"I am very happy to have Carefull be a ‘second set of eyes’ over my mom’s finances. I feel better knowing that if something should arise, Carefull will alert me and I can then help my mother take quick action."
– Dale Gawn-Torres, real user
“I don’t know another app like it... In addition to monitoring bank accounts and transactions at a level of granularity I don't get from my bank, there is a nice repository of guides and information about being a caretaker!”
– Jiaqi Gao, real user
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Answers to the most common questions we receive about Carefull and our platform for financial caregivers.
What is Carefull?
Carefull is the first service designed to organize and protect the finances of older adults. Our service helps protect financial accounts by monitoring them for signs of fraud and for common money mistakes such as duplicate payments, late or missed payments, changes in spending and insufficient funds to cover scheduled bills. If Carefull spots anything unusual, it will alert users immediately and help with next steps. Carefull also provides credit and identity monitoring and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance to help you recover your identity if it is stolen.
For those helping aging loved ones with money matters, our service also simplifies the sometimes-tricky communication and transparency needed within families by providing timely advice and helping you coordinate with other family members who are involved with your loved ones' care.
How does it work?
Get started by creating an account through Getcarefull.com. Then, securely connect your or your loved one’s financial accounts to enable monitoring and alerts.
Carefull then learns your unique spending, bill schedule and account balance patterns and automatically reviews transactions to ensure that nothing unusual is occurring—no late bill payments, payments involving strange people or places, changes in spending patterns, and more. If it catches anything fishy, it will send alerts to your email.
Carefull will also enable you to see all bills in one place and gives you the ability to see which bills have been paid, which may be late and which are upcoming.
You have the option to invite other family members into your “Circle” of support at no cost if they ordinarily participate in conversations about financial matters. Then, when an issue arises, you can share and collaborate within the Carefull service, and your “Circle” is there to help resolve it.
Finally, taking care of finances can often leave people feeling that they “don’t know what they don’t know.” Our experts have written educational guides and articles to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever happens through the aging process.
How long does it take to set up Carefull?
The Carefull setup process is quick and painless. You can create an account and connect your or your loved one’s financial accounts in a matter of minutes and start receiving alerts immediately.
Who is Carefull for?
We built Carefull for older adults and their financial caregivers. You can create your own account, or, if you are a caregiver, you can create an account for your aging loved one to protect your loved one’s finances, credit and identity with 24/7 monitoring. If you are collaborating with other family members or professionals to mange your finances or the finances of a loved one, you can grant them access to Carefull in your “Circle” of support so that they, too, can receive alerts and help resolve issues if they arise.
What types of “alerts” will I receive from Carefull?
Carefull monitors all connected financial accounts for many issues that are common to older adults and brings the most urgent ones to your attention, including the following:
- Changes in spending patterns
- Late bills and payments
- Duplicate transactions
- Unusual transfers
- Unusual bill amounts and new bills
- Unknown or unusual merchants
- Large or unfamiliar transactions
- Unusual number of transactions
- Insufficient funds
- Recurring charitable and political donations
- Gift card purchases
- Changes in pharmacy spending
- Transfers made through peer-to-peer payment apps
How is Carefull different from the alerts I already receive from my bank?
Unlike a bank, Carefull is designed with the day-to-day activities of older adults and financial caregivers in mind. We’ll alert you to issues that a bank won’t catch—such as late or missed bill payments, accidental duplicate payments, changes in spending and charitable donations that were accidentally set to be paid monthly instead of one-time. Carefull also monitors your credit and scours the Internet for misuse of your personal information.
On top of that, we’ll share next steps you can take when issues arise, allow you to communicate and coordinate with your "Circle" of support to resolve the issue, and help you ensure that similar issues won’t happen again.
Will my loved one have to sign up for Carefull as well?
Caregiving situations vary widely. It’s not necessary for your loved ones to use the Carefull service. If they are typically involved in communication or day-to-day efforts surrounding finances, it would be advisable to include them. However, how the service is used is up to each individual and family.
What if I don’t have account information handy?
To start using Carefull, you’ll need to have login information for at least one of your or your loved one's digital banking accounts.
