“A daily money manager can pay the bills, keep the checkbook in balance and oversee investments. They can go through and toss the junk mail, sorting out what is important, saving the elderly from potential fraud and ensuring that important documents do not slip through the cracks.”
You visit your aging parents and see piles of unopened mail or past due notices on bills. When you ask your folks about it, they get angry out of embarrassment and tell you it is none of your business. You offer to help, and they push back even more. It is understandable that they want to be independent and hang on to their dignity. You might be uncomfortable, feeling as if it would be an invasion of their privacy for you to go through their checkbook and mail. So, you wonder, should I hire a daily money manager for my elderly parents?
Why a Senior Might Need Help Managing the Daily Financial Matters
Think back to when you were first learning how to do all the financial things an adult living on his own has to handle. It was overwhelming. Now imagine trying to deal with all that “adulting” when you are living with common symptoms of aging, such as diminishing eyesight, confusion, and memory challenges. Since elders tend to have more medical issues than younger people, they also have to try to make sense of countless insurance and Medicare forms.
If you make a mistake managing your money, you have plenty of time while still in the workforce to dig your way out of it, but your aging parents are likely retired or will be soon. This means being on a fixed income and not working. When elders lose money, they have less to live on with no way of replacing the funds.
How a Money Manager Can Help Your Parents
A daily money manager can pay the bills, keep the checkbook in balance and oversee investments. They can go through and toss the junk mail, sorting out what is important. The manager can complete and submit insurance forms and handle charitable donations.
The money manager will protect your parent’s financial security and credit score. She will help your parents stay independent, while maintaining their dignity. The manager will let your parents spend their time doing the things they love, that they worked a lifetime to enjoy. You will also be free from worrying about your parents, spending hours trying to handle their financial matters and being put in an awkward position. It is not surprising that now, even younger people are hiring daily money managers to take on the time-consuming task of handling their financial matters.
Other Options for Managing Your Aging Parents’ Money
Some companies serve a niche clientele who do not need someone to go through their mail, but just need someone to pay their routine bills. For a flat monthly fee, your parents direct that their regular bills go to the bill paying service company, who pays them out of your folks’ checking account. Some services include membership in identity theft protection as part of their package.
Beware of Con Artists
Giving someone access to your money and financial information exposes you to the risk of identity theft, fraud and embezzlement. Make sure the person you choose for your parents is trustworthy and ethical. Get references and check reviews. Ask your bank, broker, accountant or attorney for recommendations of reputable companies. You should also check with the Better Business Bureau. If the company is a member of a financial association, check with that association to see if people have filed complaints against the company. It is also recommended that you check online for any indication of fraudulent activity. If the company does not have a solid online presence, you should look elsewhere.
If you have questions about how to keep your aging loved one safe from financial fraud and ruin, schedule a consultation with a local elder law attorney today.
AARP. “Need Help Managing Day-to-Day Finances?” (accessed December 19, 2017) https://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-2016/money-management-on-a-budget.html
Chicago Tribune. “Daily money management services keep seniors independent.” (accessed December 19, 2017) http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/advertising/primetime/chi-primetime-bills-060811-story.html