A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, can wreak havoc on even the best financial planning for retirement.
Alzheimer’s is incurable, and about 5.4 million people in the United States, and 353,800 people in Australia ( expected to rise to 900,000 by 2050) are now living with it. With the oldest of the baby boomers turning 70 this year, the number of people with dementia is expected to soar, so it’s important to have some awareness that financial problems can be some of the most notable symptoms of dementia.
Some signs that a person may be experiencing dementia are bills that remain unpaid, or if they start giving away money to charities when that money is needed for living expenses. They also are likely to fall prey to phone and internet scams.
Another aspect of the diagnosis is that a person may have to resign from employment at a much earlier age than planned, having a devastating effect on anticipated future earnings. So it is important to be prepared, and sign a Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian while you have the mental capacity to sign such documents. It is also important to choose your Attorney and Guardian carefully. These don’t necessarily have to be family members, but someone who is trustworthy, and capable of making, or assisting you to make, financial decisions. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that financial abuse is the highest type of elder abuse, and that the perpetrator is generally a son or daughter, but these statistics should come into consideration when choosing the most suitable person.
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