How to Find and Claim Your Family's Unclaimed Money

I've heard that there are free online search tools that can help people look for lost or forgotten money left behind by deceased relatives. Can you refer me? When my father passed away his financial affairs were a mess, I'm wondering if there was anything he left behind.


Forgotten or lost money is actually quite common in the United States. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, there is around $42 billion in unclaimed funds sitting in state treasuries and other agencies just waiting to be found.

These unclaimed funds are from accounts that are inactive or whose owners, or their heirs, cannot be located. Unclaimed funds can include lost or forgotten saving or checking accounts, stocks, utility security deposits, tax refunds, life insurance proceeds, uncashed dividend checks, contents of safe-deposit boxes and more.

This typically happens because of a change of address (the owner moved), a name change (the owner got married or divorced) or the owner dies and the estate was unaware of the money or the heirs could not be located. By law, companies and financial institutions that can't find the owner or their next of kin within two to five years must turn the property over to the state where it's held indefinitely.

Where to Search


It's very possible that your father, or you, have some unclaimed money out there and you don't even know it. To start your quest go to Unclaimed.org, which has links to all state programs that will let you to do a state benefits search online for free. Alternatively, you can do a multi-state search in 40 states at MissingMoney.com.

Check every state in which your father or you have lived, worked or conducted business. Also, if you're married, make sure to check under your maiden name as well. Using a first initial and your last name is also encouraged to make sure everything comes up. Every state should be able to tell you immediately if you or your dad have some unclaimed money, as well as how to go about collecting it.

Look Here Too


In addition to state treasuries, here are some other agencies that can help you find unclaimed money.

IRS: Each year thousands of refund checks totaling millions of dollars are returned to the IRS by the post office. To look for lost Federal tax refund checks go to IRS.gov/refunds, or call 800-829-1954.

U.S. Treasury: To find out if there are any savings bonds your dad didn't claim dating back to 1974, go to TreasuryHunt.gov. For older bonds, or those still drawing interest, use form 1048, which you can download at TreasuryHunt.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf, or call 844-284-2676 to request a form by mail.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: If your dad worked for a company that went out of business or ended its defined benefit pension plan, you may be entitled to some of his benefits. To look for lost pensions, use the pension-search tool at PBGC.gov/search/unclaimed-pensions, or you can call 800-400-7242 and get help over the phone.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: To track down a lost or forgotten life insurance policy, the NAIC, an insurance regulatory support organization, offers a national policy locator service at Locator.NAIC.org.

PenChecks Inc. and Millennium Trust Co.: To search for lost or forgotten retirement benefits or 401(k) funds left behind with an old employer, go to UnclaimedRetirementBenefits.comand MTrustCompany.com/unclaimed-retirement-funds.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: To search for unclaimed bank accounts at firms that were shut down between January 1, 1989 and June 28, 1993 go to ClosedBanks.FDIC.gov/funds. State treasuries hold assets from shutdowns after 1993.

Social Security: To find lost Social Security benefits, including the $255 death benefit, call 800-772-1213.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published July 21, 2017

WCCF is Offering Scholarships to Non-Traditional Students

The Washington County Community Foundation is now offering scholarships to non-traditional students through its Education Matters initiative. 

Education Matters is a regional undertaking organized by the community foundations that serve Washington, Scott, Harrison, Clark and Floyd counties to try to increase the number of working adults in our region who started but never completed some form of post-secondary education – education that extends beyond high school.

You might be surprised to learn that in Southeast Indiana, only 25% of our workforce has an associate’s, bachelors or professional degree, compared to 38% nationally. Yet one in four of our community’s adult workers has earned some college credits! That’s over 3,100 people in Washington County!  For whatever reason, they started but never completed their post-secondary education. This represents a tremendous amount of untapped potential in our community.

The community foundations that created Education Matters have elected to concentrate on a small sliver of the overall issue, those one in four of our adult workers who have some post-secondary credits but did not complete their degrees or certifications. This population of people who started but didn’t finish their education is where the Washington County Community Foundation sees opportunity to implement immediate changes that can drive our educational attainment numbers up, ultimately having real impact on our community.

The following criteria have been established for round of scholarships:  

  1. Annual awards will not exceed $3,000 the first twelve months and $5,000 per person in any subsequent twelve month period.
  2. Scholarship applicants must be a minimum of 28 years old as of the date of application.
  3. Only individuals who can demonstrate continuing legal residence in Washington County for at least the past five years are eligible. Documentation such as tax forms, housing receipts, or utility bills will be used to verify residency and/or household income.
  4. Scholarship awards may be used for tuition, course-related fees, or books only. Checks will only be written to an educational institution or certified training provider.
  5. The application deadline is October 6, 2017. No exceptions. 
  6. Adult scholarship awards may not be used to pay for college debt.
  7. Subsequent awards will only be considered for students maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA.

