JANUARY IS FINANCIAL AWARENESS MONTH

The calendar is sprinkled with scores of holidays – “Days,” “Weeks,” and “Months” – that most of us have never heard of. And many of them, frankly, are kind of funny. Just in January alone, for example, there’s “Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day” (Jan. 2); “Fruitcake Toss Day” (the 3rd); “Beer Can Appreciation Day” (the 24th); and – my personal favorite – “National Nothing Day” (the 16th).

 

However, just because a holiday’s not well-known doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. For example, how many Boomers and seniors – the people with the most riding on their financial decisions – know that January is Financial Awareness Month?

 

Boomers and seniors have less time to make up for financial mistakes than younger people. They often have higher expenses in some ways (healthcare!) than younger people. And they have to make a lot more decisions about protecting their financial legacies than younger people.

 

How’s your financial awareness? Can you answer these questions to your own satisfaction?

 

  • Does your Durable Power of Attorney adhere to the new regulations that came into effect in October…regulations that could conceivably make it obsolete?
  • Do you have a long-term-care health plan in place? Or are you prepared to see everything you’ve worked for go down the drain?
  • Are you 100% comfortable with your estate planning documents and your will? Because, if (heaven forbid) you become ill with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you won’t be able to change them.
  • Do you know the rules for Medicaid eligibility? Or will you give money away to friends and relatives for safekeeping…only to be told you’ve disqualified yourself?
  • If you’re a veteran, do you really understand the VA regulations, and exactly what you’re entitled to?
  • Do you understand your trusts, guardianships, and living wills? Do you even have trusts, guardianships, and a living will?
  • Are you in command of your 401K and IRA’s? Or are they in command of you?
  • If you’re a Boomer, do you know where to find your parents’ important papers? Do you know who their accountant is, who their attorney is, who their financial/investment advisors are?
  • Do you have any idea – really – about your parents’ assets? And their wishes?
  • Do you really understand Social Security? Do you really understand Disability?
  • Are all your financial records/papers in one accessible place? Or are they scattered around in boxes, or horned into overflowing file cabinets?

 

How’d you do on this little quiz? If you got a 9 or better (out of 11), you’re doing pretty well. If you got a 7 or an 8, you can expect to face some real uncertainty as time goes by. And if you got lower than a 7, get the patch-up material ready…because your boat is leaking!

 

But that’s where we come in. We specialize in patching up leaky financial boats for Boomers and seniors, so that, as they head into their golden years, they can do so without worrying about losing their life savings.

 

Over the past 33 years, we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families make sound financial decisions for their aging loved ones. We’ve guided them through the maze of regulatory and financial legalese. And we’ve helped them hang on to the financial resources they worked so hard to accumulate.

 

What better time than Financial Awareness Month to give yourself this test? And to do something about it, if you’re not comfortable with the results?

 

We’re only a phone call away.

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Posted in Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos
One comment on “JANUARY IS FINANCIAL AWARENESS MONTH
  1. MaryPat Colandrea says:

    Hi, I would love to work for your law firm, are you hiring?
    It sounds like you really care for the elderly!! It is sad to see what happens in certain situations. I took care of my elderly neighbor for 5 years after he went through numerous CNA’s who took his money, car, personal belongings, and even going as far as opening new credit cards in his name. I never experienced this before, and cannot imagine how many elderly people go through this without knowing it. Breaks my heart. MaryPat

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