Sometimes, you reach a point in life when you can no longer oversee your personal finances.
Regular bill payments, updating check books, monitoring different accounts, or looking out for fraudulent activities — it can be a little too much to handle on your own!
This is common among senior citizens or those suffering with conditions like dementia.
In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Catherine A. Schramka Heidemann, Owner & Daily Money Manager at CASH In Balance, LLC. Catherine explains how Daily Money Managers can help you keep the finances in order for yourself or a loved one.
- Signs that someone needs to approach a Daily Money Manager
- What happens if you miss to make some key financial decisions in time
- The importance of organizing your beneficiaries and other estate documents
- How to ensure if a particular Daily Money Manager is right for you
- And more
4 Signs You Need a Daily Money Manager
A Daily Money Manager is someone who helps you manage your bill payments, reconcile check books, monitor credit card statements, look out for fraudulent activities, and handle other aspects of your daily finances.
In other words, they are similar to bookkeepers, but they often cater to individuals instead of businesses.
But how do you know when you (or a loved one) need a Daily Money Manager? Here are 4 signs to help you figure it out:
1) Frequent Scams
If you feel like someone could be a vulnerable target for fraudulent activities or financial scams, then it might be a sign for that person to seek help from a daily money manager.
For instance, some ways that Catherine A. Schramka Heidemann helps her clients avoid financial scams include:
Call blockers: With phone scams being common, Catherine suggests having a phone with a call blocking feature. AT&T is one of the major companies offering this feature.
Looking out for excessive catalogs: If you see someone receiving a lot of catalogs frequently via mail, then there is a possibility that they might end up buying things they don’t need.
Being mindful of unusual donations: If you see a sudden rise in donations by your loved ones, or perhaps notice donations apart from the usual ones, it might be worth investigating them for potential scams.
2) A Lot of Missed Payments
If you’re missing bills and other payments frequently, then it could be a sign to let someone else take over your money management.
For someone suffering from dementia, forgetting payments can be a daily hassle.
Some missed payments can have severe consequences. For instance, if you forget to make your payments towards long-term care coverage, you might end up losing the coverage altogether! On the other hand, forgetting to claim your long-term care expenses also has a big negative impact on your finances.
Plus, it’s not just about the payment deadlines. It’s also important to ensure that the amount for every payment is right, and not miscalculated.
You can reduce the risk of losing money or essential services by letting a Daily Money Manager oversee your bill payments.
3) Unmonitored Check Books and Statements
Many retirees fail to keep their checkbooks up to date. In addition to unmonitored checkbooks, some retirees might also have unmonitored bank and credit card statements.
Why does it matter? To keep better track of your finances!
If you see unusually large amounts in your books or statements, make sure they are not mistakes (like canceled checks), wrongly debited transactions or possible fraudulent activity.
If you’re unable to keep regular track of your transactions, it might be a sign to hire a Daily Money Manager.
4) Beneficiaries are not in Order
We can’t understate the importance of establishing powers of attorney and beneficiaries.
The powers of attorney can be for different purposes, such as for properties or personal healthcare.
For your investment accounts and trust funds, it’s important to not only add beneficiaries but also to update them regularly. For your bank accounts make sure you have designated the right beneficiaries for transfer on death (TOD) and payable on death (POD) documents.
When you have it all organized, make sure you have the documents stored securely.
Having a solid estate plan in place can make things much easier for your beneficiaries once you pass away.
Daily money managers, working alongside attorneys, can help you navigate the estate documents.
Key Things to Consider Before Hiring a Daily Money Manager
If you’re not sure how to find the right Daily Money Manager, consider the following key things before hiring:
Errors and Omissions Insurance: Look for Daily Money Managers who are covered under errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. If they make a mistake or are negligent in their work, the E&O insurance will serve as a professional liability insurance.
Background check: How long has the Daily Money Manager been in business for? Are they part of an organization like the American Association of Daily Money Managers? When was the last time they went through a background check? What is their professional background (former accountants, CPAs, etc.)?
Specialty: Some Daily Money Managers might specialize in a particular area. For instance, Catherine A. Schramka Heidemann primarily caters to seniors. Look for managers who specialize in an area relevant to your needs.
Personality: In addition to all of the technical checks, make sure the personality of the Daily Money Manager clicks with you. It’s important that you resonate with them and, more importantly, trust them.