Elder Abuse – Financial Style

April 2, 2011

You might be wondering why I’m writing about elder abuse on a financial blog, right? Unfortunately, all types of elder abuse are on the rise in lock step with our aging population -including financial abuse. Regarding abuse of our seniors, in a study done by MetLife in 2009, only 1 in 6 cases of  elder abuse is even reported. And, in dollar terms alone, the estimated losses from reported cases of elder abuse adds up to whopping $2.6 billion per year. So, what  is being reported is just the tip of the iceberg.

From a health care point of view the concerns are multiple. The early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s often go undetected by friends and family members. The number of cases of Alzheimer’s in our population is on the rise. And, these cognitive diseases whether diagnosed or not diagnosed can make our seniors even more vulnerable as targets for emotional, verbal, physical and financial abuse.

Recently actor Mickey Rooney, now 90 years old testified to Congress about the alleged financial abuse that he suffered at the hands of his stepson. Rooney a fixture on the American screen since the 1920’s is quoted as saying “If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.”

When it comes to elder financial abuse, what are some specific things that you should be on the look out for? 

  • Disaster-home repair fraud after a tornado, flood, hurricane etc.
  • Price gouging for goods and services
  • Unscrupulous charities
  • Unusual changes to financial situation
  • Monthly bills going unpaid
  • Changes to wills, trusts or powers of attorney
  • Lottery scams

Frankly, the list is potentially endless. The ‘bad guys’ and their scams are coming after our seniors from all over the world via telephone, U. S. mail, email and the internet. And, sadly, sometimes the ‘bad guys’ come in the form of  trusted care givers and family members.

What can you do?

  • Keep an eye out for your parents, grandparents,elder friends and family members
  • Be aware of changes in their financial, emotional and mental health
  • If cognitive diseases run in your family, plan ahead on how you are going to deal with financial and health care issues that will come up due to dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Be ready to take appropriate action
  • Use the National Elder Care Locator if you need a starting place for available resources www.eldercare.gov 1-800-677-1116
  • In Georgia to learn about available resources contact the Georgia Department of Human Services

About Jane Nowak, CFP® – MoneyGal2020

Jane Nowak  is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with a focus on Women’s Retirement and Financial Planning for Women. Located in Smyrna, GA, Jane’s goal is to educate and empower women to take control of their daily finances so they can fully fund their retirement dreams and needs. Jane has recently had articles quoted and published on-line at the NASDAQ, Womenetics.com, Smart Money Chicks, Fox Business, Credit Cards and Financial Planning Association websites.

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, Inc. Member, FINRA/SIPC

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Financial Planning and Alzheimers/Dementia

August 27, 2010

 

Financial Planning and Alzheimers

via Financial Planning and Alzheimers.

I don’t believe that a month goes by without hearing about someone I know who is going through caring for or getting care for a parent, spouse or other loved one who is suffering from Alzheimers or dementia. You know, the phone call you get from a neighbor telling you that your parent is walking down the street crying, shouting or cursing.

 For those of us (myself included) who are living through the decline of aging parents with Alzheimer’s or dementia-like neurological diseases, unfortunately this is a common occurence.  In fact one time during the early stages of  his dementia, my Father who was very disoriented thought that he was in a hotel in New York City when he was actually in the hospital near our home in Georgia! 

Without preparation, families are caught flat-footed when they realize that their parent needs some kind of full time care. Many families in these circumstances are quickly thrown into emotional and potential financial crisis without any prior preparation.

 That is why it is very important to try to evaluate the financial and  impacts from Alzheimers and dementia ahead of time. Believe me, the emotional impacts will be hard enough to deal with…

Read this article and get more informed!

Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020


Baby Boomers:Is Our Health Care Still in “Critical” Condition?

August 20, 2010

 

As I become increasingly familiar with the Baby Boomer demographics, I have become proportionately concerned about the status of Medicare here in the USA. While the spotlight is firmly focused on Social Security, I think that we just may be fiddling while Rome burns.

Yes, Social Security definitely has its issues. But, what about the cost of health care? Historically health care costs go up at a rate greater than the rate of inflation. Digest these facts about the financial condition of health care in the USA:

  • Current health care spending is 6.8% of a family’s household expenditures
  • Current health care spending for those over age 65 is 12.6% of household expenditures 
  • Employer health benefit costs are expected to rise 9% in 2010
  • Employer health benefit costs are expected to rise  8.9% on 2011
  • The typical employees’ wages will not be keeping up with the cost of health care
  • Employers are increasingly passing a greater share of health care costs to employees
  • Companies that are going through bankruptcy are terminating health benefit plans for existing employees

Something’s got to give. As the Baby Boomers age and health care costs continue to rise at a rate greater than inflation, we circle back to the same old question.  How are we going to pay for Baby Boomer health care?

I guess that is some of what Health Care Reform is supposed to do.  No wonder there was so much talk about what type of health care costs to fund! And that discussion about end of life health care, -the truth is that ‘the system’ may not be able to afford our ever-increasing longevity.

 No matter what is acknowledged publicly, those who crafted our Health Care Reform bill had to discuss when to ‘pull the plug’ on seniors and their end of life health care funding.

Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020


Long Term Care – Up Close and Personal

June 3, 2010

Without shame, I have to say that I am a HUGE fan of long term care insurance. Long term care insurance has made a tremendously positive difference in my life. You see, my father has dementia and Parkinson’s.

These diseases have been unfolding in my Dad’s life for around 5 years, I think. Does anyone out there have parents who don’t want to tell you anything because they ‘don’t want you to worry’? If so, you know exactly what I mean.

Well my brother, sisters and I found out about my Dad’s dementia after he started making a series of ill-advised business deals. …Definitely a blog for another day. At times, Dad thought he was in a hotel rather than at home. One time he was found sleeping on the floor in the den. I could go on and on. But, I won’t.

After 4+ years, Dad is now completely bedridden, doesn’t or can’t talk and he seldom recognizes any family members. In short, he is a heart breaking shell of his former self.

Thank goodness he had good financial advice that he followed! A while back, Dad purchased long term care insurance well before his cognitive health began to deteriorate. Long term care insurance doesn’t pay all of the bills. But, it does give us very viable options to provide for his care.

It is painful enough losing your parent to the mental decline caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s. But, to be grieving for the cognitive absence of your parent AND having no means to provide a decent level of daily care for them would be just too much to bear. I absolutely don’t know how families provide long term care for their loved ones without some kind of financial assistance.

Viva long term care insurance! 

Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020


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