Money Managers Cut Worry for Seniors
It’s tough enough for many adults to keep track of their bills, but it can be especially hard for those in their retirement years. Failing eyesight and hearing, coupled with arthritis-stricken hands and fading memory, can make keeping track of everything a Herculean task for many seniors.
That is especially true if there are no trusted family members living nearby.
But there are resources to help. Whether it’s balancing the checkbook, paying bills, managing charity donations or filing insurance claims, a daily money manager can take care of a senior person’s day-to-day business.
Not just for the rich
The wealthy have used money managers for generations, but the service has grown to include people from all walks of life, the Chicago Tribute reports (http://tinyurl.com/b8t5hcy).
Because they’re not financial planners, The Wall Street Journal says, daily money managers generally do bookkeeping services during house calls, including devising budgets, organizing tax records and filing medical claims and appeals (http://tinyurl.com/a4242k9).
This service could be a perfect fit for snowbird people. Making sure bills are paid on time helps protect a person’s nest egg and eliminates the need for people to keep on top of them while wintering south.
For a non-profit option, there’s the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Although it can help people with referrals to professionals in the care giving field, about 20 percent of its geriatric care managers also offer daily money management services.
There are free services through the AARP Foundation’s Money Management Program (http://aarpmmp.org) that works with 127 non-profits and government agencies.
Unless expressly specified legally, daily money managers do not have power of attorney. But because the field is currently unregulated, make sure you do your homework before hiring a money manager.
Among the things you should do is hire someone with credentials that are verifiable and real, and ask if the manager is a member of an organization with a code of ethics. Get references from friends and professionals alike. Make sure you sign with someone who is bonded or has liability insurance and find out the amounts of coverage they carry. Finally, be clear about fees; does the manager charge a flat fee, or are expenses included?
And, of course, someone trusted should periodically double-check the money manager’s work to ensure its accuracy.