Call the Washington County Community Foundation office at 883-7334 or email program.officer@wccf.biz to request an application or for more information.

The mission of the Washington County Community Foundation is to engage people, build resources and strengthen our community. 

The Hidden Dangers of Heartburn

 

Is regular heartburn or indigestion anything to worry about? My 60-year-old husband eats a lot of Tums or Rolaids throughout the day to help him manage it, but it keeps him up at night too. What can you tell us?
Almost everyone experiences heartburn or acid indigestion from time to time, but frequent episodes can signal a much more serious problem. Here's what you should know, along with some tips and treatments to help relieve your husband's symptoms.
It is estimated that more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, with around 15 million people suffering from it daily. If your husband is plagued by heartburn two or more times a week and it is not responding well to over-the-counter antacids, he needs to see a doctor. Frequent bouts may mean he has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can severely irritate and damage the lining of his esophagus, putting him at risk of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer if it is not treated.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Depending on the frequency and severity of his heartburn, there are a number of lifestyle adjustments he can make that can help provide relief and avoid a more serious problem down the road. Consider these tips:
  • Avoid problem foods: Certain foods can trigger heartburn symptoms, including citrus fruits, tomatoes, fatty foods, chocolate, garlic, onions, spicy foods, mints, alcohol, coffee and sodas. Your husband should keep a food diary to track which foods cause him the most problems and avoid them.
  • Eat smaller, slower and earlier: Having smaller portions at mealtime and eating slower can help reduce heartburn symptoms. He should also wait at least three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed.
  • Lose weight: Having excess weight around the midsection puts pressure on the abdomen, pushing up the stomach and causing acid to back up into the esophagus.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can increase stomach acid and weaken the valve that prevents acid from entering the esophagus. If your husband smokes, the National Cancer Institute offers a number of smoking cessation resources at SmokeFree.gov or 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Sleep elevated: To help keep the acid down while sleeping, get your husband a wedge-shaped pillow to prop him up a few inches. If that's not enough, try elevating the head of his bed six to eight inches by placing blocks under the bedposts or insert a wedge between his mattress and box spring. Wedges are available at drugstores and medical supply stores. Sleeping on his left side may also help keep the acid down.

Treatment Options

If the lifestyle adjustments don't solve the problem or if antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta or Alka-Seltzer aren't doing the trick there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help. His doctor can help him determine which one is best for him. Treatment options include:
H-2 Blockers: Available as both over-the-counter and prescription strength, these drugs, including Pepcid, Tagamet, Axid and Zantac, reduce how much acid your stomach makes but may not be strong enough for serious symptoms.
Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPI): If you have frequent and severe heartburn symptoms, PPIs are long-acting prescription medications that block acid production and allow time for damaged esophageal tissue to heal. They include Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Zegerid, Protonix, Aciphex and Dexilant. Prevacid 24 HR, Prilosec and Zegerid OTC are also available over-the-counter. But be aware that long-term use of PPIs can increase your risk for osteoporosis and chronic kidney disease.
Surgery: If medications don't do the trick, there are also surgical procedures that can tighten or strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent gastric fluids from washing back up into the esophagus.
Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.
Published July 14, 2017

New Medicare Cards Debut Next Year

 

I just received my Medicare card in the mail and was surprised to see that the ID number is the same as my Social Security number. I know it's a bad idea to carry around anything that displays my Social Security number because it makes me vulnerable to identity theft. Wasn't the government supposed to stop putting Social Security numbers on Medicare cards?
Many people who are new to Medicare are surprised to learn that the ID number on their Medicare card is identical to their Social Security number (SSN). After all, we're constantly warned not to carry our SSN around with us, because lost or stolen SSN information could result in identity theft.
But what should you do when the Medicare card itself tells you to carry it with you so that you can present it to administrative staff at a doctor's office or hospital? Here are some tips and information that you can use to protect yourself.

New Medicare Cards

For starters, you'll be happy to know that the government is in the process of removing SSNs from Medicare cards. But with 58 million beneficiaries, it is a huge undertaking that will be implemented gradually. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will start sending the new cards in April 2018, but it will take until December 2019 for SSNs to be removed from all cards.
Under the new system, a randomly generated 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier will replace the SSN-based health claim number on your new Medicare card, but your Medicare benefits will not change.
You will receive information in 2018 letting you know about the new Medicare card with an explanation of how to use the new card and what to do with your old one. You can start using your new Medicare card and number as soon as you receive it. There will likely be a transition period in 2018 and 2019 when you can use either the old card or the new card.

