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How to share passwords for your finances with your loved ones

How to share passwords for your finances with your loved ones
Posted at 12:56 PM, Feb 15, 2024

It happens to a lot of us: Aging parents, once the holders of the purse strings, need their kids’ help with managing their money. Health troubles, home downsizing, long-term care arrangements — they can all create chaos.

Or, if you’re a senior yourself, perhaps the onslaught of financial scams and suspicious emails is becoming too much, and it’s time to enlist help to keep things in order. You know, to try to enjoy retirement?

Whatever the reason — and it’ll vary for everyone — it’s a wise choice for older adults to consider sharing their financial details with someone they trust.

The FBI received more than 800,000 fraud complaints in 2022, resulting in a staggering loss of over $10 billion.

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Of those complaints, almost half were related to data breaches and all the flavors of phishing — scams where victims are pressured to divulge sensitive personal info to shady characters.

Password Managers

So, when the time comes to start sharing passwords and other details, security is key. As tempting as it may be, especially for older folks, making a list of important passwords and log-ins to stick on the computer is not safe.

Neither is texting or emailing a list of account information. Both of these methods could leave critical data vulnerable to hacking or other prying eyes.

Instead, look into password managers: Apps and services that allow users to securely share log-in details among themselves.

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Not only that, a password manager can generate unique, strong passwords for all the sites you visit. If you’re one of those people who uses the same handful of passwords for your various accounts, this is a big security upgrade.

And the password manager remembers everything for you! No need to memorize an unguessable series of digits and letters.

1Password

The 1Password platform is a good one for families, whether you’re helping out older relatives or have a house full of teens.

Users save bank information, medical records, credit card numbers and other secure info to a family “vault” — and you get to choose precisely what gets shared with whom.

A subscription to 1Password comes out to $4.99 a month when you choose an annual subscription. It includes access for five family members on an unlimited number of devices, so users can check in on any device that’s handy.

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NordPass

NordPass has many of the same features as 1Password. One year of a NordPass family plan is $3.69 per month and includes six user accounts.

NordPass frequently offers reduced-price subscriptions that bring the monthly cost even lower.

Bitwarden

Bitwarden might be the most budget-friendly manager of the bunch. A free Bitwarden account includes access for two people —perfect for a senior and one other person.

A family account for six people is only $40 annually. Extra features come with this price tier, like secure file sharing and priority tech support.

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Before you commit to anything, make sure the password manager you choose works for everybody involved. Is the user interface easy to read and understand? Will it work smoothly on everyone’s devices, from desktop computers to tablets?

1Password and NordPass offer free trial periods to test things out with the fam; Bitwarden has its free account option, which you can upgrade to a paid plan if it checks all the boxes.

Whatever service you choose, remember the main idea is to make family finances simpler — for seniors and their loved ones alike.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.