“A daily money manager (DMM) can pay your bills, get your documents together for your accountant to prepare your taxes and handle other routine financial matters.”
You read one article after the other about seniors being ripped off by financial scams. With all the advances we have made in society, it seems we should be able to find a solution to this problem. Thankfully, people are designing services to protect seniors from this abuse. This article will explore one of these services and answer the question, what are daily money management programs for seniors?
According to the AARP, a daily money manager (DMM) can pay your bills, get your documents together for your accountant to prepare your taxes and handle other routine financial matters. A DMM is not the same thing as an accountant or a bookkeeper. A DMM manages personal finances for individuals and families.
The advantages of using a DMM are:
- The senior’s bills get paid on time, even if the senior is under the weather, suffering from declining cognitive ability, has cloudy thinking from medication, is experiencing mental health issues like depression or anxiety, is forgetful, is traveling or is simply too tired to deal with the bills.
- It is harder for con artists to take financial advantage of a senior, when a DMM company is keeping an eye on the accounts.
- Your DMM can look over your expenses and help you reduce wasteful bills, like paying for a satellite television service after you switched over to cable.
How to avoid getting ripped off by a DMM
Unlike physicians and lawyers, DMMs are not licensed or regulated by the government. That’s why it is important to make sure the DMM you hire will not steal your money. The good news is that there is a national DMM organization that requires its members to abide by its standards of practice and code of ethics. The American Association of Daily Money Managers also makes its members have at least 1500 hours of experience and undergo a background check.
You should not rely on only one organization when you investigate a DMM. The Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s office in your state maintain records on complaints filed against businesses. Check to see if the BBB or your AG’s office have any negative history on the DMM that you want to hire. You can add an extra layer of security by designating a trusted friend or relative to go over your accounts on a regular basis with your DMM.
If you think you cannot afford a DMM
If you think you cannot afford a DMM, think again. With competition in the field, many DMMs have reasonable rates, either by the hour or by the month. A DMM can even save you money, by negotiating to get you better rates on some of your bills, eliminating late charges by getting your bills paid on time and preventing overdraft charges by making sure your accounts do not overdraw.
When you hear about the seniors who lose their life savings to scammers, it can give you peace of mind to know that someone is looking out for you. Think what you can do with all the free time you will have, when you let someone else manage your finances.
Make sure that you talk with a local elder law attorney, because the laws are different in every state.
AARP. “Need Help Managing Day-to-Day Finances? A daily money manager might fit the bill.” (accessed August 16, 2017) http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-2016/money-management-on-a-budget.html
National Center on Elder Abuse. “Daily Money Management Programs.” (accessed August 16, 2017) https://ncea.acl.gov/resources/docs/archive/Daily-Money-Management-2003.pdf
Chicago Tribune. “Daily money management services keep seniors independent.” (accessed August 16, 2017) http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/advertising/primetime/chi-primetime-bills-060811-story.html