money management

Deep Aging and Solo Agers

What is “Deep Aging” and “Solo Agers” ?

Deep aging is generally understood to be the period of aging when most people are not very mobile and need some assistance with their activities.  It occurs at different ages for different people, but for those who live into their 90s and 100s, it is experienced somewhere in those decades of life.  Since more and more of us can expect to see those years it is important, especially for those aging alone, solo agers, to do some planning for that time.

Six Key Planning Targets for Solo Baby Boomers’ Deep Aging

  • Emotional support
  • Residential decisions and transactions
  • Medication management
  • Investments and financial decisions
  • Legal representation
  • Money handling and bill paying

As a Financial Concierge™, We are focused on the last three.

  1. Money Management

Adam took over his eighty-nine-year-old mother’s finances after she had a debilitating stroke.  Even before the stroke she had started to talk about giving up her driver’s license and was asking Adam to help her with household tasks on a more frequent basis.  When the stroke occurred, she became unable to speak or write for four months.  Adam recalls that having her enduring power-of-attorney “EPA” was a lifesaver.  The EPA allowed him to get his name added to all her accounts, manage her income, pay her bills, file her taxes, and wade through the mountain of bills and statements that arrived daily.  He was also able to arrange for her in-home care and to offset out-of-pocket expenses that occurred in the first few days of her hospitalization for himself and his other siblings.  After his mother recovered most of her mobility and some of her speech, Adam continued to manage her finances, and his mother expressed relief and gratitude that she had someone to take over for her.

How would a solo ager manage in these circumstances?  Would there be another relative or friend to rush in, make decisions, pay the bills and manage the accounts?  Without an enduring power-of-attorney, this would have been difficult even for Adam as her son.  Solo agers need to select a trusted relative or friend in advance to be ready to take on these kinds of responsibilities in the case of temporary or long-term incapacity.

  1. Investments and financial Decisions

As time goes on, some older adults begin to feel they are gradually losing touch with the ever-changing realities of the outside world.  Will that happen to you?  No one knows. At eighty-five or ninety, a person’s mental faculties are often not all they once were.  At that point, a capable and trustworthy relative, friend, or fiduciary can take over some or all of the financial decisions—maybe handling the investments and doing the income tax calculations—if the solo ager has had the foresight to plan ahead.

  1. Legal Representation

When you make an estate plan––one that includes a long-term care plan––it should include a enduring power-of-attorney (EPA) for financial matters and a personal directive for health care decisions.  An EPA allows the person you name to have legal proxy for all decisions in the financial domain, meaning their signature is treated as your own.

Solo agers often stumble in this area. What relative or friend should be selected?  Sometimes the best choice is a professional, an outsider. T his is not only a reasonable choice for solo agers; it is often the choice of older adults who are parents.  Almost all parents love their children but they don’t always trust them to do the right thing during a crisis.

This kind of planning requires good communication with the relative or friend the solo ager wants to name.  Sometimes the one selected is not interested in taking on that kind of responsibility.  In that case it is often in the solo ager’s best interest to engage a licensed professional fiduciarydaily money manager, or private guardian to entrust with a power-of-attorney and specific instructions.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Money Management, 0 comments

Daily Money Management for Aging Parents

Baby Boomers’ Guide

Are you struggling to balance caregiving responsibilities for their aging loved ones with other family responsibilities?

The Challenge – Caring For Your Aging Parents

Caring for an aging loved one is an emotional and stressful situation. Many baby boomers – anyone born between 1946 and 19641 – struggle to manage the needs of their own children and grandchildren, while assisting their aging parents. Also referred to as the sandwich generation, approximately 7.7 million Canadians comprise the baby boomer population.
Trying to balance all the caregiving responsibilities of your family is a daunting task and can greatly impact your own quality of life. Managing the financial affairs of an aging parent is a major component in the caregiving process. Today, many baby boomers are alleviating this financial stress through daily money management services.

Daily Money Management for Aging Parents

What does a daily money manager do?

A daily money manager (DMM) brings clarity and order to an individual’s daily management of personal bills, budgets and record keeping. A DMM assists clients with activities such as bill paying, day-to-day banking, budgeting, insurance paperwork, and organizing records and receipts in preparation for income tax filing.

Who needs the help of a daily money manager (DMM)?

For vulnerable older adults, management of daily financial obligations can become an overwhelming burden, quickly spiraling into adverse behaviors and at-risk situations such as unpaid bills, un-deposited cheques, and the terrifying consequences of cut-off utilities, bank foreclosures, evictions, and financial exploitation.

An experienced daily money manager (DMM) can provide day-to-day personal financial services for elderly parents, giving peace of mind to children that their parents’ financial affairs are being taken care of properly and professionally.
Hiring a DMM may allow some seniors with health challenges to avoid guardianship and a complete loss of independence.

What sorts of tasks do DMMs typically handle?

In addition to bill paying, day-to-day banking, budgeting, and records organization, many DMMs are experienced with handling government and other insurance paperwork. This service eliminates the stress and confusion that often comes with these tasks, offering seniors and their families increased peace of mind. Also, a DMM can be a vital link to help senior citizens access community resources they may not even have known existed. Many DMMs are very knowledgeable about social support services for seniors.

