Women's Retirement Radio

Paula Canaday-Daeke - The Caregiver Series Part 5 - Episode 48

January 10, 2022 Russ Thornton Season 3 Episode 2
Women's Retirement Radio
Paula Canaday-Daeke - The Caregiver Series Part 5 - Episode 48
Show Notes Transcript

A few weeks ago, one of my listeners suggested a series of conversations on what it means for a woman to become a caregiver.

So I'm happy to share the 5th installment in "The Caregiver Series" with Paula Canaday-Daeke, owner of Fiscally Balanced, a daily money management provider.

In this conversation, we address when and how a daily money manager might be helpful, especially in a caregiving situation.

If you'd like to learn more about Paula and her work, please visit these links:

Get in touch and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

And thank you for listening.

Visit my website to learn more.

Disclosures

Russ Thornton:
Hey everyone. It's Russ. Welcome to another episode of Women's Retirement Radio. Today, we are continuing our series about caregiving and I'm excited to welcome Paula Canaday-Daeke on the conversation with us. Paula owns a company called Fiscally Balanced and I'll let her explain a little bit more about what she does and how she helps people, but Paula, welcome.

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
Well, thank you so much, Russ. I really appreciate the opportunity today.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, well, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad we can share a conversation with folks. Why don't you start by just telling us a little bit about who you are and what it is you do?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
Sure. Absolutely. Well, the profession that I'm in is daily money management and my company Fiscally Balanced handles personal financial matters for those that are limited in ability, time or knowledge. So for today's conversation, we'll probably be focusing more on the ability or lack of ability and part of the types of clients that I work with. But yeah, I've been working with clients across Georgia and across the country actually. So it's not just limited to here locally.

Russ Thornton:
And could you explain a little further about what's involved in daily money management and how that's different from maybe hiring a financial advisor or a financial coach or someone like that?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
Absolutely. So I say that the professional partnerships that I form as a daily money manager are extremely important because I'm not going to have the answers to every single thing. So in some instances, I may refer clients to a CFP like yourself or to a CPA, insurance broker, life care manager or whatever it may be. I focus more on the day-to-day finances. So that can be things like paying your bills, managing your checkbook, taking care of bank deposits, reconciling your checkbook, and reconciling your insurance claims. All those types of daily functions and interactions they have with their money. So it's not so much the long term investing. I leave that up to the smart folks like yourself. It's more of the day-to-day function of money management.

Russ Thornton:
Well, I'm glad you provided that specific perspective because I think that's a nice segway into our discussion around the role that you can play and the supports you can offer in a caregiving situation. So let's say it's an older couple, for example, and one spouse is in a situation where they now need to care for the other spouse. Or it could be a caregiving situation where you're taking care of or supporting an aging parent. Could you speak maybe a little bit more specifically about how you might get involved in help in a situation like that?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
Sure, absolutely. I think in those situations people come to either daily money managers, folks like yourself or other professionals, typically in a time of crisis, not always proactively and aware that you kind of see things coming on if you will. Unfortunately, I have very firsthand knowledge of dementia and what that can do from a devastation perspective to your family and the crisis management that also ensues, and unfortunately with multiple family members. So it's one of those things where when you're in that situation, you don't even know who to call and you don't even know what you don't know. What I like to try to get people to think about is really looking out for some early warning signs of a reason behind why are bills all of a sudden not being paid on time? Or why is there a stack of mail that wasn't there previously before? Or why is my mom or dad really good with their finances and all of a sudden their checkbook isn't balanced the way that it should be?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
So I think that really including the family, friends, and people that touch that particular person, where they can keep on the lookout for those types of signs is helpful. But as far as the work once I would get involved, it would be around paying one's bills on their behalf. Because as we know, when people become elderly and get to a place where there might be cognitive impairment, dementia, or even vision issues where they can't even physically see their bills, physically pay a bill, or write a check any longer, there is going to be varying different reasons why somebody might call a daily money manager. But those are the typical ones when you're dealing with more of the senior population. So as far as how we get involved, it's really taking over their day-to-day functional life with regards to financial money management, because they can no longer do so themselves. And that inability is usually where we get called in.

