Top Concerns About Living a Long Life

51%    Health problems/costs

47%    Financial security/fear of running out of money

40%    Being a burden on family

20%    Loneliness or having no purpose

14%    Having nothing left to leave to heirs

13%    Being a victim of abuse, neglect or fraud

2%      Other

Source: BMO Wealth Management survey by ValidateIt Technologies Inc., July 2018.

Overall, the most frequently cited concern was about future healthcare costs and whether health problems will affect quality of life (51%).

Fears about running out of money during retirement (47%) and being a burden on family members (40%) also came high on the list.

Being lonely later in life was a concern for 20% of respondents, and not having anything left to leave to heirs was mentioned by 14% of those surveyed.

A similar number (13% of respondents) worried about becoming a victim of abuse, neglect or fraud.

Financial Concierge Inc. can help mitigate the risks of financial abuse and fraud through assistance with day to day money management as a second set of eyes.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Seniors Health and Wellness, 0 comments

Older Adults Living Alone

Why go it alone?

A recent study noted in a Washington Post article by writer Judith Graham, notes that 22% of older adults in the US fall into a group called “elder orphans” or “solo agers”, referring to people who live alone and have no spouse or children. These people, no different than those who are fortunate enough to have family around in their later years, still need services than most elderly people need when they can no longer carry on alone. The luckier ones may have the option to relocate to a seniors’ facility where they can receive the care they need. Others may need to rely on friends or perhaps contract the needed services from a private home care provider where the elderly person may continue to line in their home.

In a survey of 500 people who identified with the Elder Orphan Facebook Group or 8,500 members, 70% of them stated that they had not identified a caregiver and 35% said they did not have friends or family to help them cope with their new challenges. About 31% of them said they were concerned about their future financial security and 23% said they had experienced at least one instance in the past year where they were not able to meet a financial obligation.

While the above focused on single individuals without a spouse or children, it could be easily considered to apply to aging singles who may have children living at great distances from them and who are not easily able to help in a timely manner. For some elderly singles who may have Dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may no longer have the cognitive ability to ensure their financial plan can support the services they will need.

The time to ensure the financial part of the equation is balanced is earlier in life and this applies for couples as well as for singles who have entered their retirement years. In the absence of having family nearby, a first step would be to meet with a trusted party to review the current financial situation and simplify it as may be found necessary. This will lower the stress of wondering if bills can be paid on time or, in the long run, whether money will run out one day and what can be done to address such concerns.  Once a plan is in place and followed, there will be points within it that will trigger change. Such changes could include a means to handle bill payments and other financial activities if needed. This could mean having an accountant help with monthly financial activities, bank account reconciliations, investment income changes, etc. A final stage in the planning for some people could mean their entering a Seniors’ Facility where they can continue to live as independent a life as possible but be in a location where 7 x 24 hour care is possible.

A good way to start is to meet with a person who can describe the services available and lay out a plan for the coming years. Upon review of the plan that would be tailored specifically for the individual or couple, the decision to continue and follow through with its recommendations or to have someone assist in its execution. The level of involvement by the trusted and capable party would be such that it could simply be an assessment or one that would assign a person to meet on a periodic basis and carry out all the tasks necessary to allow the senior time to enjoy their life without the worry of missing a bill payment or feeling that they are missing out on one or another aspect of their life.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Seniors Health and Wellness, 0 comments

Preparing for Cognitive Aging

Seven Steps to Prepare for Cognitive Aging

One of the first signs of cognitive aging, the process by which cognitive abilities decline with age, is problems managing one’s own finances. Even in the absence of disease, it can become progressively more difficult to balance a chequebook, properly review a credit card statement or make good investment decisions. Cognitive aging also puts a person at a greater risk for fraud and exploitation.

