When you grow old, the number one challenge you may face is certainly money-related. There are many elderly who are being exploited financially, and in this article, we will go through tips and tricks that will help caregivers and families manage their finances.
Example Of Financial Issues
The primary financial issue they may face is not having enough money to sustain themselves. Still, another major issue that is becoming recurrent is theft, misuse or fraud of either their money assets, either through conscious ways (giving people access to their accounts) or unconsciously (stolen cards).
According to a recent U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report, there is a rise in the number of reported cases of financial exploitation.
In most cases, the abuser will deprive the elderly of their money and thus of their independence. This is more frequent among the elderly, who rely heavily on other people to withdraw money, check their bank account, or in other similar situations. As older people are not used to new technology, they may not know how to proceed, so they look for help, but sometimes they go to not trustworthy people. More financial damage can be caused if the abuser is familiar with the elderly.
If you suspect elder financial abuse, you should be looking for these signs;
- Change in spending habits
- Altering will
- Changes in bank activities (change in account)
- Excessive buying of gifts
- Unusual ATM use
- New ‘friends’ helping
- Unpaid bills
You may want to research other characteristics, but the ones I have mentioned above are the most common. If you suspect financial abuse, you should investigate to intervene before it is too late and your loved ones fall into bankruptcy.
You should talk to them about financial abuse to protect them. Below is a list that I have drafted about different subjects that may be important to address;
- Lottery-winning scams – do not give bank details on the internet or to anyone.
- Buy long-term insurance.
- Do not let anyone rush you into making decisions regarding your finances.
- Choose a trustworthy person and only talk to that person about your finances.
- Always make a plan- hire a financial adviser to protect your assets if needed.
- Protect financial information, do not let it roam around the house where anyone can see it.
Make sure that when it comes to their money, they can say no, and if they feel as if someone is trying to take control of their money, they should call protective services and inform the bank to avoid fraudulent actions.
What Should You Do As A Caregiver?
If your role is looking after the elderly, you should also be looking at their finances. You should be financially prepared when looking after someone, so whether you are taking from your account or giving money, you must know that their money is not going down to waste.
If you suspect financial abuse, you should report it immediately to the concerned authority. As the caregiver, you should have a conversation with your elderly loved ones to designate a trusted contact person – it could be you or someone else, but make sure that this person will not try to rob. This person will be in charge of looking after the finances to ensure there is no suspicious transaction.
Some people like to have a joint account because they do not know every bank procedure, so they prefer to have someone to manage these things.
As I mentioned several times, you must report any case of financial abuse as soon as you suspect it to minimize damages. Let us know in the comments if you have already had a finance talk with your elderly…