If a senior can maintain independence with assistance in managing their financial affairs, they can continue to age in place versus going into a care facility. For the $5,000 a month charged by a care facility, you can arrange and hire an awful lot of service to be delivered in their own home – such as personal care, meal preparation or delivery, transportation to and from social activities and appointments, home maintenance, house cleaning, grocery shopping.

If I hire a DMM for myself or my parents, do I/we still need an accountant, financial advisor, lawyer, social worker, or geriatric nurse?

Daily money managers are not typically financial planners or advisers. They will interact on your behalf if requested with accountants, lawyers and other professionals.

How frequently do DMMs generally visit their clients?

Daily money managers understand that each client has different needs so visits are scheduled based on the tasks being performed, and the individual’s goals and availability. A client who needs help paying bills due to dementia issues may receive weekly visits from the DMM while another client may only see the DMM face-to-face occasionally because the statements and bills are managed online or because the type of work they are assisting with does not require as much time. When establishing a schedule, DMMs take into account the client’s needs, costs and time.

Does hiring a DMM involve giving up control of my or my parents’ money?

Absolutely not. A DMM’s role is to offer a “best of both worlds” scenario, where the clients retain control of their money but are freed from the responsibility of executing daily financial tasks. In many instances, DMMs work closely with the client’s financial advisor – assisting the advisor with the implementation of the client’s financial plan at the hands-on level. In this sense, a DMM’s role is to help clients, with their advisors, maintain control and independence.

Does hiring a DMM result in loss of independence in any way?

No. In fact, a DMM can help individuals keep their independence longer by assisting with all facets of personal financial affairs. Trouble staying on top of personal financial affairs is often the first sign that a senior may be becoming overwhelmed with the responsibilities of independent living. By removing that issue from the situation, DMMs are often instrumental in helping individuals remain independent for longer.

What should I expect the services of a DMM to cost?

Some DMMs offer a free initial consultation — ask in advance for their policy on first meeting charges.
Most DMMs charge for their services on an hourly basis, with rates around $150 per hour. Rates may vary greatly based on factors such as geographic location and type of service provided.

In addition to the hourly rates, most DMMs charge for their travel time and possibly for out-of-pocket expenses such as postage stamps provided to their clients and long distance charges for calls made on a client’s behalf.
Be sure that you understand the billing arrangements before the work begins.
Some DMMs request payment at the time of service and others bill on a monthly or bi-weekly basis.

How can I locate a DMM in my area, or near where my parents live?

You can find a DMM in your area by visiting www.aadmm.com and clicking on
“Find A DMM,” which allows you to search by province, city or postal code. Individuals
are also often able to find a DMM through a referral by a lawyer, accountant or social worker.

How do I know I can trust this person to whom I would be providing so much sensitive information?

AADMM members are expected to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. AADMM promotes excellence in services through a voluntary certification program that emphasizes both experience in the field and continuing education. Certified daily money managers, called Professional Daily Money Managers (PDMM), must also submit to criminal background checks.

What questions should I ask when I interview a prospective DMM?

The type of work DMMs handle for their clients is highly personal and confidential. Whereas your personal judgment and instincts are important in determining the honesty of any professional with whom you may do business, you can take additional steps to safeguard yourself against becoming involved with a dishonest person.

First, ask for a referral from someone you know and trust, such as a friend, relative, lawyer, accountant, or doctor. If none of these people can put you in touch with a DMM and you must hire a basically “unknown” person, be ready to address the following issues before hiring a DMM:

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Daily Money Manager

  1. What types of services do you provide? (Do you only do bookkeeping, or are there other
    ways that you can be of assistance?)
  2. How long have you been working as a daily money manager?
  3. What kinds of professional liability or Errors and Omissions insurance do you have?
  4. Are there industry standards and code of ethics to which you adhere?
  5. Are you willing to work with other advisors, for example, my financial advisor, tax
    accountant or attorney?
  6. What are the costs of your services and what are the common billing methods?
  7. How often do you usually visit your clients and what do you charge for travel, if anything? Would it be possible for you to assist me remotely, if necessary?
  8. Do you require and/or provide a contract?
  9. What about confidentiality?
  10. Can you provide a reference list?

A reference list should include two or more clients or their family members and at least one professional; it may include a personal reference. Take the time to call the references on the list, asking them whether the DMM is: respectful, dependable, efficient, empathetic, and professional in manner. Ask if there have been any conflicts, and if so, how they were resolved. Find out if asking for explanations of things not understood has been a comfortable situation.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Money Management, 0 comments

What is a Daily Money Manager?

Wondering what a Daily Money Manager is?  Watch this short video for a quick explanation.

 

 

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March Events

Events this month that you may be interested in attending:

Caring for Your Aging Parents, Speaker Series

A group of service providers has teamed up to bring you information you may need as you navigate Caring for Your Aging Parents.

In this Speaker Series, each evening will include one segment followed by a Q & A session with the panel, as well as an opportunity to meet our partners and have a light chat.
This event takes place in its entirety over Thursdays (March 8, 15 & 22, 2018).
General health and care (March 8)
Financial and homecare (March 15)
Housing options (March 22)
Each night’s session will run from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm.
Event ticket will give you entry to all sessions.

Caring for your Aging Parents

Also, check out PocketBook “Health” 101

Posted by Jill Chambers in Money Management, 0 comments