December 9, 2015 12:52 am
To best gauge their level of need, Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), recommends watching for the following signs:
1. Is the aging person taking longer to complete financial tasks? Does he or she struggle with everyday efforts like preparing bills for mailing, reconciling bank statements or organizing paperwork?
2. Is the person missing key details in financial documents? Are bills piling up and has he or she missed a payment? Is he or she able to prioritize his or her regular responsibilities?
3. Is your aging relative experiencing problems with everyday arithmetic? Maybe you recently went out to dinner with mom and dad, and while paying, they took an inordinate amount of time to calculate the appropriate tip.
4. Have you noticed a decreased understanding of financial concepts with your loved ones? Are they having increased difficulty comprehending health care matters like deductibles, or are they having a hard time understanding the bank statements they receive?
5. Are they having new difficulty identifying investment risks? Are they able to minimize the risks in potential investments? Did they recently fall victim to fraud or a scam because they could not spot the liabilities?
For both parties, approaching these discussions with candor and an open mind is critical, adds Beck.
"Especially if you're accustomed to handling money matters privately, learning to talk more candidly about your finances may be uncomfortable," says Beck. "However, allowing trusted individuals to take a closer look at your accounts can help you establish a realistic plan for the future, and help flag any potential concerns."
Published with permission from RISMedia.