Since 1981, the AARP Foundation has been working with state and local agencies to provide basic money management services to older and disabled persons with limited incomes (below $22,214 for single clients, below $31,433 for couples).
This study was undertaken in response to requests from participating local and state agencies seeking to gauge the impact of the Foundation's Money Management Program. Its findings show the extent to which the program successfully helps clients manage their money, illustrates the program's benefits, and demonstrates the differences it has made locally as well as nationally. Overall, the study finds the program continues to provide a much-needed service to older adults who need assistance with or are no longer able to manage their own finances.
Clients enter the program for a variety of reasons; bill payer clients are most likely to be overwhelmed or nervous about bills while representative payee clients most likely have brain disabilities which affect bill paying. As a result of the time and support of volunteers, most clients are able to pay their bills on time, do not experience any questionable withdrawals or expenses, and have their checks clear successfully. The program clearly shows a positive impact on the lives of the clients – they are happier, more trusting, more relaxed, less stressed, and have peace of mind knowing that their bills are getting paid.
Participating local agencies were asked to collect and report data for the study which was conducted from October 2005 through September 2006. Further information about the study may be obtained by contacting the report's author, Lona Choi-Allum, at 202-434-6333. (9 pages)