Protect Your Identity

Until your new Medicare card is issued, here is what you can do to protect your SSN on your current card. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a national consumer resource on identity theft, recommends that you carry your Medicare card only when you visit a health care provider for the first time so the provider can make a copy for their files. Otherwise, make a photocopy of your card and cut it down to wallet size. Then take a black marker and black out the last four digits of your SSN and carry that with you instead.
If your Medicare card does happen to get lost or stolen, you can replace it by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or by contacting your local Social Security office. You can also request a card online at SSA.gov/MyAccount. Your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.
If your Medicare card containing your SSN gets lost or stolen, you will need to keep an eye out for Medicare fraud. You can do this by checking your quarterly Medicare summary notices for services or supplies you did not receive. You can also check your Medicare claims online at MyMedicare.gov (you'll need to create an account first) or by calling Medicare at 800-633-4227. If you spot anything suspicious or incorrect, call the Inspector General's fraud hotline at 800-447-8477.
Also, watch for other signs of identity theft. For example, if someone uses your Social Security number to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts or other goods and services, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft.gov (or 877-438-4338). This site will also give you specific steps you will need to take if your identity gets stolen.
Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.
Published July 7, 2017

WCCF offering $30,000.00 in Fall Grant Cycle

There will be a public meeting for any non-profit organization wishing to apply for a grant from the Washington County Community Foundation. The meeting will be held on August 1st, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the Community Learning Center.  We will discuss our grant criteria, guidelines, application process, deadlines and reporting process.  There will be an opportunity to ask questions.  Our goal is that by the end of the meeting, all potential applicants will have a strong understanding of the process.  Attendance at this meeting is not required to apply for a grant; however, first-time grant applicants are strongly encouraged to attend this session.

This type of grant is issued from the Washington County Community Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow funds.  The total amount available for this grant cycle is $30,000.00.

Grant applications for the fall grant cycle will be available at the public meeting and the WCCF office. The Washington County Community Foundation will begin accepting applications on August1, 2017. The application deadline will be 3:30 pm, September 14, 2017. For more information, you may call Judy Johnson or Lindsey Wade-Swift at the Foundation office.  The number is 883-7334.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever.

Auto Safety Devices That Can Help Seniors with Older Cars

Auto Safety Devices That Can Help Seniors with Older Cars

Do you know of any auto safety products that can help seniors with older cars? My 80-year-old father, who drives his beloved 2004 Toyota Avalon, is still a good pretty driver but he has limited range-of-motion, which makes looking over his shoulder to back-up or merge into traffic very difficult.
To help keep your dad safe and extend his driving years, there are a number of auto aids and new safety technology products that can be added to his car to help with various needs. Here are several to consider.

Backup Aids

To help your dad increase his visibility when backing up, a simple product that can be added to his car is an AllView Mirror ($60, AllviewMirror.com). This is an oversized rear view mirror that attaches to his existing mirror to widen his rear visibility and eliminate blind spots so he can see traffic without significant neck or body rotation. It also helps during parking.
Another option is a backup camera. These come with a weatherproof night vision camera that attaches to the license plate on the rear of the car. When the car is in reverse, it sends live images wirelessly to a small monitor that mounts on the car's dashboard or windshield. The Yada Digital Wireless Backup Camera ($140, Amazon) with 4.3" Dash Monitor is a good option. Or, if your dad doesn't want a monitor in his car, the Auto Vox Wireless Backup Camera ($140, Amazon.com) is one that displays the images in a rearview mirror.

Blind Spot Helpers

To help your dad see better when switching lanes or merging into traffic, consider purchasing some "blind spot mirrors." These are small convex mirrors that stick to the corner of the car's side view mirrors to improve side and rear vision. They can be purchased at any store that sells auto supplies.
Or, for a high-tech and more comprehensive solution, there's the Goshen Blind Spot Detection System ($239, Goshers.com). This system uses small sensors installed on each side of the rear bumper that monitor the sides of the vehicle and will alert your dad with a light indicator, installed inside the car, if any object is detected within 10 feet.

