Suggestions For Whose Financial Skills May Be Slipping

Let’s all consider this as advice for those we know who are older than us – family, friends or co-workers – but surely not ourselves.

The attached April 24, 2015 article in the New York Times caught my eye and proved to be enlightening. At first I was interested in the cognitive skill test of counting backward from 100 by 7’s (gratefully I passed).
Furthermore, it was interesting to learn that decision-making ability peaks around age 53 – for all of us; thus, explaining why some we know may make more financial mistakes than they did in earlier years. But, it was more distressing to learn that this vulnerability has few systems in place to protect an older person from those who would take advantage. As aging symptoms progress it may become more difficult to initiate any of the available protective systems.
The author suggests certain changes that will make management of financial assets simpler for the person(s) such as:
1. Reduce the clutter of financial activity by holding mutual funds in one account at a trusted institution.
2. Complete wills, trusts, and power of attorney forms while the appointed person can learn from the grantor and then follow his/her wishes.
3. Request duplicate notices from financial institutions as an interested party – then you can monitor for inappropriate activity.
4. “A Tribe” of supporters to have checks and balances on financial matters.
5. And finally a letter authorizing the financial advisor to contact a designated person to verify the validity of an abnormal transaction.
I have attached the complete article for those who are interested to have the full story. If, after reading, you have any questions or concerns about implementing any of the suggestions for yourself or others, please contact us.