Russ Thornton:
And when you do get called in, and I'm sure every situation is going to be a little bit different, but are you typically referred in? Or does maybe a senior call or maybe their adult children call you? Or is it really just kind of a little bit of everything?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
Yeah. I think unfortunately, most seniors that are already in the midst of something going awry, they don't realize that something's going awry. So you don't typically get the phone call directly from them, except for instance, I'm about to have a conversation later today with somebody who's losing her vision. She's elderly and cognitively fine, but she can't see any longer. She's struggling to be able just open the mail, see what the mail is and be able to pay her bills. And so in those types of situations, you might get the senior to call you. But in many cases where you're dealing more with cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer's, those types of things, you don't typically see the senior calling you. So it is usually the family. It's usually somebody that's close to the individual.

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
In some cases, it can be the professional partnerships that I've established. Whether it's a life care manager that's been called in to help with the health of one's loved one, and then they realize that there's a stack of bills sitting there that haven't been paid and realize they probably need help on the financial side of things. So they may call me. Or a financial advisor like yourself, who may be involved with working with clients and because you've worked with them for so many years, you start to see a degradation and realize they may need some additional support or help. So it's really varied, and how people will pick up the phone and give me a call. But I would say in most circumstances, it's typically the children of the elderly person.

Russ Thornton:
Got it. And going back to kind of this hypothetical situation, let's say it's one spouse that is in a caregiver role for the other spouse as that's kind of an example we've used throughout this series, and let's say that either one of them or their adult children is introduced to you or gets in touch with you. I know I'm painting a pretty rough sketch here, but could you maybe just give us an idea of what an engagement might look like? In terms of what are the steps like? How do you get involved? What happens first? What happens next? And is it a situation where you're trying to basically set up systems and processes where maybe that spouse can then take things over once it's better organized? Or do you typically find yourself working with individuals and families on a long term basis? Or is it really just going to be kind of depending on the circumstances?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
I guess the short answer is yes to all of the above, as with most things, right? So everything I do is tailored to my clients. So if I have somebody who really just needs a triage and a better workflow and processes set up to be able to take over and manage themselves, then I can certainly help with that. What I would say in most cases, usually that caregiver is overwhelmed, exhausted, emotionally drained, and they're happy to have somebody else involved in that and happy to keep them on board. But I have no problem helping to train somebody and get them up to speed on the situation. And with the steps involved, you're trying to piece together this puzzle. You're trying to piece together all the information you can. And if the caregiving spouse were historically involved in the finances, they may be able to help fill in a lot of blanks. If they weren't, then that's where you're really starting to dig through a lot of paperwork. And you're trying to use that as your first step in the process to figure out first of all what needs to be paid right now, today so that your lights don't get cut off or whatever it may be, right? You want to make sure that the most immediate things are taken care of. And then it's a matter of trying to fill in all the other blanks and the other pieces.

Russ Thornton:
And I'm reminded of something you said at the outset of the conversation, which is you typically get involved, if people have a lack of time ability, or interest, I think you said. And the example you just gave is it's not maybe necessarily a situation or a lack of ability. It's someone that maybe doesn't have the time or energy. And something we've talked about in other conversations around this idea of caregiving is that it's important to obviously care for what I'll call the patient, but you also need to exercise self care and make sure that you don't wear yourself out by focusing exclusively on in this example, your spouse. So maybe bringing someone like Paula in to assist you and just take that additional burden off of your shoulders, make sure that it's getting done and getting done accurately and on time could be a great way to make sure you're taking care of yourself while you're also focused on caring for your spouse. So anything you would add to that, Paula?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
No. I mean, I think that's a good point. I think the statistics are that something like 40% of caregiver spouses pass away before the person they're caring for. The burden that's on them is pretty tremendous and is a very exhausting, emotionally draining thing. So wherever they can try to get relief, whether it's hiring somebody to clean your home, to pay your bills, or to physically help care for the individual that is your spouse. There's so many ways that you can certainly get additional support and it's just a matter of taking the pressure off of whatever is ailing you the most too. Because while yes, there may be an inability on the part of the person that has dementia or some sort of cognitive impairment, the lack of time becomes the real problem for the caregiver, right?

Russ Thornton:
Yeah.

