By no means am I a technology expert. In fact, I’m often kiddingly ridiculed at the office for my lack of expertise. Recently, when I had an issue with an Excel spreadsheet, I contacted one of my sons to guide me through the problem.
I remember spending a fortune for an IBM computer several years ago.
It came with two floppy discs and I proudly upgraded to an Amber
monitor. It was the beginning of a trend.
Every time I have upgraded hardware or installed new software, no
matter how easy the experts claimed it was to install, I’ve had issues.
That being said, I still learned to embrace technology early in my
New technology is expensive, but as it rapidly evolves the price goes
down. A few decades ago you could pay upwards of $100 for a desktop
calculator. Today, they fit in your shirt pocket, and if you don’t want
to pay a few dollars, your local insurance guy probably gives them away.
Just last week I wrote about cell phones and the add-on taxes that seem
to keep creeping up. Today, I want to make my clients and readers aware
of a relatively new technology that could be of great benefit.
As a financial advisor, many of my clients are in or near retirement.
Not surprisingly, with today’s healthcare advances, quite a few of them
are caring for an elderly parent. And believe me, shouldering both the
financial and health care responsibilities of an elderly loved one is no
Fortunately, recent technological advances have made it much easier
to keep track of your elderly loved ones. I’m not talking about
something as “outdated” as putting an online camera on grandma’s
fireplace mantel. It’s far more sophisticated than that.
You may or may not have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), but
you probably have noticed that a large segment of our population is
wearing rubber wristbands to keep track of their steps every day.
In fact, many people compete against one another and actually have
the daily results posted online for all the competitors to review. Some
of these wristbands not only count steps, but also have emergency
features that are activated in the event of a fall and are programmed to
contact loved ones or even call for an ambulance.
In the not too distant future, I believe there will be a lot of
wearable technology that will help you care for and monitor your loved
ones without invading their personal space. Technology already exists to
monitor pulse rate and blood pressure. GPS tracking systems are
available to help in case a loved one becomes disoriented. And experts
estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion interconnected
objects by 2020.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that, as the technology improves,
prices will ultimately decrease. Initial prices, that is. As with home
alarms and cell phones you’ll need to factor in monthly fees to
determine the actual overall cost.
Healthcare planning is an integral part of financial planning.
Helping aging loved ones with their healthcare issues is a huge
responsibility, but new — and affordable — technology coming onto the
market can help provide peace of mind; For your elderly loved ones and