Older adults often live on a fixed income supported by social security, retirement benefits, pension payouts, and similar sources. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 complaints received from adults 62 and older, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has come up with a list of financial issues that typically affect people in their senior years. Here are six of the more common ones.
1. Covering Medical Costs
Medicare doesn’t cover all medical expenses, which is one of the reasons seniors often have concerns about covering their healthcare-related costs. Some seniors opt to use credit cards to do this, but doing so can contribute to additional issues with credit card debt. Instead, seniors may be able to:
• Explore options with supplemental insurance
• Work out a payment plan with their medical provider
• Opt for a loan with a reasonable rate for larger medical expenses
In addition, many seniors have difficulty getting to their doctor’s appointments. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Castle Rock in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Reverse Mortgage Complications
Specifically for adults 62 and older, reverse mortgages can be a smart way for seniors to use their home’s equity for other expenses. But issues with back taxes or homeowners insurance payments could result in foreclosure by the lender. A potential solution here is for seniors to work out reasonable repayment plans if they’re behind on taxes or insurance payments.
3. Accounts that Are Transferred
Seniors sometimes find their accounts being transferred if unexpected changes occur, such as a financial institution or lender going out of business, merging, or being acquired. This is more likely to happen with accounts that have been in existence for many years. Should this happen, it can be helpful for older adults to:
• Save statements so any inconsistencies can be addressed quickly
• Get information about rates and other account details from the new service provider in writing
• Consider options with other institutions if the new service provider doesn’t offer fair account-related fees
Family caregivers who are helping their loved ones manage their financial accounts may be overwhelmed and unable to provide adequate care. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
4. Unexpected Fees for Traditional Services
Many creditors, lenders, and utility companies are urging customers to make payments and take care of other processes online. However, seniors are less likely to feel comfortable doing this than their younger counterparts. It’s perfectly fine to appreciate traditional services like receiving paper statements or being able to go into a bank and communicate personally with a teller. Still, seniors should be aware of the fact that some of these services that were once commonplace may now have fees associated with them.
5. Charges for Unwanted Subscriptions
Older consumers sometimes find themselves faced with “surprise” charges on their monthly statements because of financial issues related to subscriptions. Some companies, especially those that are accessible online, aren’t clear about the need to cancel after a trial period or the fact that there’s a recurring fee buried in small print. When situations like this happen, seniors can challenge any charges for subscriptions they didn’t want. Most reputable businesses are willing to resolve these issues without much fuss.
6. Fallout from Financial Scams
Some seniors are preyed upon by financial scammers. The possibility of this happening becomes greater for older adults with physical health issues or cognitive impairments. Common scams can include charging for services not provided or identity theft. The risk of experiencing a financial scam may be reduced if seniors take the following steps:
• Regularly check credit reports
• Use banking apps that require verification when unusual activity occurs
• Dispute charges or, if appropriate, contact an attorney
Financial difficulties can make it challenging for seniors to maintain their independence. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Castle Rock, CO, seniors can depend on. To speak with one of our trusted Care Managers, call 720-580-5378 today.