Safety Products

For extra safety, you may also want to consider a collision warning/lane departure device for your dad's vehicle like the Mobileye 630. This is a smart camera that attaches to the windshield and will alert your dad if he speeds, drifts out of his lane, gets too close to the car in front of him or gets too close to a pedestrian or cyclist. Sold only through retailers (see Mobileye.com/en-us/find-a-retailer), this device can be purchased and installed by a Mobileye-certified technician for around $1,100.
If you're interested in something a little less expensive, there are also dashboard cameras that can double as collision warning systems. Garmin's Dash Cam 35 ($129, Amazon.com), for example, monitors up to 130 feet in front of the vehicle. So if your dad is going 30 mph or faster, it will issue audio and visual alerts of impending collisions.
Another product that can help keep your dad safe in emergency situations is the Hum (Hum.com). This nifty device will automatically call emergency services if your dad has been in an accident. It also sends alerts to drivers' phones if there's a mechanical problem and lets drivers press a button if they need roadside assistance. Hum works in cars built in 1996 or later and costs $10 per month with a two-year required subscription plus a one-time set-up and activation fee totaling $50.
Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.
Published June 30, 2017
 

Social Security Advice for Soon-To-Be Retirees

 

Can you recommend any services that help pre-retirees decide when to start drawing their Social Security benefits? My wife and I are approaching retirement age and want to carefully weigh our options to make sure we're maximizing our benefits.

Deciding when to begin collecting your Social Security benefits could be one of the most important retirement-income decisions you'll make. The difference between a good decision and a poor one could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over your retirement, so doing your homework and weighing your options now is a wise move.

What to Consider


As you may already know, you can claim Social Security any time between the ages of 62 and 70, but each year you wait increases your benefit by 5-8%. There are other factors you need to take into account to help you make a good decision, like your health and family longevity, whether you plan to work in retirement, along with spousal and survivor benefits.

To help you weigh your claiming strategies, you need to know that Social Security Administration claims specialists are not trained or authorized to give personal advice on when you should start drawing your benefits. They can only provide you information on how the system works under different circumstances. To get advice you'll need to turn to other sources.

Web-Based Help


Your first step in getting Social Security claiming strategy advice is to go to SSA.gov/myaccount to get your personalized statement that estimates what your retirement benefits will be at age 62, full retirement age or when you turn 70. These estimates are based on your yearly earnings that are also listed on your report.

Once you get your estimates for both you and your wife, there are many online tools you can use to compare your options so you can make an informed decision.

Some free sites that offer basic calculations include AARP's Social Security Benefits Calculator (AARP.org/socialsecuritybenefits) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Planning for Retirement tool (ConsumerFinance.gov/retirement).

Personal Advice


If you want human help, there are specialized firms and financial advisors that can advise you too.

You can also get help through a financial planner. Look for someone who is a fee-only certified financial planner (CFP) who charges on an hourly basis and has experience in Social Security analysis. To find someone, use the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors online directory at NAPFA.org.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published June 23, 2017

Best Bicycles for Baby Boomers

 

My husband and I are interested in getting a couple of bicycles for leisurely exercise and fun. We're both approaching 60 and are a little overweight. It has also been a while since we rode. Do you have any recommendations?
If you're interested in leisurely recreational riding for fitness and fun, a great option is a "comfort bike," which is very popular among baby boomers. Here's what you should know about this option, along with some tips to help you make your selection.

Comfort Bikes

A comfort bike is a style of bicycle that's easy on an aging body because it lets you ride in a more comfortable upright position. These bikes have high handlebars so you don't have to hunch over, which eases lower-back strain and reduces pressure on the wrists and hands. They also come with wide tires for a smooth ride, offer fewer gears and have soft, wide seats to eliminate saddle soreness.
Most comfort bikes also come with shock-absorbing forks and seat posts for additional comfort. Some offer unique design features like an ultra low step-over bar that makes getting on and off easy for people with limited flexibility (like the Biria Easy Boarding at Biria.com). Another option is the "flat-foot" design offered by many manufacturers where the pedals are moved forward, away from the seat. This allows you to get a full-leg extension when you pedal, but keeps the seat in a lower position so that when you come to a stop you can put your feet down flat on the ground while seated. This is a great safety feature for older riders.
Most major manufacturers including Electra, Sun, Raleigh, GT, Giant and Trek all make a line of comfort bike that costs between $300 and $800 or more depending on its features.

Shopping Tips

To find a quality comfort bike, your best option is to find a good bike shop in your area. Bikes from big box stores, like Walmart and Target, are mass-market bikes that may be less expensive, but the quality sometimes isn't as good and the bikes can be seven to eight pounds heavier. They also typically only offer one size, so you're not as likely to get a great fit.
Before you buy any bike, be sure you take it for a test ride first to ensure that the seat and fit of the bike is comfortable, the brakes and shifters are easy to use, the gears can go low enough for climbing hills and the frame and suspension adequately enable the bike to ride smoothly on bumpy roads.

