How To Get Help Managing Money for Seniors
*What is Daily Money Management?*
Daily Money Management is a relatively new service, which addresses an issue facing many senior citizens: handling paperwork that seems to expand endlessly. Seniors frequently become overwhelmed with the amount of medical statements and other mail they accumulate in a short time. Insurance and medical statements are often confusing–or even contradictory. This leads to frustration and anxiety on the part of the senior. Daily Money Managers can help to alleviate these concerns by monitoring and keeping up the senior’s accounts and bills.
*What services does a Daily Money Manager offer?*
Daily Money Managers (DMMs) provide personal business assistance, usually in the client’s home. They offer an array of services, which includes balancing the check book(s), writing checks to pay bills, and keeping accurate records of all checks written and all deposits made. This kind of record keeping provides peace of mind for the client and, in some cases, for their family. Knowing that bills are paid and assets and income are being used appropriately is essential for seniors and their families.
DMM services also provide value in monitoring medical bills, ensuring that Medicare and other health insurance have paid their share before the client pays any balance due. Additionally, DMM assistance in assembling papers needed for income tax preparation and in documenting medical and charitable contributions often means the client will pay lower taxes each year.
Since Daily Money Managers often work with elderly persons living in their homes, they can provide recommendations to other senior-serving professionals as needed. If they see that a client is in any way “at risk” due to impaired vision, physical limitations, or confusion, they can make referrals to community resources, including geriatric care managers, attorneys, and accountants.
However, DMMs do not take the place of these professionals. In many cases, DMMs work closely with them in seeing that their mutual clients receive the attention and service they need. The record keeping done by DMMs is often invaluable to the accountant at tax time, to the attorney in planning for long-term care costs, and to the care manager in evaluating costs of community resources to meet current care needs.
*How do I find a Daily Money Manager?*
Because finances are a highly personal matter, hiring a DMM is an important and individual decision. Referrals from a friend or colleague are a good place to start. If necessary, contact your local Area Agency on Aging for suggestions. The American Association of Daily Money Managers’ website (www.aadmm.com) can also provide valuable information that will help you find a reliable DMM.
Once you have found a DMM you are interested in hiring, it is a good idea to ask about their experience and qualifications. It is especially important to know whether your DMM is bonded and insured. You also want to determine how the DMM you plan to hire bills for their work. Hourly fees vary by locale, but in this area, the average range is $40.00 to $80.00 per hour.
Special thanks to Roberta Gosier and Kate Finan of Help Unlimited, a daily money management firm, for information included in this article.