or a year. Sometimes adult children can ease the sandwich generation squeeze by helping aging grandparents - driving them to appointments, helping with errands and household maintenance, or even just doing a regular check-in.   Although this trend marks a shift in family dynamics, it need not be a change for the worse, or signal that parents will be fighting over curfew with a 27-year-old.  But taking out the garbage could be another matter.   Sources: Parents with adult children living at home: Canadian Social Trends Spring 2006, The Stats Can Daily from March 21, 2021   Vol.2, No.24; © ElderWise Inc. 2006   You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc., Canada’s “go to” place for midlife and older adults seeking information and support on health, housing and relationships.  Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.  ...

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