More Americans are living longer. What happens when an aging parent can no longer care for themselves? Oftentimes, if arrangements have not already been made, their children step in and take responsibility for them. Here are some interesting facts from AARP:
Attorney: It is important to remember if you are going to begin to take on the responsibility be sure you consult with an attorney to establish decision making authority so you are able to make the care decisions.
Certified Financial Planner: You should also consider consulting with a certified financial planner to establish a good working picture of your parents financial status and available funds for payment of care.
Daily Money Manager: Another professional to consider is a Daily Money Manager. They can take care of your parent's day-to-day financial concerns are provide a report of bills paid, financial events (keep track of important papers and renewals vital of insurance policies) as well as provide a second set of eyes on bank accounts to catch unnecessary fees and prevent identity theft.
Every family is different and the needs for caring for an aging parent are ever changing.
The key is to be proactive and be knowledgeable about your options.
If you have lost credit card or your ATM card was stolen, it is important to act quickly. You need to report the unauthorized charges or lost or stolen credit card immediately. All reputable banks and credit card companies have telephone numbers that can be accessed 24 hours a day. When you call you need to have 1) your account #, 2) the date the card went missing and 3) the amount and date of when the card was last legitimately used by an authorized user.
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) protects you when fraudulent charges are made with your lost or stolen credit card. Under federal law, if unauthorized charges are made with your credit card, the maximum amount you can be liable for is $50. If the charges are made after you report the card lost or stolen, you have no liability. However, if the charges are made before you report the loss, your creditor can ask you to pay up to $50. That’s why it’s important to report your missing credit card as soon as possible.
Ways to avoid this in the future:
Remain aware of your card’s whereabouts at all times. - Yeah, I know. This one is a no brainer.
Avoid placing credit cards in anywhere other than directly into your wallet. Put it in the same place every time.
Make sure your cards fit snugly inside the slots of your wallet. They like to slip out.
Take some time now to create a contact list including the name and number of all your card issuers. Store the list in a safe place so you can easily reach your card issuers if a credit card is lost or stolen in the future.
For more information on steps that should be taken if you find yourself in this situation is the Federal Trade Commission, specifically under the consumer information.
Do you have your important papers organized? If you needed to access your financial or legal documents, how long do you think this would take to find them? 2 minutes, 2 hours? Being organized can be very helpful. There are several benefits to being organized such as saving time, saving money and gaining peace of mind.
Having your financial and legal documents within in reach can be a huge time saver. If you know where your documents are and you are able to access them when quickly you are more likely to do so. So for all my procrastinators, you will be able to take care of the task sooner as apposed to later to avoid late fees and which brings me to saving money.
I have heard the story so many times: "I am not sure how it happened, I forgot to pay the electrical bill and the electrical company charged me a huge late fee." What? This is a bill that comes to your house every month, how can you loose that bill? Another more costly mistake is repeatedly paying bills late which results in a poor credit score which then raises the interest rate on current loans. Now, you not only had to paid the late fees, but now you are paying additional interest on your new loan due to poor or no organization.
And if all of the this isn't enough to change your mind, if you are organized and therefore you are confident all is taken care of you will gain Peace of Mind. I believe this is the biggest benefit of all. You can turn your attention to one of the thousand other things or people in your life that are important to you.
Simply Balanced Solutions is ready to help you with your organization needs.
The only person who should be benefiting from your good credit is you. Therefore, when your identity is stolen or your credit is being accessed and used by someone else you need to become aware of it as soon as possible to stop it and prevent additional purchases and further damage to your overall credit picture. One efficient way to do this is to use a credit monitoring service. I just signed up one of my clients to further monitor his credit and to provide an additional layer of protection. I chose LifeLock. However, there are many credit monitoring services available. Be sure to investigate the specific services offered and choose the one that best fits your needs. Check out the 2014 Comparison of Identity Theft Protection Services. This website compares several companies and the services they offer:
Page Maintained by: Jennifer Shulman
Jennifer is committed to helping her clients as well as other folks improve their daily financial circumstances by providing simple financial solutions.