OOPS Moments

As we approach each day and use the services of banks, insurance companies, utility companies, government agencies and a variety of service companies, we expect them to always “do things correctly” and occasionally find out that this is not always the case. Unfortunately, even the most astute individuals cannot catch these “oops moments” quickly enough to have them immediately corrected or at least to have their effect mitigated. Those who use the services offered by these organizations may also be the inadvertent cause of what may appear as an errant charge on a monthly invoice.

That is not always the case as there have been anecdotal examples of Executors discovering the payout of insurance policies at amounts not as specified in the policies. Some seniors who have worked for a single employer for their entire career may have a term insurance rider appended to their pension. The insurance company pays the policy amount when the senior passes away but the senior may have forgotten about such a policy and therefore updated it with respect to named beneficiaries. If no beneficiaries are named or there are no surviving beneficiaries, the proceeds would be payable to the senior’s estate.

Most seniors in their late seventies or beyond are generally not computer savvy.  They may not even have used a computer during at least the last few years of their pre-retirement employment. While possibly having a computer at home, they may not take advantage of electronic banking and other such services. As well, perhaps they are not able to manage their financial affairs properly. So long as they do not have any bounced cheques, they feel comfortable. Their sense of financial well-being may simply be that they receive their pension, annuity, OAS, CPP and possibly other income each month while they pay their bills at the end of the month. Those seniors who have a financial advisor may not discuss their day-to-day financial activities with their advisor but simply ask that their investments provide a certain monthly income in addition to anything else they may have.  These seniors have some vulnerability with respect to their day-to-day financial activities for such incidents as erroneous charges on their credit cards, interest payment charges on a missed or late charge card payment, inadvertent sign-up to a subscription, etc.

While cognition changes vary with age and does not affect everyone in the same way, we can generally assume that the possible lack of occasional review of accounts is more prevalent among seniors than for the rest of the population. Such a review as could be performed by a Financial Concierge™ providing assurance to not only the senior but to their family or other parties they would designate that the senior’s affairs are in order. Ideally, the situation would encompass the senior’s Personal Representative (previously Executor or Executrix) and Enduring Power of Attorney (often the same individual) so they can arrange to work with the senior (often their parent or parents) to ensure the account of financial and related affairs is kept current. This would be of great help to them when they process the estate years down the road.

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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Financial Vulnerability

Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability

We spend millions of dollars annually in the pursuit of longevity. Inevitably, one day we realize that something has changed. We are still the same person, with the same passions and values, but some of our abilities have started to wane.

Cognitive decline is the most significant factor in becoming financially vulnerable. Dr. Mark Lachs of Weill Cornell Medical College and Duke Han of Rush University Medical Center have termed the set of behaviors that lead to poor financial decision-making “Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability”. The reasons for it can vary from lack of sleep to medication changes to changes in the brain. Often, adverse financial behaviors are the first sign that a change has occurred.

Not everyone is proficient at managing money even when they are young. It is important to notice changes from normal, and not just normal mistakes.

Indicators of Vulnerability

  1. Late charges on billing statements. This is significant if you have always paid bills on time throughout your life. It can become challenging to remember and anticipate, especially quarterly and annual bills. Sometimes you just lose focus and fail to organize paperwork so bills don’t get lost.
  2. Calls from creditors. Again, if you have been in debt your whole life this is probably nothing new, but if it begins in later years, it can be a warning sign. Spending money without managing the timing of income and expenses can be catastrophic. If maintaining a chequebook or money management software has become a challenge, then you may need help to reconcile your accounts and know if you can spend a given amount of money.
  3. Donations to many charities. Retirement for some is a time to be generous and philanthropic but if you look back through your chequebook and find numerous donations, usually in small amounts, to a wide variety of charitable organizations then either learn to say no or consider getting some help to manage your money. Charities and scammers who receive small amounts are more likely to sell your name to a list. Then you become vulnerable to all kinds of ploys to get your money.
  4. Undeposited cheques. If you are losing track of cheques and needing to have them re-issued, this can also be a sign that you are vulnerable to the unscrupulous and could become a victim of abuse.
  5. Scam victim. Once you become a victim of a scam or fraud, the likelihood of reoccurrence is high, even if the original loss was nominal. The 2015 True Link study found that those who lost just $20 in one year could be expected to lose $2000 annually.

The same study found that those who are outgoing lose four times as much as older introverts. Financially sophisticated seniors lose more to fraud, probably because they move more money around. Thrifty seniors lose 5 times as much to fraud because they are enticed by bargains and don’t know how to check on the validity of an offer.

If you feel that you or a loved one need a little polish to keep your finances shining, you do not need to go it alone. Contact us and we will assist you with obtaining Peace of Mind around your day to day financial affairs.

SOURCES: “Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability”, Annals of Internal Medicine, Dec. 2015 and the True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse, 2015.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Financial Abuse, 0 comments

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