Think of the mail coming into your home. Almost every day there comes something new to add to your To-Do List – bills to pay, calls or emails about insurance, wills to complete, retirement to plan, and so much more. Now imagine handling all this with impaired eyesight, decreased hearing, arthritic hands, or failing memory.
Many of us wish we had someone to handle the day-to-day personal paperwork, bill paying, and interactions with advisors. Daily Money Managers/Financial Organizers fill that role. However, the support of a Daily Money Manager (DMM) is even more critical for seniors facing challenges.
A DMM for busy professionals often works alone in the clients’ homes (or virtually from the DMM’s office) while the clients are at work. DMMs for seniors, more often than not, work with their clients in their homes and have special skill sets to help their clients navigate between dependence and independence. In addition, the DMM for seniors needs to have an incredible array of resources available to guide the senior and the senior’s family to the right decisions about legal documents, long-term care planning, housing options, care management, financial asset management, household management, and more.
Signs That a Daily Money Manager Is Needed By a Senior:
- Complaints of too much paper
- Bills not being paid
- Multiple properties are not being cared for anymore
- Medicare, secondary insurance, and medical bills are piling up and not being addressed.
- No Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Advance Directives in place to provide back up for the senior when he or she is no longer able to handle his or her own affairs
- A spouse has passed away and the widow(er) does not know how to settle the deceased spouse’s affairs and/or does not know how to handle the finances going forward
- Estate planning needs to be done, but there is no clear information about what assets are involved
- A sense of confusion is communicated in conversations
- Letters are coming in from the IRS that taxes have not been filed
- Rent, mortgage and/or insurance has not been paid, electricity is about to be shut off
- Aides need to be hired, but it is not clear what source of income will pay for the care
- Medicaid may be needed, but the process of getting everything together to apply is overwhelming
Early on, DMMs need to sort through accumulated papers: locate bills that need to be addressed immediately; identify important documents and file appropriately or note which documents need to be collected. DMMs help the client fill out the necessary forms; catalogue assets; find clues that lead to forgotten assets, track down the assets and consolidate as appropriate; help the client think through what will be included in the different elements of a will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy and help communicate that to an attorney; work with doctors and insurance companies to sort out what needs to be paid by the insurance company or the client; review home insurance to be sure that the client is properly insured.
Finding a Daily Money Manager or Financial Organizer:
- Search on the website of the American Association of Daily Money Managers (aadmm.com) – click “Find a DMM” and search by zip code. In the same area of the website, you can find a list of excellent questions to ask when hiring.
- Do a search at napo.net for consumers/by zip code/residential/information – financial/bookkeeping/special populations – seniors.