My Personal Bookkeeper has been partnering with clients for many years. The experience of helping someone achieve their financial and home management goals is not only beneficial to our clients but is also extremely rewarding to the MPB Client Advocates. Our team understands the importance of building a trustworthy relationship with the people we work with. It is our pleasure to share two stories from our Client Advocates that demonstrate how we bring peace of mind to our clients.
Below is an excerpt from one of our Advocates, Randi Jaffe, sharing about how she helped her client Sara organize her finances, insurance, and medical bills.
My senior client, Sara, first came to My Personal Bookkeeper looking for someone to help her organize her overwhelming paperwork resulting from a recent move into a senior care community from her home. Her husband is struggling with an illness, and Sara is now taking over management of their finances, bills, taxes, insurance, and more. This is a common theme among many of our clients. As they age and downsize, the looming task of organization and money management becomes a weight on their shoulders.
The first task I tackled with Sara was to alleviate the obvious. She was staring at unsorted boxes of paperwork in her living room every day. This project overwhelmed her. Together we found a filing system to purchase and fit in her small residential apartment. We sorted, filed, and shredded unnecessary documents. Accomplishing this first project made every other project seem easier to tackle. We continue to sort medical bills, and insurance forms and mail them regularly. We now have a place to file and I assist Sara with phone calls to insurance companies, financial institutions, pharmacies, and even placing Amazon orders. We fill out important documents together, send emails, and organize her tasks. No problem is too big or too small, and sometimes it’s necessary just to have someone there to help with a phone call. Sara is knowledgeable about computers and online banking. She now has most accounts on autopay and is doing well managing her bills.
Taking control of the financial management and health decisions for both Sara and her husband is a daily task for Sara. We have discovered the inundating amount of confusing insurance and prescription mail needs to be maintained daily or it can pile up. We have encountered a few setbacks during our time together, with unexpected medical ailments Sara herself experienced. However, Sara is always eager to get back to work and is less overwhelmed when we work together. We have formed a wonderful relationship of trust and friendship. I can see the relief on Sara’s face when I arrive. I recognize that companionship, as well as the professional services My Personal Bookkeeper provides, is an important part of reinforcing our clients’ sense of independence and happiness. I truly believe MPB provides a special service of which I am happy to be a part.
Our second example comes from Client Advocate Nicole Rolnick. Nicole works with a woman who has complicated finances and never participated in managing them until the death of her husband.
I met Jane Beck during the latter part of the pandemic, in the summer of 2021. I was referred by her Financial Planner and I have worked closely with her as well as with Jane’s children. Jane who is 86 is a relatively new widow with three adult children. Jane’s husband had always been the money manager and bill payer for the family. Since his death, Jane had begun to take on this responsibility and was finding it difficult. I noticed early on that she was experiencing some memory problems, and she admitted that she was having difficulty paying her bills on time. However, she had always been a private person and she did not want to ask her children for help. She told me she wanted to continue to maintain her independence and do as much as she could on her own. I started visiting her biweekly, and after just a few weeks, I gained her trust, and we began to develop a friendship. She soon asked me to visit every week, which I have been doing for almost nine months. In addition, she frequently calls me in-between visits to ask questions and sometimes just to chat because she is lonely. She has very few living friends and is embarrassed in front of her remaining ones due to her forgetfulness.
Jane’s finances are rather complicated in that she owns three homes. In addition to her residence in Chicago, she owns a second home in Michigan as well as a condominium in Florida. There are many bills associated with each of these properties, including insurance, taxes, HOA’s, and regular maintenance costs. I could see from the beginning that it was important for me to get a handle on her finances, and I began by consolidating her bills and putting her regular expenses on autopay. This took off the burden of her remembering their due dates, and she was grateful for my help. During the several months we’ve worked together I also began to manage her checkbook every week, as well as helped to keep her email in order by deleting spam and junk mail which are very confusing to her.
As the months passed, I noticed a steady decline in Jane’s memory and felt it was important to inform her family of what I was experiencing. Jane’s children hired a part-time caregiver to stay with her during the week. Unfortunately, Jane was very disappointed in this caregiver. I suggested a caregiving company to Jane’s children and another caregiver that would meet her needs more satisfactorily began coming to the home regularly. I have also had the benefit of working with her estate attorney, her accountant, and her financial planner. Working as a team for Jane’s benefit has been beneficial for all of us.
As Jane’s memory worsens, I know it will be necessary to keep track of her finances and perhaps someday help her find more resources for her care as needed. Until then I will continue to see her every week and do whatever I can to support her.
In addition to the sense of satisfaction and reward I have gained from the people with whom I work as an employee of My Personal Bookkeeper, I am gratified to know that all our Client Advocates are much more than employees and sincerely care about the clients with whom we are honored to work. What gives me the greatest joy is getting to know the clients I meet, making them as comfortable as possible, and being able to assure them that we are an organization that is trustworthy and truly cares about every client.
My Personal Bookkeeper’s services are wide-ranging and help people with various financial and household needs. Our Advocates deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with our clients. To learn more about how the team at MPB can help you or your loved one, click here today.
About The Authors: Randi Jaffe and Nicole Rolnick
Before starting at My Personal Bookkeeper Randi previously worked with insurance companies as a Managed Care Contractor and managing an After School Program for children in multiple schools. She graduated from Des Moines University with an M.S. in Health Care Administration. Her education and work experience have helped her learn extraordinary organizational skills. She is patient and understanding, which will help clients feel balanced. She also has a strong knowledge of navigating the difficult maze of insurance. Randi took time off from her career in order to raise her three children. She stayed quite busy managing her household while also being extremely involved in the PTO Committee at her children’s’ schools and volunteering with Bernie’s Book Bank.
Nicole grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts in a medically- oriented family. Her father was a physician and her mother ran his office. After graduation from American University with a degree in Sociology, Nicole earned a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Simmons College. Later she worked in health care administration at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, as well as a start-up company that served patients with chronic health issues. While raising her children in the Chicago area, she immersed herself in the community by volunteering at their high school and managing a local yoga studio. Combining her healthcare background and her organizational skills, Nicole joined MPB because she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. “Working with an elderly client has been a wonderful experience,” she reports. “I feel like I’m making a difference for her by helping her to organize her life but, more importantly, we have developed a warm relationship, and that is very rewarding for me.”