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What’s in Dad’s desk drawer?

Helping to unscramble a loved one’s finances

For most of us, this is the time of year when year-end financial statements herald the arrival of “tax season.” Assembling these and other records for tax returns is difficult enough if you are young and well organized. If you are an older adult whose memory and energy have begun to fade a bit, it can be overwhelming.

Older folks may also find year-round bill-paying harder and harder to keep up with. How can you help without offending — or becoming overwhelmed yourself?

From a recent online US NEWS article comes this advice: begin by asking gently probing questions like, “The economy has been rough on everyone lately. How are you doing with bill-paying?” or “Every year they seem to make the tax forms more confusing. Do you need any help with yours this time?”

You can also listen for clues, such as, “I just couldn’t get my checking account to balance this month” and watch for piles of unopened mail in that basket in the front hall. If you believe help is needed, then sit down with them and other involved family members and discuss arranging a Power of Attorney. The sooner someone has the legal right to step in when necessary, the easier it will become when help is really needed.

Here at Simpson Meadows, we pride ourselves on understanding how to treat delicate topics with extreme sensitivity and helping aging adults and their loved ones make informed decisions in a timely manner. Please give us a call; we’d love to help with any issues you may have, including the need for our superb Memory Care programs. Call (484) 364-3861 or visit www.simpsonmeadows.org today.

Financial “rescues” you can perform right now.

The National Council on Aging suggests that planning and discussions should begin when a parent or other loved one is in their early 60s. But for many, that time has passed and it is up to family caregivers to provide the best safety net they can. Here’s some timely advice you can implement today.

  1. Encourage use of professional advisors for taxes and investments, especially if you do not live nearby.
  1. Visit www.donotcall.gov and put them on No-Call lists for predatory marketers.
  1. Watch for inappropriate purchases.
  1. Offer to oversee necessary large expenses such as home repairs or appliances, to help avoid scammers.
  1. Never forget that it is their money, not yours.
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