Signs Aging Parents May Need Help Managing Finances

I have recently seen a number of articles on the subject of aging and the related decline in financial judgment. Here is a well-written article on how to identify this, and ways to begin a discussion of this difficult subject.

From the article:

Research shows that financial decision-making peaks around age 53, and by age 60 our ability to process new information starts to slow. The shift happens at a different pace for everyone, and it can be accelerated by medical conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia. While some people are capable of managing their own finances throughout their lifetime, others may find their skills suffering.
The impact could be as benign as paying a utility bill twice, or something worse, like falling prey to a scam.
Experts say there are signs that children or spouses can watch out for that will help them know when it's time to step in and help an older relative with their finances.

The article goes on share findings from a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham:

The study looked at up to seven years of financial skill performance among cognitively normal older adults. The warning signs of financial decline it found are:
— Taking longer to complete everyday financial tasks;
— Missing key details in financial documents;
— Having difficulty with everyday math;
— Showing decreased understanding of common financial concepts;
— Having difficulty identifying risks in an investment opportunity.

Finally, the author shares some great tips on how to prepare for this situation, with the key takeaway being the importance of being proactive (something we can all work on!).