Senior Living: Protecting Our Parents: Part 2
By Joy Cote
Power of attorney (POA) allows you to have access to your parent’s information, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask generic questions before you receive the POA.
When I sat down with my Dad and spoke to him about what he wanted to do with his money; I told him I was worried that I couldn’t help him like he needed. He told me “don’t worry we will figure it out together” that helped me so much because I am not an expert at all. Navigating these waters is new to me too.
We sat down with a broker I knew and went over what requirements my Dad would have for his money. It was this broker who encouraged me to check out www.finra.org as a resource and to do a broker check on any and all brokers he said “to be fore armed is to be fore warned”. I should have been doing this all along, not just for my Dad but for myself as well.
Everyone, regardless of age, should do a broker check, it’s free through www.finra.org. If a broker has broken your trust, www.finra.org also has information that can help. They have a help line that you can call and they will answer any questions you have. Speak to the bankers and brokers that you do business with and ask them questions. Another resource for seniors’ is a guide that you can print out that will help you become aware of some scams and what to do if a situation arises.
I know it is awkward talking to your parent’s regarding their finances. My Dad, however, embraced these conversations imparting wisdom and encouragement along with his wishes for the years to come.
It seems as though the best way to protect our parents’ finances is to be proactive. Communicate with them, be present during conversations regarding money, discuss what they want to have happen, and question the people that are around them who influence their decisions regarding money.
I am not an expert; I am just a daughter that wants to protect her Dad from all kinds of danger, this being one of them. Being informed has helped calm my fears; knowing that there are people out there who know what to do, and who are able to answer questions or direct me to a place that can, has been instrumental in making me feel more secure about helping my Dad.
Senior investors can call the Helpline at 844-57-HELPS or 844-574-3577 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday Joy is a traveler blogger she writes about the amazing places and people she encounters. You can read about her adventures at joy4travel.wordpress.com