When it comes to elderly Americans, there are a lot of financial pitfalls they face as they age. Whether you’re worried about creating a trust or you’re concerned about financial abuse, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your spouse. Explore these financial tips for senior citizens from Cash Factory USA to take your security to the next level.
1. Automate Your Finances
It can be difficult to remember all your financial commitments as you get older. Whether it’s a physical or cognitive decline, you don’t want to realize you forgot to pay your water bill or you’re behind on your mortgage because you couldn’t write the check on your own. Setting up auto-pay accounts for your recurring expenses is a good financial tip for senior citizens to ensure every account is paid on time and maintains its good standing.
Automating your bills also mitigates any concerns that anyone helping with your finances is taking more than the appropriate amount and keeping it for themselves.
2. Establish Power of Attorney
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to establish power of attorney with someone you trust. This financial tip for retirees means you’re giving someone (usually a family member) the power to act on your behalf when it comes to your money. Be careful who you choose as your agent because this person can access bank accounts, sell property, file tax returns, manage investments, and deal with your health insurance.
3. Find an Authorized Signer
An authorized signer is a little bit different from someone who has power of attorney. While this person can sign checks, make deposits, and oversee withdrawals, they do not have ownership over your account and have no rights regarding your assets. The person you choose as an authorized signer will be responsible for keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity going on in your account.
4. Request Your Credit Report
Most people think that they can’t see their credit report for free, but that’s simply not true. You can check your credit report online for free at any time or request a copy of your report annually. This will include reports from the three major monitoring agencies, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The point of this financial tip for senior citizens is to allow for even more extensive monitoring of your life finances. With a credit report, you can check for fraudulent activity like credit cards you didn’t open or unauthorized purchases.
5. Avoid Cash
Our last financial tip for senior citizens is to avoid cash. You don’t want to have large amounts of cash around your home, as they can easily be taken by visitors. You might also find yourself forgetting where you placed it and then it’s gone for good.
Another reason to avoid cash is to force an electronic record of all your transactions. These are easier to track for budgetary reasons — and you can keep an eye out for any fraudulent activity as well.
Hopefully, these financial tips for retirees give you some great ideas to ensure your financial security. If you have any questions, reach out to us today to learn more.