Recumbent Bikes

If the comfort bikes don't meet your needs, another popular style among older riders is a recumbent bike. These are the low-to-the-ground, stretched-out frame bikes with La-Z-Boy style seats that allow you to recline with your legs positioned in front of you.
Recumbent bikes are very comfortable, easy on the back, arms and shoulders and are aerodynamic, which make them ideal for long rides. However, because they are low-to-the-ground, they can be harder to balance and maneuver and are more difficult for vehicles to see.
If you worry about falling or want more stability when you ride, consider a three-wheel recumbent trike. See SunSeeker.bike and TerraTrike.com for a nice variety. Be aware that recumbent bikes are more expensive and typically range between $1,000 and $2,500.
Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.
Published June 16, 2017

Express China Restaurant Gives the Gift of Reading

Thanks to Express China Restaurant, forty Washington County preschoolers will be able to sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for an entire year. 

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is free to all Washington County residents under the age of five.  Once signed up, the child will receive an age appropriate book mailed to their house each month.  If a child signs up at birth, by their fifth birthday they will receive 60 books, all free.

“This is a tremendous service,” stated Judy Johnson, Executive Director of the Washington County Community Foundation.  “We could not offer it without the support of generous donors such as Express China Restaurant.”

It only costs $26.00 per year to sponsor a child.   If you would like to become a sponsor, contact the Washington County Community Foundation office at 812-883-7334, or mail your check to Washington County Community Foundation, PO Box 50, Salem, IN  47167. 

The mission of the Washington County Community Foundation is to engage people, build resources and strengthen our community.  Visit the website at www.wccf.biz and like the Foundation on Facebook. 

How to Hire a Home Helper

 

I would like to hire a personal assistant/home helper for my mom to assist with some simple household chores like housekeeping, running errands, driving her to the doctor and keeping her company. But my mom doesn't require personal/physical caregiving nor does she require any home medical care. Any tips to help us find someone? Getting your mom some help at home to handle some of her household chores can make a big difference in helping her maintain her independence. Here's what you should know, along with some tips to help you find someone reliable for your mom.

Home Helpers


For seniors who could use some help at home - but don't need an aide for personal care - there are numerous personal assistance/home helpers out there who can help make life a little easier. Most home helpers can assist with a number of things, including shopping, running errands, transportation, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, arranging services (home maintenance, lawn care, etc.) and other household chores, along with providing companionship and support. Additionally, if at some point in the future your mom needs personal/physical care, like bathing or dressing, a home helper can usually assist with this too. Most home helpers are part-time workers who work a few hours a day or a few days per week. You also need to know that, while Medicare does cover home healthcare services if a doctor orders it, Medicare does not cover home helper/personal assistant services. There are two ways in which you can go about hiring someone for your mom; either through a home care agency or by hiring someone directly on your own.

Home Care Agency


Hiring a home helper through a non-medical home care or non-medical companion care agency is the easiest option. However, it is typically more expensive than hiring someone on your own. Costs run anywhere from $12 up to $30 an hour depending on where you live and the qualification of the assistant/aide. After you pay the company, they will handle everything, including assigning appropriately trained and pre-screened staff to care for your mom and finding fill-in assistants on days her helper is unable to assist. Some of the drawbacks, however, include the fact that you may not have much input in selecting the aide. In addition, the helpers may change or alternate, which can cause a disruption in your mom's daily patterns. To find a home care agency in your area, conduct an internet search using the words "non-medical home care" followed by the city and state your mom lives in. Alternatively, you can use Medicare's home health agencies search tool Medicare.gov/hhcompare. Most home health agencies offer some form of non-medical home care services too. You can also check your local yellow pages under "home healthcare services."

Hiring Directly


Hiring a personal assistant/home helper on your own is the other option and it is usually less expensive. Costs typically range between $10 and $20 per hour. Hiring directly also gives you more control over who you hire so you can choose someone who you feel is right for your mom. However, you should be aware that by hiring someone on your own, you become the employer. As such, if a problem occurs or if the assistant doesn't show up you will not have an agency or company to fall back on for support or back-up assistance. You will also be responsible for paying payroll taxes and providing compensation for worker-related injuries that may occur. If you choose this option, make sure you review the person's references thoroughly and conduct a criminal background check. To find someone, ask for referrals through friends or check online job boards like CraigsList.org. You can also look at Care.com, CareLinx.com, CareFamily.com or CareSpotter.com.Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

 

Published June 9, 2017

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