Elderly Scams Explode in COVID-19

As daily money managers, we are trusted to keep an eye on what issues might arise for our elderly and the families who love them. Recently, there has been a major uptick in scams involving COVID-19 and issues surrounding seniors and health. It seems that any national, let alone world, disaster brings out the worst of the scammers who want to take advantage of our beloved elders.

It’s been widely reported that those over 65 are the most vulnerable to the virus. For many, these are fearful time full of anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Scammers use this fear against them.

The Federal Trade Commission is trying to stay ahead of the issue with a series of blogs surrounding the Coronavirus. We encourage you and your loved ones to read how scammers are setting up websites to sell bogus products and sending phishing emails, text, and social media posts as a way to swindle us out of our money or give away our personal information. 

Cleverly written and designed to offer safety and prevention, they offer links as “bait” and contain malicious email attachments. We advise that all our DLMM families read the FTC blogs and subscribe to their email updates until this crisis is behind us. Go to the FTC Consumer Information blog here.

If you or a loved one have clicked on a phishing email, read this FTC article and follow their advice. It shows you what a phishing email may look like and what to do if you responded to a phishing attack and are concerned that your identity might have been compromised. Our internal rule is that if you do not know the sender, do not click on any attachments or links. If you get an email from the IRS, it is spam. They will send you an actual letter in the mail. If you are not expecting a package delivery, do not click on any links within the email. If necessary, make a phone call to a known telephone number you have used previously to confirm. And most importantly, delete the email!

Know that we are committed to helping our clients feel safe in these uncertain times. We are but a phone call away if you have any questions about what steps we are taking to assure that our clients’ daily money management and accounting practices are strong and secure.

Daily Money Manager Benefits CPA

Eighty year-old widow Maddy still lives in the Ohio home she shared with her husband Phil for 60 years. Her children live far away—one on the east coast, the other on the west coast. Maddy has mild memory loss, an aging issue that to her seems more annoying that anything else. For Maddy today, money is not the problem—being far from family is.

Before Phil’s death, Maddy had thrived as a typical stay-at-home mom devoted to the raising, education and personal development of her children. Phil, a successful business owner, employed a CPA to handle both their business and household finances. The CPA handled the sale of the business after Phil’s death and continued to handle Maddy’s household finances during monthly visits to her home.

A common filing system

While Phil had kept an impeccable filing system, Maddy was quite the opposite. She habitually used unopened bills as bookmarks. The CPA spent hours rummaging through desk drawers, piles of mail, and old magazines to collect all mail related to her financial affairs.

When the CPA took to the Internet to find a “Maddy” solution, he came across an article about Daily Money Managers. He discovered that these professionals pay bills, balance checkbooks, go through mail, review investment and insurance papers, keep track of assets, and organize financial records needed for the IRS. He calculated that hiring a DMM for Maddy would save both him and Maddy time and money.

Today, Maddy happily continues to use unopened bills as bookmarks, but her DMM knows just where to look. She handles Maddy’s personal finances for a fee much lower than the CPA firm, and the CPA now has more time to manage his other high-net-worth clients.

Some CPA firms who also handle investment management for clients can subject the firm to heavier SEC scrutiny or audits, but adding daily money management services through a partnership with a firm like DLMoneyMatters can solve that problem.

Call us today and let us show you how we can help address these types of challenges for you or your clients.

Discipline Matters With Money

The financial status for most working Americans in 2020 can be summed up with one word, “confidence.” But whoa Nelly, not so fast. Yes, employment is at an all time high and earnings are up. However, a study by Northwestern Mutual found that nearly a third of Americans over 18 are within three paychecks of needing to either borrow money or skip paying a few bills.

The study also reports that 22% of us have less than $5,000 saved for retirement and will need to work past retirement age in order to maintain their lifestyle. So are Americans financially overconfident? It would appear so.

So how can we buckle down and build a healthy emergency fund and save for retirement?

  1. Create a budget. I know, it sounds dreary and boring, but reportedly we spend 100x more time watching TV or scrolling our mobile devices than we do working on personal finances. Consider using that device to effortlessly manage your finances with a free app like Mint to see all your bills and bank accounts at a glance, create a budget, and even have access to your credit score.
  2. Pay yourself before you pay your creditors. Set up automatic deposits that move money into savings each month. These deposits will help you avoid spending money frivolously and quickly build your savings and emergency fund.

The size of your emergency fund and retirement savings depends on your lifestyle, monthly costs, income, and dependents. The rule of thumb is to put away from 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses for emergencies like car repairs, medical bills, job loss, or temporary disability.

Retirement funds vary by age, but having 2x your annual salary by age 40, 4x by age 50, and 6x by age 60 is recommended for your 401(k). If you retire at 67, it recommended to have at least $600,000 saved. 

Many people simply plan to continue working after retirement age and to bank on being in good health and not suffering any layoffs or business failures. The better alternative is to start or increase savings as early as possible. If you never see the money in your wallet or checking account, you won’t miss it.

DL MoneyMatters provides accounting and daily money management services and does not  give investment advice. If you need a trusted financial or investment advisor, we may be able to provide a reference.