I have two sisters, both older, and a younger brother. Bekki is the oldest then Chris, then me, and finally my brother Tyler. My sister Chris has subscriptions to the New York Times and the USA Today and often she’ll clip an article and send it to me for my information. They are often very good articles so my plan is to add a link to them on my blog.
The most recent one is titled “As Cognition Slips, Financial Skills Are Often the First to Go” and discusses how as we age our ability to handle finances tends to decrease. It also lists several early signs of financial decline.
Here is a link to the article:
I can’t stress how important it is for the “Responsible Child” to take an active interest in their parents finances. The other children need to be kept in the loop as well (to make sure that the Responsible Child is actually doing right by the parents). Don’t assume that your elderly parents are fine. Get involved. Get duplicate statements of their investments and banking sent to you. Sit in on their meetings with their financial advisors and or request that a summary letter from each meeting is sent to you.
Fraud happens every day to the elderly and it is only going to get worse. As our parents age their ability to stay on top of things decreases while their desire to keep things private most likely increases. We have to be involved and be advocates for our parents – if we don’t know one else will.