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Paying bills isn't exactly fun. And if you or your parents are aging, you may feel even less inclined to keep a close eye on all the details. The time may be right to consider using a bill-paying service, AKA daily money manager.” Note: this service comes with a fee.
Some daily money management companies charge $25-$100 per hour after a free consultation. That can add up to $1,200 to $4,000 per year. Note: Daily money managers do not act as accountants or financial advisors. For example, SilverBills charges $75 per month for a Medicaid-eligible customer ($900 per year) and $100 per month ($1,200 per year) for those who are not. SilverBills and other daily money management companies appoint a dedicated, trained customer-service representative to create an electronic billing system and interface with your parents' bank and billing companies. Payments will be deducted from the customer's bank account or from an escrow account created for variable payments. Many companies also act as a consumer advocate, keeping a vigilant eye out for errors or fraud, and jumping into action if they note anything suspicious.
If you are interested in hiring a bill paying service or daily money manager, you may want to visit the American Association of Daily Money Managers site. Before hiring a pro, seek references from two or more clients. You may also want to look into EverSafe, a company that looks for suspicious banking activity such as unusual spending, excessive withdrawals, etc. – and alerts family members. The cost varies between $7.49 to $22.99 per month depending on the number of accounts. The company can also review credit reports from two credit bureaus, and seniors age 60+ enjoy a 10% discount.