Being a Veteran or military caregiver is a labor of love that comes with a lot of responsibilities. While it’s hard to put a price on tending to loved ones, caregiving involves real out-of-pocket costs. With AARP’s free financial workbook, Veterans and military caregivers can better plan for the future.

AARP research shows that family caregivers spend close to $8,000 per year of their money caring for family members who are aging, ill or living with disabilities. Looking after those wounded in the line of duty can cost even more.

Whether you are picking up groceries, helping with housework or making trips to the doctor or pharmacy, all these little things add up. Having a clear picture of what’s involved – be it your care recipient’s health, housing or finances – lets you plan ahead and make the juggling act a little easier.

AARP’s Free Financial Workbook

AARP created the Financial Workbook for Veteran and Military Caregivers to help you get organized and take control of your future. Each set of worksheets is designed for you to capture the essential information you need to manage the complex responsibilities of caregiving. The workbook is organized into four main sections:

  • Health: Health Care Plan, Powers of Attorney, Estate Planning, Burial Plans
  • Housing: Home, Transportation, Allergies, Safety, Storing Documents
  • Money: Monthly Budget, Investments and Debts
  • Future Planning: Education, Careers, Contingency Plans

We recommend that you download the workbook, complete the worksheets and make a copy for a trusted relative, colleague or friend – in case you are unable to look after your care recipient. The Financial Workbook for Veteran and Military Caregivers is free, and you do not need to be an AARP member to use it.

Portions of this guide are designed to help you make plans for yourself as well as a plan for your care recipient. We have created it this way for two reasons: to help you plan for costs and responsibilities of caregiving and to make sure you have plans in place for yourself should something happen to you. As you answer the questions, we encourage you to use this as an opportunity to have critical conversations with the care recipient, if possible.

Next steps:

Download the Financial Workbook for Veterans and Military Caregivers, a free comprehensive guide for military caregivers focused on health, housing and money management.

Bookmark the Veterans, Military and Their Families page on Stay up to date on the latest news and information affecting older Veterans at AARP resources for Veterans are free and available to nonmembers.

The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.

Aaron Kassraie is an associate writer and editor for AARP.

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Published on Apr. 5, 2021

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