Finance Friday: Shining a Light on Financial Abuse

financial-abuse-4The 80’s Jam “I wanna Be Rich” By the Calloway brothers, marks how a lot people felt back then and today. Especially within a marriage. Sometimes the mirage of thinking that once two incomes are joined together the family as a unit will be rich. Rich, the word and meaning are truly relative and mean different things to different people. Before an engaged couples go through their nuptials they should get some expert financial advice so they can join together on one accord. Unfortunately, some people don’t factor in that generally when people make higher incomes that also gather more possessions and will have greater expenses.

Having a good understanding of your financial portfolio is important for both people in the relationship. If people cannot grasp how to maintain their finances and pay their own bills they put themselves in jeopardy for other problems such as financial abuse. Financial abuse is real and can occur in any relationship between spouses, relatives, friends, etc. In order to prevent financial abuse, it is important to recognize what it is and to be well aware of the warning signs. Below are a few ways, I believe you can stay on stop of your financial situation and avoid financial abuse.

Know your income:

I was once watching a court TV show once and the judge asked the wife, “How much did you make last year.”

The lady responded, “I don’t know.”

Her response was startlingly to the judge, but too common to be ignored. You have to know what is coming in and going out.

Limit access:

Know who, where, when, and how people can access your money. If you and your spouse have a joint bank account, consider giving your children their own bank accounts, and not letting them have unlimited access to your account or credit cards linked together. Also, everyone should not know what day you are going to get paid. Depending on where you work it may be obvious, but be discreet.

Set clear boundaries:

Have a policy where you choose to or not to loan money to others. I rarely, like to loan money and when we do, my husband and I both have to agree with the terms. It is perfectly OK, to have a policy of “NO.” It is easier to say, “I just don’t loan money.” Of course there may be times when you want to loan someone the money and if that is the case, please consider, giving the money as a gift. Dealing with money and monitoring can often put a strain on any relationship; especially when you request the person sign a promissory note, so try to avoid loaning money to others at all costs.

Have multiple streams of income:

You will feel better about your financial situation if you are not only relying on one source to keep your bills and everything paid. Be innovative and come up with legitimate ways to generate income. Saving only $20 a week over one year; eventually, will become $1,040. Wouldn’t it be great to have an extra grand a year at your disposal. Wise investments can also boost your income.

Monitor your funds and your accounts regularly:

I like the ease of online banking to keep an eye on my finances over a period of time. I believe, if your financial welfare is important to you, then you will spend time with it. You will get to know your money, in a manner of speaking, because you cannot leave your livlihood up to someone else.

Learn:

Gain information about money. It is not something you should be fearful of. You are perfectly capable of managing your finances with a little guidance. Consider, taking a class, books, mentors, etc.

Overall, take charge of your life by knowing how to handle your finances. My grandma use to sing, “Mamma May Have, Pappa May Have, but God Bless the Child that has His Own.” As a child those lyrics stuck with me. Regardless of the situations I encounter or the circumstances I face in life, I will always put something aside for myself. In some circles that will be looked upon as selfish, but the truth is, nobody else is going to take care of you once you are a grown adult. It is then that you have realize your actions and habits that you form such as over spending, not saving, loosing money, not banking, etc all have real consequences. It is also very unhealthy to view money as evil and never learn how to manage it, women and men with this philosophy do a disservice to themselves. I can hear some people now, trying to back their financial negligence with scripture saying “money is the root of all evil.” But people, that is not the verse at all, the verse reads “The Love of money is the root of all evil.” You don’t have to be obsessed or love money to understand the need and importance of learning how to manage it. If you are in a relationship know your boundaries when it comes to money and err on the side of caution at all times.

 

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  • Imogene Suarez

    Elder financial abuse occurs when an individual or entity exploits an elderly individual by preying on the elder’s age-related vulnerabilities, such as impaired mental capacity or loneliness. Elder financial abuse is most commonly committed by a person the elder knows and trusts, such as a family member, friend, caregiver, banker, or nursing home employee. The abuser commonly manipulates the elder into prematurely selling his or her assets, giving the abuser the elder’s money and assets either through gifts or by supporting them, or changing the elder’s estate plan to leave the elder’s estate to the abuser. Those with such malintent also often withhold the elder’s money for daily necessities and/or alienate the elder from his or her family and loved ones, thereby making the elder dependent upon the abuser. Elder financial abuse may also be committed by businesses and organizations. An example of this form of abuse is a financial institution that targets elders, and intentionally sells them financial products that are unnecessary and often financially detrimental or devastating.

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