Helping elderly loved ones manage their finances is important for a few reasons. First, seniors are one of the most vulnerable demographics when it comes to financial scams and fraud. They may be targeted because they are seen as easy targets or because criminals believe that they will have more money to steal.
Second, managing finances can be difficult for older adults, especially if they are no longer working or have limited mobility. Families can help their elderly loved ones protect their finances, saving them from becoming a victim of fraud and making sure that their money is being spent wisely.
Identify Daily Living Expenses
One of the main reasons that older adults are targeted by scammers is because it can be difficult for them to determine whether someone in their life is trying to scam them. The best way for family members to help their loved ones manage their finances responsibly is to monitor their expenses
The elderly, of course, have to pay for housing, food, utilities, gas and vehicle maintenance, medication and therapy, and others. Those who hire a home health aide should also be aware of how much it costs to hire someone.
Finding out the cost of day-to-day expenses will help family members create a monthly budget for their loved ones. This can be difficult because it is sometimes hard to understand prices when shopping for groceries, eating out, or doing other daily tasks. It can be helpful to ask family members for help.
Automate Bills Payment
One of the best ways that seniors can save money is to automate their bill payments. This will help ensure that they never miss a payment and end up paying late fees, which can be exceptionally costly. It is important to set it up correctly, however, because if the auto-playing system fails for any reason bills may not get paid on time. This can be avoided if the bill is set up through an email account that is accessible every day, rather than only once a month.
Make sure that elderly loved ones know what automation means and how it works before setting it up. They should also understand that they will need to keep close tabs on their bank accounts just in case there are any problems with automatic payments.
Another way family members can help elderly loved ones manage their finances is by helping them create lists of monthly expenses, so they can remain organized. Creating monthly lists of day-to-day expenses will help the elderly plan ahead for bills and budget accordingly.
Teach Them About Common Scams
Unfortunately, elderly loved ones can become victims of fraud because criminals target them. Teaching older adults about common scams and how they work is an easy way for family members to help protect their finances. One of the most common scams that the elderly fall victim to is “The Grandparent Scam.” It works by someone pretending to be a young person in need or distress, often claiming to have been arrested or injured outside the country and asking for money, often sent through wire transfers.
Another common scam is sweepstakes scams. These are attempts by scammers to steal funds from seniors by telling them that they won money but first must pay fees or taxes before getting the prize. This usually requires wiring money to complete paperwork, which never arrives at its destination. And then there are lottery scams, where con artists convince the elderly to pay taxes on a fake prize and promise to deliver it as well.
When older adults receive calls from strangers asking for money or personal information, they should hang up without giving out any information. Family members can help their loved ones take this step by teaching them phone call etiquette and how scammers work. This includes informing the elderly that most companies will never ask for credit card details over the phone and also keeping important account numbers private.
It is possible that family members may need to help manage the finances of an elderly loved one who has become a victim of fraud or crime, especially if he or she has been victimized multiple times in the past. Family members can also pay more attention to the finances of their elderly loved ones by checking their credit card statements regularly for unusual spending.
In this guide, we have outlined a few ways that families can help their elderly loved ones manage their finances. Those who are in their twilight years, especially if they are ill, might have trouble keeping up with their spending. They are also at risk of becoming victims of fraud. These tips hopefully can help family members care for their elderly loved ones.