For independent Carefull users:
If you don't have your digital banking information, reach out to your bank to gain the login credentials needed.
For financial caregivers:
If you haven’t yet started to manage your parent’s finances but feel that it’s time to get started, we’ve compiled a checklist for talking to your parents about their finances.
If you find yourself suddenly responsible for your parent’s finances due to a sudden health matter or death of a parent, you may have to do some detective work to find your parent's account information. To help you get started, check out our guide to piecing together your parent's financial picture.
Once you’ve found what you need, you may want to start a physical list of the usernames and passwords for the accounts by printing out an organizer or setting up an online password manager.
Is Carefull secure? Can I trust Carefull with financial information?
We take security seriously and, from our very beginning, have worked to ensure your data is and will always be safe and secure.
Carefull will never have access to any financial account login or password information. That information is all managed through our partnership with Plaid—a company that enables us to connect to your financial accounts. Plaid is used by most banks and personal finance management applications in the US—including Venmo, Chime and Betterment—to allow you to connect accounts from other financial institutions. You can read more about Plaid here.
Carefull maintains read-only access to your data. We use your data to provide insights and analysis only. The access you grant us does not allow money movement in any form.
Additionally, Carefull secures your or your loved one’s financial data in a variety of ways:
- Encryption: Our application uses bank-level 256-bit encryption to store and transmit your data over the internet.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: We verify your account with a unique code sent to your mobile device.
How should I talk to my parents about Carefull?
How you talk to your parents or loved ones about Carefull depends on where you are in your financial caregiving journey.
I'm not involved yet but see a need to monitor my parents’ finances
Approach the topic carefully (no pun intended) to avoid appearing as if you want to take control of your parents’ finances or take away any of their independence. Let them know you’ve found a service that will help protect their finances and allow you to be a second set of eyes to ensure their financial well-being. The goal is to highlight that you’re looking out for their best interests and that Carefull can help you do that.
I'm starting to help my parents with money matters
If you’re already helping your parents with money matters, talking to them about Carefull should be relatively easy because they already are accustomed to your involvement in their finances. Let them know that you’ve found a service that will help both you and them organize and protect their finances. Ask if it’s OK for you to link their financial accounts so Carefull can monitor them safely and securely for unusual transfers or transactions that could be signs of fraud (focus on the protection aspect of Carefull). It’s important to involve your parents in the decision to use Carefull to maintain their trust if they still are managing at least some of their daily money matters.
I am managing all of my parents’ finances
If you are your parents’ power of attorney and already are managing all of their finances because they no longer are able to, you can simply download the app and link their accounts to start monitoring them and receiving alerts.
Finally, we've put together two resources that you can download and print out for your parents as a way to start the conversation if you'd like:
- A physical brochure detailing what Carefull does and how it works
- Carefull's One-Pager for Older Adults, which provides a written overview for parents to help them understand
How much does Carefull cost?
You can try Carefull for free for 30 days. After your free trial, Carefull costs $9.99 per month with an annual subscription ($119.99 annually), or $12.99 with a monthly subscription.
What is the Circle?
Your Circle is a group of people you invite who have view-only access to your Carefull account. They will be able to see all the accounts you connect and they will receive the same notifications. Typically, family members or caregivers are added to your Circle.
Can anyone in my Carefull Circle make transactions on my behalf?
Carefull maintains read-only access to your data. We use your data to provide insights and analysis only. The access you grant us does not allow us or anyone in your Carefull Circle the ability to make transactions in your accounts.
What is included in the subscription?
A subscription to Carefull comes with smart financial monitoring, multiple financial account analysis, alerts to your inbox, guidance and support, the ability to add trusted family members to your Circle to communicate within the service, 24/7 credit and identity monitoring, and identity theft insurance up to $1 million to help restore your identity if it is stolen.
What if my loved one doesn’t want to share their financial information with me?
Money is a sensitive topic, and it can get especially complicated within families. If you believe that your parents or aging loved ones could benefit from additional support and monitoring of their finances but they are reluctant to share their account information with you, your first step should be to have a conversation them.
Keep in mind that getting your parents to become comfortable with the idea of discussing their finances with you can take time. We’ve developed some tips to help you get started with that conversation, which you can find here.