Managing finances in the senior years is difficult for two reasons: First, the complexity of remembering to pay bills and balance a checkbook, let alone remembering to manage investments, can become overwhelming. Second, money often runs out when long-term care and other medical bills start to pile up. Here are four professionals you should know about to help keep track of finances and to find solutions when funds are short.
Certified Financial Planner
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is someone certified to help you invest money to meet your current needs or future goals. Sometimes they work on commission from the financial products they sell. It may be better to work with someone who works for a flat fee. Learn more about where to find a CFP in our Professional Resources section.
Elder Law Attorney
An elder law attorney works with families to manage assets to pay for care. Many times, this involves the legalities around applying for Medicaid to finance long-term care. Medicaid requires a “spend down” of assets to qualify. Elder law attorneys can help families figure out the legal parameters of assets that qualify and the “five-year look-back” that many states use to determine Medicaid eligibility. Elder law attorneys also help fill out the Medicaid or Veterans Affairs applications correctly.
Medical Claims Advocate/Professional
Medical Claims Professionals will read through your medical bills to determine whether you’ve been overcharged. They can obtain reimbursements for covered care and help you file appeals for denials. They usually work for an hourly rate.
A private fiduciary is a professional who will manage a person’s assets if they are deemed incompetent to manage their money any longer. They are often court appointed, but can be hired by families for a loved one living at a distance. Services include bill pay, investment management, and the purchasing of needed goods and services. This is a high-trust relationship and profession. Only certified private fiduciaries should be considered.
See our Professional Resources page for links to these professionals in your area.