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3 Helpful Tips for Managing Senior Finances
There may come a time when your aging parents need additional assistance in money management. Frequently, older adults need help due to a variety of reasons such as mental, visual, and physical decline and increased susceptibility to scams. Confronting your loved one about finances can be a delicate situation. However, it's an important step to take to ensure that their bills are paid on time, and their money is protected. Consider the following tips for supervising senior finances:
1. Find Important Financial Documents
The first step to understanding your senior's current financial state is locating all the necessary financial documents and determining what types of accounts are active in their name. You should also begin tracking their insurance information, regular bills, outstanding debts, and all sources of income. Doing so will provide you with the information you need to help your loved one as best you can.
2. Automate Payments
Going paperless and automating monthly payments can simplify the process of managing senior finances. Almost every financial company has an online payment portal where you can set up an automated payment plan. You can also make sure that the company sends you and your loved one an email alert when payments are due. If you decide to automate payments, you should also track login credentials and make sure you both have access.
3. Watch Out for Scams
The elderly are often victims of financial exploitation, losing approximately $3 billion each year. Older people tend to have more money and less awareness, making them the perfect target for scammers. Identity theft, fake calls from the IRS, and Medicare scams are just a few examples of scams that can wreak havoc in your senior's finances. Make sure to check your senior's mailbox and email inbox for signs of suspicious activity. If you sense your senior has already fallen prey to a scam, try to find the source, determine how much money they lost, cancel any accounts involved, and notify all necessary financial institutions.