To help adults protect themselves, here are seven suggested actions:

  1. Assign trusted contacts to all financial accounts. This is a person whom a financial institution can contact when exploitation or unusual behavior is suspected.
  2. Prepare an enduring power of attorney. An enduring power of attorney allows a trusted person (an “agent”) to act on behalf of someone who can no longer make decisions independently (a “principal”). This is a powerful privilege and should only be given to someone who is trustworthy.
  3. Prepare a will. Having a will prepared before the onset of any cognitive conditions is important not only to avoid future problems, but also because changing the will requires a person to have the legal capacity to do so.
  4. Keep up on the latest scams. The Better Business Bureau keeps current on scams.
  5. Monitor your credit and your identity. Since older adults tend to apply for new credit less often, they are also less likely to monitor their credit on a regular basis. Credit Score Reports
  6. Consider hiring a money manager. A daily money manager (DMM) can perform many essential financial services, often at a far lower cost than an accountant or a financial planner. Contact the American Association of Daily Money Managers for local DMMs.
  7. Consider purchasing financial account monitoring services. These are third-party account monitoring services that help to spot suspicious financial transactions. One company mentioned, but not explicitly recommended, is EverSafe.


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Company Helps to Untangle your Financial Web

Jan RoSe wrote this great article about our company! It helps explain how Financial Concierge Inc. can provide seniors with peace of mind around management of financial affairs.

The article was published by Calgary Prime Times. Which is a monthly publication containing articles of interest to boomers and seniors, special columns and lifestyle features such as travel, health and finances. It can be picked up at convenient locations around the Calgary and southern Alberta.

Company Helps to Untangle your Financial Web

Written by Jan RoSe

Did your partner or spouse leave you with an estate puzzle after passing away, or suffering a decline in cognitive function?

Whatever the reason, it may fall to you to inventory a possible multitude of unfamiliar documents formerly handled by your partner or spouse dealing with bill payments, disposition of assets, maintaining trust and legal accounting matters and more. And that could only be a fraction of the total.

Or consider a situation where the executor of a will lives thousands of miles away and can’t attend to matters. What then? Who will undertake the formidable task of organization, paying bills, dealing with creditors and other similar duties?

As Jill Chambers, co-owner of Calgary-based Financial Concierge Inc. puts it, in situations such as those the survivor “could feel like a deer caught in the headlights.”

The company, which opened its doors in January, is the only one of its kind in Canada. Similar firms are commonplace in the United States and are often part of the American Association of Daily Money Managers.

“We do not sell insurance or manage investments,” explains Chambers. “What we do is go in and appraise the situation and give the client an estimate of the project’s scope and the time involved.”

Service offerings include organization of personal and financial documents, ongoing bill payment and statement reconciliation, acting as the enduring power of attorney and assisting with estate administration.

A request for document organization is often the first point of contact. Here there may be numerous investment and bank accounts. Are they all active? Could they be simplified or combined?

With insurance policies, are they still in force? Are these still the desired beneficiaries?

A key activity is determining if there is a valid will, enduring power of attorney and a personal directive. Who are the individuals named and how can they be contacted? Who are the other trusted advisors – lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, investment advisor? What are the final wishes? Who will be responsible for the pets? The questions go on and on.

Copies of other important documents are collected such as driver’s licence, healthcare card, passport, and social insurance number, death or divorce certificates.

And lastly, what is the client’s online profile? If no one has access via your login and password, you will be circulating in cyberspace forever. There is nothing eerier than receiving a Facebook friend request from a deceased person.

Once all of the pertinent documents are collected a “Family Playbook” is created in both a hard copy and computer formats.

Chambers’ background includes extensive experience as a nurse in healthcare working with seniors and vulnerable individuals for 30 years. She is also certified financial planning professional, a chartered financial divorce specialist, and has her certified investment manager designation.

“Trust is huge for both the senior and their family” says Chambers. “Our goal is to provide peace of mind around management of financial affairs”.

Financial Concierge Inc. as might be expected carries professional liability insurance. Staff are vetted for working with vulnerable persons through Calgary Police Services and also must have a good credit rating. Financial Concierge Inc. recently was accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

For the full publication head to over Calgary Prime Times.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Money Management, 0 comments