What Seniors Need to Know About Managing Money
Many seniors have problems managing their finances. It’s a mistake to think that only people with serious impairments, such as dementia, have trouble properly taking care of money. The ordinary effects of aging, including declines in short-term memory and in the ability to quickly understand new information, can cause money-management mistakes that may be very costly.
Boomers and others in the “in-between” generations need to pay attention to this for two reasons. First, if you have an elderly parent or other loved one, you need to be alert for signs that your loved one is having financial-management difficulties. Second, now is the time for you to get your own finances in order so that you can prevent problems down the road.
Red Flags That a Loved One May Be Mismanaging Their Money
There are several signs that a loved one may be losing their ability to effectively take care of their finances. These include a loved one:
- Taking longer than usual to pay their bills
- Having trouble understanding financial information he or she understood before
- Becoming an aggressive or reckless investor when he or she used to invest conservatively
- Being disorganized when dealing with financial tasks that he or she used to be able to take care of efficiently and methodically.
If you observe any of these behavioral changes, they can be important signs that your loved one may need more help.
Taking Care of Your Own Finances with Your Future in Mind
It’s wise to prepare now for a future when you may have more difficulty handling your financial responsibilities. It’s a good idea to simplify your finances by consolidating your accounts. For example, if you have multiple brokerage or bank accounts, ask yourself if you really need accounts with all those companies. If not, consolidate them with a single brokerage and/or bank.
You should also talk to your spouse, other relatives, or friends about their being able and willing to help you with your finances, should you need more help as you get older. Also consider talking to an attorney about creating a durable power of attorney for finances, which will enable an agent of your choice to manage your finances if you ever become unable to continue to do so yourself.
Watch Out for Financial Abuse
Elder financial abuse is, unfortunately, a growing problem. If you suspect that someone is taking financial advantage of a loved one, you should seek help. To talk to an experienced, skilled, and compassionate elder abuse attorney, call Garcia,& Artigliere at (800) 328-2630.