Normal aging is known to affect financial decision making especially since there is a tendency for individuals to develop blind spots to their own cognitive decline. To help your parents stay financially solvent, help them avoid financial mishaps by watching out for early warning signs. Signs of financial decline to look for include:
- (1) Slowness in completing financial tasks; (2) Missing key details in financial documents; (3) Having problems with everyday arithmetic; (4) Showing decreased understanding of financial concepts; (5) Not identifying risks in investment opportunities. Having a conversation and offering help to parents as they start having financial mistakes, misconceptions or show lack of understanding may save them from future troubles. Actually, many elderly parents believe their families will step up and help when needed and this can be a great challenge; they don’t recognize that the time is now. Aging adults tend to put off important conversations about their finances because they have a misconception about their health, thinking they are healthier than they really are. Also, many think they have more money than they do so are somewhat unconcerned. Aging adults cling to their independence and tend to keep the family at bay. One of the best ways to help aging adults is to anticipate what they want to do and help them do it or at least help them avoid damaging mistakes. Respecting the older adult’s independence can be assured by emphasizing that discussing finances and accountabilities is not “handing over the keys,” it just enables the family to support the older adult in ways that meet their needs. For additional information on financial decision making go to: http://www.nextavenue.org/how-aging-affects-financial-decision-making
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