Though it’s hard to think about, as we age, sometimes we lose the ability to manage our own money and property. We often think about our financial capability, like our ability to drive, as an important measure of our independence. But planning ahead may actually help you stay in control.

Here at the CFPB, we worked with our federal partners at the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a Consumer Advisory and Investor Bulletin on planning for the future, when you may not be able to manage your money and property. This is often referred to as diminished capacity. The advisory has advice on planning for your financial future, getting your documents in order, and watching out for financial exploitation.

If age-related decline seems far in the distant future, this advisory is still a useful tool for you too, as it can help you help your parents or other loved ones. It stresses the importance of talking with them about advance planning before it’s too late. It also has good tips to help you to manage their money when the time comes. Working together across generations can help older Americans have a safe and secure financial future. Check out more of our work to protect older Americans.

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