"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 you protect financial accounts by monitoring them for possible late or missed payments, changes in spending patterns or behavior, unusual transactions or signs of fraud. Carefull also monitors your information online 24/7, looking for theft or leaks of your personal data.
Our service also simplifies the sometimes-tricky communication and transparency needed within families, offering timely advice and helping you coordinate with other family members who are involved with your parents’ care.
How does it work?
Get started by creating an account through the website or mobile app. Then, securely connect you or a loved one’s financial accounts in the app to enable alerts, monitoring and analysis.
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 and phone.
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 your loved ones or other family members into the app at no cost if they ordinarily participate in conversations about financial matters (although you don't have to). Then, when an issue arises, you can share and collaborate within the app, and your “Circle” is there to help resolve it.
Lastly, 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 tips about topics like how to protect you or a loved one from fraud and how 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 you or a 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. Some people manage this set of tasks completely on their own, and some people collaborate with other family members or professionals. Access to Carefull can be granted to any trusted person in your loved one’s “Circle” of support.
What types of “alerts” will I receive from Carefull?
Carefull pulls together insights and alerts from all connected financial accounts and brings the most urgent ones to your attention. You'll receive alerts about financial issues like:
- Changes in spending patterns
- Unusual transfer types / withdrawals
- Unusual transfer payees
- Unusual cash usage
- Unknown or unusual merchants
- Late bills and payments
- Large or unusual transactions
- Duplicate transactions
- Unusual balances or balance patterns
- Unusual transaction locations
- Recurring charitable donations
- Irregular and unexpected fees
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, but which can be common to older adults and those who suffer from memory loss —a late or missed bill payment, an accidental duplicate payment to the electric company, a charitable donation that was accidentally set to be paid monthly instead of one-time.
But on top of that, we’ll enable you to resolve that issue, communicate it with anyone else who needs to be in the know, 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 one 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, but how the service is used is up to each individual and family.
What if I don’t have account information handy?
In order to start using Carefull, you’ll need to have login information for at least one of your or a 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 their 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 set 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.
Importantly, 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 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 only to your mobile device.
- Biometrics: You can optionally enable the biometric security on your device so that each session with the Carefull app can be secured with your face or fingerprint.
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 get started with Carefull for free for a 30 day free trial period. 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 money movement in any form.
What is included in the subscription?
A subscription to Carefull comes with smart financial monitoring and results, in-app guidance and support, multiple financial account analysis, alerts to your phone and inbox, sibling coordination with your Circle, in-app communication with your Circle, 24/7 credit and identity monitoring online, and identity theft insurance up to $1 million.
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 feel that your loved one could benefit from additional support and monitoring of their finances, but they are reluctant to share their information with you, your first step should be to have a conversation with 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.