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
They're pulled in multiple directions and they're not exactly young either. So trying to do everything that they need to continue to do when before there were two people in the household taking care of everything. Now you've got one person that's caring for the other and doing all the roles of both people. Having additional support, especially like a daily money manager is extremely valuable and important.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. And I know earlier you mentioned a couple of examples, like bills getting stacked up or worse, not getting paid or on time. Are there any other warning signs or signals that people should maybe be on the lookout for with their aging spouse, parent, friends or family members to know when to maybe reach out to someone like you?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
It's interesting. I wrote this down. The Alzheimer's Association is a really good resource and there's two different points that the Alzheimer's Association points out in the 10 early warning signs that have to do with finances in particular. One says that it changes in ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. I've personally seen that. And then the other is poor judgment when dealing with money. So many times it is the stack of bills that are piling up that aren't getting handled all of a sudden. It is the keeping track of paying bills on time. It is the inability to balance a checkbook by a family member that was exceptionally great with numbers. So that's a perfect example of all of a sudden not being able to work with numbers. And I think watching somebody spend in a dissimilar way than what they would have previously. So if all of a sudden you see somebody that where the poor judgment comes into play, where all of a sudden they're spending on things either they don't need, it's duplicative, or they're just using rash judgment when they historically haven't been. Those are definitely some early warning signs and things to keep an eye out for.

Russ Thornton:
Got it. And I know in our conversations outside of today, you share with me that you work on a variety of things. I think one big project you were working on was helping a business owner convert a lot of history and Excel over to QuickBooks or something like that. So I want to be clear that Paula brings a diverse skillset to the table, not just focused on working with seniors, although clearly that's part of the work she does and where she can add a lot of value. So as we kind of wrap up the conversation today, Paula, anything that you would add or anything that comes to mind that I haven't highlighted or asked you about that you think would be relevant to this conversation around caregiving?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
No. I mean, I would say that when you're looking to hire somebody, if it's not me, I would highly recommend hiring somebody that's with the American Association of Daily Money Managers. I'm on their national board. And the reason that I support them is that they're a great plethora of resources to where if I don't have the exact answer to a very nuanced situation, I have a whole group of people that are peers of mine that I can certainly reach out to. But as far as somebody hiring, we get independently background checked every two years. So I think that if you've got somebody that's coming in that you're going to hand over the keys to the kingdom of your banking information and all of that too, you want to be very careful in who you're hiring. So having somebody that, the association has independently background checked, there's a code of ethics and high standards of practice which I think is important to consider whenever you are definitely going to bring somebody in to be that intimate into your family.

Russ Thornton:
I'm glad you mentioned that. I think that's super important and it brings something else to mind too. Let's say it's an adult child that sees some of these signs that you highlighted that maybe they need to step in and get involved. I would caution people against relying on family and friends because as well meaning as they might be, they're typically going to think and do things from their own perspective. And they might not bring the objectivity to the table that someone like Paula can. I think there's tremendous value in that. I've talked, with some of the other professionals that we've had involved in these caregiving conversations about the value you of objective third party advice that's not coming from a friend or family member. So I think that's super important combined with what Paula is saying about using someone from the American Association of Daily Money Managers that does get independently background checked every couple of years and things like that.

Russ Thornton:
So just be smart when you're seeking advice and consider the source, I guess, is what I would add to that. Paula, this has been great as you and I have discussed separately, I look forward to having you back on when we can do maybe a little bit deeper dive about you and your background and what kind of led you to do the work you're doing today. If folks want to learn more, or want to get in touch with you and maybe get a bone understanding of what you do and how you can help them, what's the best way for people to reach out and learn more?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
Sure. Well, first of all, I've got a plethora of information on my website @fiscallybalanced.com, which is F I S C A L L Y, balanced all together .com. And then you certainly are welcome to reach out to me via email at [email protected] Or you can just pick up the phone and call me. Some people are just phone people. So (706)-927-8659. There's also a form on my website if you prefer to go that route as well.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, thanks, and we'll include Paula's email, website, phone number in the show notes for this episode. So we'll make it easy for you to reach out and talk further if that's something you're interested in. Paula, this has been great. I appreciate you jumping on and discussing this with us. And I appreciate what you do and know that you play a vital role, especially in a lot of caregiving situations out there. So any final thoughts before we wrap it up?

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
No, I think the last thing that I would say is that anybody that contacts me, the initial consultation is complimentary. I want to make sure that it's a good fit for both parties and everybody gets their questions answered. So don't hesitate if that's a need that you have.

Russ Thornton:
All right. Thanks again, Paula and everyone out there. Thanks for joining us. This has been Women's Retirement Radio, and we look forward to catching up with you on our next episode.

Paula Canaday-Daeke:
All right. Thank you, Russ. I appreciate it.

Russ Thornton:
Thanks Paula.