Monday, 20 May 2019

Event aims to help Portage seniors establish good financial habits – WiscNews

Portage resident Lee Chenoweth wonders who would mow his 4 acres of lawn if he were no longer around.

His wife, Barb, said she’s also curious about who they could turn to for help if they ever face serious financial struggles in their retirement.

“You just never know when something is gonna happen,” she said.

Thanks to an event put on by the Portage Area Triad in the city’s municipal building basement Wednesday, the couple learned nonprofit organizations such as The Upper Chamber can help with that.

Upper Chamber Case Manager Laurie Golden was one of several presenters who spoke to a group of senior citizens from Portage about good financial habits and resources available to help them through both end-of-life planning and general budgeting techniques.

Golden said her organization and affiliated social workers collaboratively help senior citizens, people dealing with mental health troubles, foster children and widows or widowers who have no one else and just need a helping hand to maintain a house on their own.

“We want to be accessible,” Golden said. “We want people to come in. It can be last-minute.”

Golden walked the group through processes associated with writing a will and answered questions about the power of attorneys. She also spoke about good financial habits and budgeting expenses such as car insurance or home repairs.

“What you give is what you get,” Golden said. “Someday, I’m gonna need that help.”

Two doctors must both sign off to approve a power of attorney for financial decisions, and once a person dies, that power immediately transfers to a person who the deceased chose to be their executor.

Barb Chenoweth said she was happy to learn more about power of attorneys and end-of-life planning, and she added it’s good for senior citizens to be involved in their community by attending such events or by staying physically active. Triad meetings are just one more thing for people to look forward to.

Budgetary aid is a special service that attorneys doesn’t usually offer, Barb Chenoweth said.

Portage resident and Volunteers in Police Services member Joan Maxwell said the police department does “a wonderful job” of looking out for the city’s senior citizens. She was glad Teresa Johnson, police officer and Portage Area Triad Coordinator, organized the seminar.

Community Service Officer Nicole Lervik helps Johnson organize and plan such events, and she said it offers a chance for Portage residents to be more informed.

Lervik said she enjoys helping senior citizens out, especially regarding financial scams. It’s common for residents to call the Portage Police Department with concerns about fraudulent calls.

Lervik likes to reassure people they would never be asked to pay money if they won a lottery or submit money to unverified sources for other sketchy reasons.

“There’s so many of them right now,” she said of scam artists.


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