Your Questions . . . Answered!
What is your geographical reach?
We work with clients in their homes in the following areas: Rockland County & Westchester County (New York); Northern New Jersey; and in Manhattan. Depending on location, we may charge for travel time, tolls and parking.
Where do you work?
We’ll work together at your kitchen table, desk, or anywhere in your home where you do your paperwork. If necessary, we’ll clear away the clutter to make room to handle your financial tasks, make room for essential files, and create an easy-to-navigate space to get things done. Occasionally, we can do some tasks back at our office—like phone calls or organizing information for taxes or other projects.
How do you charge for your services?
Like many other professions, we charge clients by the hour for work we do at their location or from ours. Followup phone calls and other work, such as assembling tax information, preparing an insurance claim, etc. can often be done more efficiently at our office.
Can’t my family help me with financial tasks?
Of course they can—if they are able, willing and available. Which is NOT the case with all families. Many times, families live far away or are overwhelmed with their own paperwork and life situations. So while they want to be helpful, they don’t have the time to do the job consistently. Sometimes clients hire me to ease the burden on a grown child or trusted friend who you have named Power of Attorney, Trustee, or Executor. Other clients do not have family they can rely on or would rather work with a neutral third party. I provide support services or function as a sounding board for your fiduciaries.
Can’t my family help me with financial tasks?
Of course they can—if they are able, willing and available. Which is NOT the case with all families. Many times, families live far away or are overwhelmed with their own paperwork and life situations. So, while they want to be helpful, they don’t have the time to do the job consistently. One client’s daughter said to us recently, “I just want to be a daughter!” She didn’t want her visits with mom to be filled with paperwork and other must do’s. Or, you may not have family to rely on. This reality is what gave rise to the profession of daily money manager, also known as financial organizer.
Sometimes clients hire us to ease the burden on a grown child or trusted friend who you have named Power of Attorney, Trustee, or Executor. We provide support services or function as a sounding board for your fiduciaries.
I’m a family caregiver. How can you assist me?
You’ve got a lot on your plate. And, you may live far from your senior loved one. We can be the “boots on the ground,” visiting regularly to open mail, handle simple and more complex paperwork or financial tasks and to do the follow-ups. We can consolidate your loved one’s important contact and bill-paying information for you and make sure all the appropriate people are in the loop. Our client is always the senior, but as professionals with an outside perspective, we can provide families and caregivers both peace of mind and hands-on assistance.
What’s wrong with a messy desk . . . I know where everything is!
There is NO need to have an orderly desk or home office until . . . you need someone else to step in and find important items and pay crucial bills in your absence. At that moment, wouldn’t an easy-to-understand paperwork system be invaluable? Why wait?
Would I be giving up my independence by hiring someone to help?
Our role as financial organizers is NOT to tell clients what to do with their paperwork. Instead, we develop a system together that works for them and simply makes sense. We bring new ideas and perspectives from our years in practice, but you’re always the one in charge. With a financial organizer, you have the added benefit of an extra pair of eyes, ears, and hands. The best way for a senior to maintain independence is to demonstrate that they can handle their bills and important paperwork while having the good sense to get assistance when and where they need it.
What if I don’t want to hand over my checkbook?
How your bills are paid is up to you. We NEVER sign checks for clients. Only YOU sign your own checks and determine what bills to pay. To lend a hand, we can organize and track payments, create a bill paying calendar, make sure your check register is in order, follow up on confusing invoices and questionable charges, and write out checks for your signature.
Can I do some of the work myself?
It’s always up to you to decide how much you would like me to do and how much you can do or would like to continue doing yourself. You set the pace. Some clients ask me to create a system and then choose to run with it with periodic check-ups with me. Others want a weekly, every other week, or monthly visit and essentially “outsource” to me some aspect of their desk work (opening the mail, bill paying, tax organization, etc.)
I already have a Power of Attorney, Executor and Trustee. Do I also need a financial organizer or daily money manager?
In most cases, my clients have not yet tapped their POA or trustee, certainly not their executors if they are still alive! I can assist you with the paperwork before these fiduciaries step in and, once they do take charge, I can orient them to your financial landscape and provide them “boots on the ground” professional and confidential assistance.
Can I do some of the work myself?
It’s always up to you to decide how much you would like us to do and how much you would like to continue doing yourself. You set the pace. Some clients ask us to create a system and then choose to run with it on their own with periodic check-ups. Others want a weekly, every other week, or monthly visit and essentially “outsource” to me some aspect of their desk work (opening the mail, bill paying, tax organization, etc.)
I already have a Power of Attorney, Executor and Trustee. DO I also need a daily money manager/financial organizer?
In most cases, clients have not yet tapped their POA’s or trustees for help. Certainly not their executors if they are still alive! We can assist you with the paperwork before these fiduciaries start their work. Once they do step in, we can orient them to your financial landscape and provide them with confidential assistance and boots on the ground professional professional help.
Do you take the place of my attorney, accountant, or financial advisor?
No. Everyone should have these trusted professionals working for them as a team. As daily money managers (financial organizers), we work closely with the other professionals in your life. If you’d like, we can coordinate the services of these professionals to help meet your goals.
What if I don’t use a computer?
You don’t have to work on a computer or pay bills online, though we can help you with these if you prefer.
Are your services tax deductible?
Your accountant makes the ultimate decision on what items are tax deductible to you. We find that the work we do putting together clients’ information for their tax preparers to complete their tax filings is deductible. Also, our financial organizing for clients who are blind or have another disability that prevents them from handling their own paperwork might also be tax deductible. At year end, we provide itemized paid invoices for my work to your accountant to review and make a determination.
We keep client information in the strictest confidence. We share it only with those who you have authorized us to share it with. We do not ask for access to any of your financial accounts or passwords. After each meeting, your invoice includes a detailed summary of our activity. Transparency is our goal! See our Code of Ethics here.
I have more questions! What’s the best way to contact you?
We welcome your questions and are happy to answer them over the phone or in person. Our contact information is on the Contact page, here.