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Do You Need a DMM For Your Elderly Parents?

By Mark Zaifman

It is likely that at some point in your life, you will seek out the services of a Daily Money Manager. (DMM) Often times DMM’s are contacted when a senior citizen can no longer handle the overwhelming business of managing their personal finances and family members live too far away to handle it for them. A DMM can organize and keep track of financial and medical insurance papers as well as negotiating with creditors and paying bills. They can also provide much needed peace of mind for distant worried family members who often struggle with finding the time to efficiently run their own households. Having a utilities bill paid on time may not seem like a huge help, but when a senior is able to maintain their independence or a distant family member knows that their loved ones finances are being handled - it can make all the difference.

Whether due to physical changes brought on by aging, dementia, or a simple loss of the ability to concentrate – seeking the assistance of a DMM can be the right choice at the right time. But how to find one you can trust? Unfortunately, this profession is not regulated at the federal or state level, which means anyone can call themselves a DMM. A personal referral is always the best way to go, but if you can not find someone to suit your individual needs, you should check with the American Association of Daily Money Managers, or AARP.

How much will a DMM cost? Plan on paying anywhere from $40 to $100 an hour, depending on the complexity of the work you are asking to be done and expect to pay for approximately four hours of assistance per month. Some financial planners may provide similar services, but will charge higher rates than a DMM. Personally speaking as a financial planner, eldercare is not a business I specialize in – my specialty is getting folks to the retirement phase of their lives. So even though you might find someone who could do the work, make sure you interview them to find the right fit – for both yourself and your parents. On the AADMM's Web site, you'll find a list of questions to ask.

As a child of elderly or ill parents, you should not feel as though you need to handle every aspect of their lives as they age. Chances are the quality time you spend visiting with them, talking and listening, reading, playing cards or sharing a cup of tea is a far better use of the precious time you have together.

Mark Zaifman Mark Zaifman is a certified financial life planner and runs a successful holistic practice in California. Mark is also author of the latest edition of “Your Money or Your Life”.


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