Personal finance dashboard for septuagenarian
November 28, 2018 5:35 AM   Subscribe

My 77-year-old mother has bank and brokerage accounts at a few different institutions. I’d like to help her find a basic MacOS or web personal finance dashboard for her to see at a glance how she’s doing.

Ease of use is utmost here—and features are secondary to a basic functionality that will let her see balances over time. Ability to download credit card transactions is a plus. Everything should be automatic; she’s not going to do any data entry. She doesn’t need to perform any functions through this solution—no check writing, trading, money movement etc.

Right now, she “looks at” her monthly statements, but she’s far from mindful or engaged by it.

Ultimately, I will have to take a more direct role in the management of her finances, and having this dashboard will be an aid to me in that transition, as well.

I’m aware of Mint and some of the other platforms, but I’m hoping for perspectives on use by an older, non tech person.
posted by Admiral Haddock to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Google Sheets based Tiller? The stock templates are fine, but you can create custom ones to display whatever info you want, in whatever form.

The user does need to intervene to categorize transactions, but much of that can be automated.

Thinking this over, lots of folks could probably use a tool that allows older people and caretakers to coordinate on finances, in a safe, transparent way. Tiller is responsive to user requests: it might be worth asking if they’d be interested in hacking together a template for you.
posted by notyou at 6:09 AM on November 28, 2018

Many banks and investment companies can/will incorporate other institutions on their site/dashboard without taking on amy management responsibility. I am 77--and have done this with my brokerage firm. Also, unless there are very good outstanding reasons to have multiple accounts and institutions there is no reason most/all of them can not be moved to a single financial management firm--I maintain 7 different accounts with one firm so I can see all of them--There were originally at 4 different institutions (IRAs, Savings, Investments Annuities etc) good luck
posted by rmhsinc at 7:49 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

I use the Personal Capital site for this. (they also have a great iOS app, but sounds like that is not a consideration for you).

On preview, yeah, I think Fidelity offers a "Full View" service to let you link in some other accounts, if that is more your style. But I like that Personal Capital is read-only, and focused on the overall picture, not one specific set of accounts.
posted by misterbrandt at 7:51 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Someone on here recommended Personal Capital (I see it's already been linked, above), and it's pretty good for this. They are trying to sell financial advisory services, though, and I did get a few phone calls / emails, so you might want to make yourself the primary contact to field those.
posted by Bron at 7:55 AM on November 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ive used Quicken for Mac (in various incarnations) since 2006 and it does for me exactly what you indicate you're looking for. Unfortunately, it requires more attention and work that sounds like your mother will want to put into it. It's possible to set up so that updates to the various accounts are done automatically, but someone (likely you) will have to set all that up, and probably run the updates on some schedule. I do all that manually, since I'm retired and have a lot of time to do it, and it's part of my morning ritual. I keep track of all my bank, brokerage, and credit card accounts.

It came in very handy a few years ago when mrs qurlyjoe and I took over the finances of her father. It was very easy, once everything was entered in, to keep track of his expenses and income for him, and for paying his taxes and finalizing his estate after he died.
posted by qurlyjoe at 7:33 PM on November 28, 2018

Had never heard of Tiller but it looks interesting. Here's a list of stuff that says are similar.
posted by Awfki at 3:51 AM on November 29, 2018

Ask and the universe provides:
If you'd like to use a single spreadsheet [and Tiller] to track and manage shared expenses with a spouse, business partner or family member use these steps.
posted by notyou at 2:55 PM on December 2, 2018

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