Seniors -- Protect Your Finances

Too many seniors are the victims of financial abuse, especially as they get older and are no longer able to manage things for themselves. Unfortunately, you can't guarantee where that abuse will come from--including friends and loved ones. If you'd like to prevent it from happening to your senior loved one, these five tips on how to help seniors protect their finances will help provide them with the support they need. Who will handle your finances when you are no longer able to do it yourself? Drafting a power of attorney is the best way to ensure that there is a seamless transition. Make sure that everyone understands who has been chosen to deal with financial transactions so that it will be as clear as possible.

Wherever you can, simplify financial processes. This could include:

  • Schedule regular bills so they are automatically withdrawn
  • Group several payments together into one where possible
  • Review with everyone involved so they understand the payments that need to be made each month

We've posted several times about senior scams. Keep yourself updated on the latest scams by checking your local police website and newsletters. They usually do a great job identifying and publishing information about current scams.

You can know everything there is to know about all of the latest scams, but if you don't stay in touch with your family members, you may not realize you've been targeted. Make sure you check with family members whenever you are contacted by someone who is asking for your information, especially financial information such as your social security number, monthly income, banks that you use, etc.

The more eyes there are on the money, the better. If one sibling or friend is responsible for all of the financial details, it's much easier for them to get away with financial abuse. Ensure that there are several of you watching so that there are always checks and balances in place. If you know someone at the financial institutions that you use, they can help keep an eye on transactions and notify you if any suspicious activity occurs.

Make sure you have the support you need to continue to maintain your independence.

The information above was adapted from information from Caring Senior Service.