How Financial Professionals Can Help Their Aging ClientsBill Simplicity
As people age, everyday tasks such as money management can become more and more challenging. For many seniors, sharing these challenges with family members can be embarrassing, so they instead remain silent about their struggle to manage finances. However, professionals such as financial advisors and CPAs might see the signs of financial struggle and can help their aging clients.
Signs that a client might be struggling financially
Whether you are a CPA, a financial advisor, or another financial professional, you may encounter circumstances that raise concerns about your elderly client’s ability to manage their day-to-day money management. For tax accountants, you might spot unusual spending or donation habits, overall confusion about tax liability, or an inability to understand basic tax concepts you had discussed with them previously. CPAs may see significant declines in savings or substantial withdrawals from investments, or overall confusion about their financial situation. Financial abuse may also become evident to a CPA or financial advisor. As a trusted advisor, you have a broad overview of your client’s finances and might spot discrepancies or unusual financial patterns, such as fraud by strangers or family members. If a client cannot explain or does not remember a substantial expenditure or withdrawal, it may be a sign that your client needs more help with financial management.
What financial professionals can do to help
CPAs and other trusted financial professionals can help their clients if they feel their money management is in question. As appropriate, they can ask if there are trusted family members that can have access to the oversight of the elderly person’s finances. They can set up more frequent meetings or discussions to oversee the health of a financial portfolio to spot discrepancies sooner. They can also refer or engage the services of a professional bill paying service to handle day to day bill paying so bills are not missed. Financial professionals who build a strong network of trusted professionals that can help elderly clients age in place can not only protect their clients but also build up their own practice. As the overall population in the U.S. ages, such comprehensive resources are needed to protect this population. Today, there are more than 46 million older adults age 65 and older living in the U.S.; by 2050, that number is expected to grow to almost 90 million. Services such as professional bill management can help protect the aging clients of financial professionals by reviewing bills for accuracy and paying those bills on time.
If you are a CPA, financial advisor, or money manager, know the signs that your aging clients might need additional assistance managing their finances, and build a strong, trusted network that can assist your clients in securing their financial health in the future and protect them from financial fraud and other money risks.