This hour, Marci Lobel-Esrig introduces SilverBills, a Nationwide Concierge Bill Manager. Marci is its founder, CEO and General Counsel. SilverBills helps families manage finances, pay bills, and keep good records. In this segment, Marci talks more about what SilverBills does for senior loved ones, describing several scenarios where she’s been able to help families.
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The following podcast is provided by an approved senior care provider on the answers for elders radio network. And Welcome back everyone to answers from elders radio and we are here again with Marcy the CEO and chief General Counsel of and founder of silver bills. Silver bills, for all of the that who have been listening, has has been an amazing service, I think, for our seniors and I am learning so much today in this hour along with all of you and our listeners. And you know, one of the great things that I get to do in between segments, as you guys are all waiting for the next segment, is I get to talk a little bit to Marcy about, you know, what are kind of the scenarios in which happens. And you know, I would love Marcy to take a little bit of time with you this segment and talk about some of the stories on how you’ve been able to help families. So, you know, what can you share with us? So in general, I mean I can give you an example of one of our clients who lives on one coast of the country, one daughter lives on the other coast and one lives Mac in the middle and when the daughters came to visit they were very, very stressed. They didn’t know if the coop, you know, maintenance, was paid. There was a lot of documents that seem to be in disorder and we came and they signed up with us. We didn’t meet in person. We don’t have that model for our client safety as well as for the pandemic and future pandemics, we don’t think that meeting in person is the best option for seniors. So that’s why everything is done through the mail, typically, or text photos texted to us or PDFs email of and we basically created order and a chaos. And the daughter Anna mom are so grateful now because they they’ve told us that now when they have those visits, which are not as frequent as anyone would like, instead of wasting time basically and being stressed by all of this paperwork, they’re able to enjoy each other’s company. So that’s just one example of a family who we’ve helped by alleviating this problem in the stress on our family life well. And I think just when you were talking about the you know, the low monthly fee. You know, as a daughter, even for when I was taking care of my mom, I think about all the little things that I had to remember to take care of her insurance, take care of her, you know, monthly, you know, oxygen fee, her assisted living, all of the you know, all the little details, you know, make sure that she had her monthly you know, medications paid for and all of those things that we forget. And then there’s other things like life insurance premiums and all these things that happen that we as as adult children, we may not necessarily have an easy time discussing with those types of, you know, transactions, because it’s really what not something that a lot of times the older generation wants to talk about. They’re more protective of things and financial conversations are uncomfortable from many of them, I would say the vast majority of them in that generation, and I am I can understand that into a certain degree. And and you know we always talk about on answers for others all of the time, that the most important thing for you as a you know, as a child, adult child of a senior is to stay the daughter, stay the Sun. It’s very difficult for me, and of course I know I’ve said this in front of a million guests, about how the hair and the you know on the back of my neck just goes up when I somebody will say, well, it’s time to parent your parent. You will never be the parent of your parent. You know, this is not a good scenario to even adopt or get involved in in any way. The point of the matter being is allow them the dignity and the autonomy and I think one of the things that I think we talked about, and one of the most difficult sides to do that is through financial and so when I see what you guys do, I am so amazed and so impressed of, you know, how you can save so much heartache and stress and, you know, conflict in families over something that is really very, very reasonable, that you probably spend, you know, that on a you know, afternoon out or you know, to you know, to really do that. So, Marcie, tell me a little bit about, you know, when you’re working with, let’s say a power of attorney or something like that. You’re talking about daughters. How does that work? What you know? How do you determine who you work with and who you don’t work with within a family? Well, if it’s if it’s the older adult and he or she signs the contract directly, the client has the ability to in writing, provide any third parties who will have access and then individual will get credentials as well. So often the client will say they want their attorney, their elder law attorney, they want their accountant, and accountants, by the way, love collaborating with us because, as you mentioned, all of this charitable contributions they can access in one place. It’s not scrambling over documents, so the donations to religious institutions, etc. It makes it a lot easier for them. A social work or all the or the adult children and they can have access and it’s it’s read only access, so no one can actually, if they’re given this type of access, can actually affectuate any kind of payments or transfers of funds or anything like