AUTOMATING OLD AGE – a financial umbrella for the geezer!

“Seventy-Five” may be a senior’s financial  tipping point. You have memory lapses, don’t think as clearly and worry more, or worse, don’t worry at all about financial matters. Financial planners are targeting you, beady eyes glistening in the darkness. And, of course, deep down, you are beginning to realize that you don’t trust your own decisions; and, really don’t know whom to trust. Your  financial life, like the rest of your life, has become uncertain and confusing.

You need to automate. A few suggestions:

  1. Direct deposit social security, pensions, dividends, rents and other income.
  2. Automatic  payment of regular bills, using a credit card or your checking account. Pay gas, electricity,  water, mortgages, taxes, rent, car payments, insurance, church pledge, long-term care premiums and credit cards on-line. Pay anything you can automatically.
  3. Have a geriatric mentor. A trusted person (kid) who will receive copies of all financial documents and who can monitor for suspicious activity, receive late or termination notices, and who can generally track your financial old age.
  4.  Periodic alerts:
    1. Tax filing deadlines – accountant
    2. Property taxes –  mentor, mortgage company, accountant
    3. Long-term care insurance – mentor –  You don’t want to default on this.
  5. Minimal number of accounts
    1. One credit card
    2. One debit card
    3. One brokerage account
    4. One bank account
  6. Investments
    1. Index funds
    2. Cash account
  7. Contacts – you should have habits that alert people when you don’t participate
    1. Church
    2. meals-on-wheels
    3. Mail carrier
    4. Neighbors
    5. Senior Centers
    6. Regular social get-togethers
    7. Clubs
    8. ie “Have you seen the geezer recently?”
  8. Monthly review of accounts, etc. by mentor or trusted person.
  9. Hire a property manager if you own rental units; direct deposit of rents and copies of statements to mentor.

The bottom line is that you can change any of these depending on your level of competence and how you feel about dealing with financial matters. The point is that your survival should be automatic if you don’t feel like dealing with it. You should not have to think about the basics; your financial health should be based on checks and balances.


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