Imagine having someone who makes sure your bills are paid on time, organizes your tax documents and hands them off to your accountant, and even follows up with your insurance company because you were supposed to be reimbursed for physical therapy.
Sounds too good to be true?
It turns out, you don't have to be wealthy to hire a trusted professional to take care of these kitchen-table money issues for you.
Engaging a daily money manager (also known as a DMM) can be a cost-effective way of making sure your financial life is in order.
What is a daily money manager?
A DMM is a professional who helps people with their personal household finances.
"We are different from bookkeepers and accountants," says Alison Salisbury, a board member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) and the founder of Fiscally Fit, a daily-money-management company in Mountain View, Calif. "We manage a broad range of services for clients, such as bill pay, bookkeeping, account reconciliation, and we work with health insurance claim forms — everything that comes across your monthly mail that relates to your personal finances," she says.
DMMs have been around for decades. Early on, they worked for wealthy families who may not have had the time or skill to manage their day-to-day finances. But over the past 10 to 15 years, DMMs began working for other segments of the population.
Salisbury, who is certified and has been working as a DMM for eight years, says her clients range in age from 30 to 97. "Seniors are the fast-growing segment," she adds.
Why consider working with a DMM?
It's no secret that our cognitive ability to handle our finances diminishes as we age.
Older retirees may forget to pay bills, have difficulty grasping financial concepts or become overwhelmed by the paperwork associated with managing their accounts. Any of these issues can make them vulnerable to scammers who target seniors.
Plus, when the spouse who handled the money dies, and the survivor is having trouble remaining independent and managing everyday financial matters, someone needs to step in. Very often family members may not be in a position to help because they are strapped for time or simply live too far away.