that. They can just see all of the information in one secure location. If there is a power of attorney, that power of attorney can contract with us directly and in that case they are the client. And you know, in some cases we have the adult children who are actually paying for the service on behalf of their their parents, so it’s like a gift to them. And you talk about the cost. You know, I think, quite frankly, it’s very reasonable. When you talk about the cost. For example, yesterday I was talking to an attorney who told me that her grandmother had elapsed in her long term care insurance policy in her s. Now that is a policy that you own. It’s almost impossible to get that, you know, to obtain a to attain new coverage, let alone, you know, fight with them to reinstate it, and for ninety and nine year old person. So the cost of that, I mean I don’t think you can actually quantify it. And we guarantee, you know, all of this insurance policies will be paid on time and correctly and we have insurance and all kinds of you know, monitoring and tech products and processes to ensure that that’s going to happen. So there’s accountability. Like Susanne, if you hadn’t paid your mother’s long term care insurance premium, can you imagine what the class would be to earn her health can yes, I think, and it’s really and you know, here’s the reality. I almost lost it for my mom once because she was in the hospital and I, at the same time, had a broken foot in the cast and I was so stressed out with how do I get to her in the hospital? I was, you know, what was in a major cast. I had to get to her and, you know, making a trip all the way into the city she was downtown Seattle and I totally missed her payment and I was very fortunate that they went ahead and honored it. But and you know, and brought her back or you know, her coverage, but she was in the hospital when that happened. And you know, the thing that I look at is that we all is families, are trying to do our best and we’re trying to watch out for our parents and I totally get that. And one of the questions that I have for you is, what about like there’s all kinds of spammers or callers or scammers and things like that. Do you guys help in any of that type of area to help kind of be a watchdog for those kind of things? Absolutely, we’re part of the first line of Defense. I really think it takes, you know, really a village to protect against these these criminals, because they’re just so evil and they are so psychologically astute. So, for example, in one case one of our clients got a call. It was on an answering machine and the individual said it was the electric company, that the electric hadn’t been paid and unless she wired the money immediately, they were going to terminate her service. Well, instead of doing that she called her silver bill’s account manager and within ten seconds the account manager said, absolutely not, you’re completely paid and full and that’s a scam. And we contacted our connection at the local attorney general’s office, who said this is a rampant problem in our area. And that’s one example how we were able, because we’re in the trenches with our clients and because they trust us and we have these relationships with them, that they called us in that case and we were able to prevent that from happening. You know, and and that’s the thing I think that’s so critical. I mean I remember my mother got calls where she thought that she decided to buy encyclopedias for my her grandchildren. Well, I told her after she’d already spent all this money and then she was getting this charge every month of like hundred and seventy dollars a month, and I kept saying, what is this for? I bought Encyclopedias and I’m going like, first of all, they’ll never open them because they’re on the Internet. There’s like to say, but my mom, you know, that was a big thing to her, but it was like going on for months and months and months, and finally, when I started seeing it, I was able to put a stop to it. But the thing is, I think that there are so many times that seniors are, you know, taken back by something or they may be in a situation. So to be able to have you guys as like a first line of defense, saying no, that’s a common scam that’s going on, we know about this and it’s not legitimate, is really, really valuable and I think especially for those you know, they love to prey on grandchildren. You know, like seniors, that you could do this for your grandchildren or for your community or for your church or something like that, and I think those things are always important. So so we’re going to talk in our next segment a lot about how does it. Can Silver Bills help your family, but also how can bring peace, and I think I just want to close out our hour and talking about our community and how we’re here for you. So, Marcy, in the meantime, how do we reach you and what is the promotion that you have going right now? It’s answers for elders, is what your listeners would mention. The phone number is eight six, six, six, five, three, four hundred and twenty seven, or Silver Billscom, Sil v Arbillscom, and it’s ten percent off our monthly service. E. That is amazing and certainly we’re excited to be a part of that. And so everyone think about this for your loved one. We’re going to come back to this next segment. We’re going to talk a little bit more about how where you can help your family. Right after this we at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you could discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guys. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find us at answers for elderscom.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.