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.
To help adults protect themselves, here are 7 suggested actions:
- Assign trusted contacts to all financial accounts. This is a person whom a financial institution can contact when exploitation or unusual behavior is suspected.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep up on the latest scams. The Better Business Bureau keeps current on scams.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.