How to Find a Daily Money Manager
A good solution to help your parent manage their finances is to hire a daily money manager (DMM). DMMs are financial professionals that help older adults manage their day-to-day personal finances.
The types of services provided typically include arranging the payment of bills, maintaining financial records, balancing checkbooks and negotiating with creditors. DMMs can also prepare checks for clients to sign, organize bank and financial records, prepare and deliver bank deposits, gather and organize documents for tax returns, scrutinize medical bills, and review bank statements for potential financial abuse or fraud.
Where to Find DMMs
Depending on where your parent lives, DMM services may be available through private non-profit elder assistance organizations or government agencies. These agencies often use volunteers to provide basic DMM tasks, such as bill paying at no cost. To find out if this is available in your parent's area, contact their local Area Aging Agency. Visit ElderCare.acl.gov or call 800-677-1116 for contact information.
In addition to non-profit DMMs, an increasing number of individuals and private for-profit companies offer DMM services for a fee. The cost for these services varies by region but it often ranges between $25 to $100 per hour. Most clients need approximately four hours of services per month, but this too varies according to the complexity of the person's financial situation.
You may want to search online for a professional DMM in your parent's area. Some websites provide online directories to search for professional DMMs by using your ZIP code. Finding professional that adheres to a code of ethics and has certifications or is designated as a "Certified Daily Money Manager" may help you vet the individual.
There are also many highly rated nationwide concierge bill management services that your parent can chose instead of a DMM. These companies will manage your parent's bills and pay them on their behalf, on-time, correctly, and for a flat fee. You can locate these services by using your preferred online search engine with key words like "concierge bill pay".
If you opt for a concierge service, your parent is often paired with an account manager who communicates and work with them by phone, email, text or mail. The concierge service may offer additional services such as bill reviews for errors and fraud and will always provide monthly statements showing the date, amount and manner of each payment.
Before hiring a daily money manager, get references from two or more clients. Also, find out what they charge and what type of insurance coverage they have. Keep in mind that neither federal nor state governments regulate the DMM industry, so there is little oversight of these services. So before turning over your parent's bills, make certain it is someone you can trust.
Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.