In the last blog entry, I discussed how things we consider to be rather simple tasks can become more complicated as we age. Also mentioned was how additional home services can handle these tasks and allow someone to continue to live in their home rather than moving into a care facility, which is cheaper overall. From a financial perspective, the question becomes what to do for the person who can no longer manage their own daily finances? One option would be to have a child take this over. However, children don’t always live nearby. Or they might not be very good with money themselves. Or they are too busy.
Fortunately, there is an occupation that can help. These professionals, known as Daily Money Managers, can assist with the paperwork associated with managing home finances. A Daily Money Manager can meet with you one or two times a month and make sure all the bills get paid, any checks are deposited, and generally help you stay current on any household expenses.
The Daily Money Manager can patiently explain bills and other financial mail, make sure the checking account is reconciled, keep all of the records organized, help gather documentation for tax season and work with your attorney, tax professional, and investment professional to assist them in helping you with their legal, tax, and investment responsibilities.
Of course, each person’s situation is unique, so a good Daily Money Manager will tailor their services to match what is needed now, but can modify the set of services over time as needed.
I’m sure one of your first questions might be, “How do I find a Daily Money Manager?” To find one you can ask a friend, relative, doctor, lawyer or financial advisor for referrals. Another option is to consult the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) and use their search page to find DMMs in your area. As an example, Triad Personal Paperwork Services, LLC provides DMM services to people in southern Chester County, PA, and northern New Castle County, DE.
The second question is likely to be, “How do I make sure they are honest and professional?” To answer this, you’ll want to interview any prospective DMM just like you would any tax or investment professional. The AADMM website has a good set of questions to ask. In addition, Daily Money Managers who are members of the AADMM have pledged to adhere to a strict set of guidelines and an ethics policy.
So, in the same way that a home healthcare worker can provide help with health, and a house cleaner can keep the home clean, so can a Daily Money Manager assist with the financial aspects of keeping you or your loved one’s home running smoothly. If you find your or your loved one’s home finances are starting to get out of control, consider a Daily Money Manager to help bring them back into control knowing that is one area that you will no longer need to worry about.
(This article was first posted in August 2016)