<Of course, if you’re a highly educated professional good with numbers, that may “hide” dementia using the criteria of “late bill payments”.>
Higher intelligence and greater education have been found to delay the onset of dementia. Currently, the hypothesis is that higher IQ and education correlate with greater “cognitive reserve.”
Of course, smarter and higher educated people (on average) live healthier lifestyles and can afford better medical care. The dementia studies controlled for these obvious confounding factors.
**September 7, 2018**
**Intelligence, Cognitive Reserve, and DementiaTime for Intervention?**
**by Tom C. Russ, PhD, MRCPsych**
**Alzheimer dementia is now recognized to be a disease of the whole life course and it is accepted that, while the neuropathological changes of Alzheimer disease develop decades before the clinical symptoms of dementia begin, important risk factors can have their effect much earlier in life, perhaps even before birth...**
**<references to several studies>**
**Several authors, Neurology 2007**
**Conclusions: The association between low education and dementia is probably not explained by the unhealthy lifestyles of the less educated compared with higher educated persons. Higher educated persons may have a greater cognitive reserve that can postpone the clinical manifestation of dementia. ApoE4 did not modify the association, but the risk of dementia and AD was very low among ApoE4 noncarriers with high education. [ApoE4 is a genetic allele which increases the risk of AD.]**
**Role of cognitive reserve in progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia**
**Several authors, Dementia & Neuropsychologia 2010**
**Cognitive reserve is the ability to optimize performance through differential recruitment of brain networks, which may reflect the use of alternative cognitive strategies. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can convert to degenerative dementia. Risk factors for those who converted were education less than 12 years, MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination) score less than 27, Boston naming test score less than 51, IQ (Intelligence Quotient) less than 111, age over 75 years, lack of occupation at retirement, and presence of intrusions in memory recall (all account for 56% of the variability of conversion).**
**Cognitive reserve is the ability to optimize performance through differential recruitment of brain networks, which may reflect the use of alternative cognitive strategies. The idea of reserve against brain damage stems from the repeated observation that there does not appear to be a direct relationship between the degree of brain pathology and the clinical manifestation of the damage.** [end quote]
Most (if not all) METARs are highly educated and at least some are also highly intelligent.
Our recent poll showed that most METARs have net worth over a million dollars. All of us have assets that could attract the nefarious greed of strangers (or friends or family).
Previous studies have shown that MCI can manifest as a loss of executive function in financial management long before obvious memory problems show up. A person who is still able to do simple financial chores like paying the bills may become vulnerable to fraudulent financial manipulation. This is so well-recognized that at least one local government has set up a hot line for reporting of elder financial exploitation. Approximately one in every five older adults in this country has been the victim of financial exploitation.
As aging, wealthy people, we need to become aware that we could potentially become less able to manage our money. The question of what to do about it is serious because it isn’t obvious.
Any concerned person can appeal to a court to place an incompetent person into conservancy. This can be protective but can also be seriously abused by the court-appointed guardian who takes over the management of the ward’s assets.
“The Retirement Nightmare” was written by a daughter whose siblings took over their mother’s assets in an involuntary conservatorship.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9893250/ – good movie, worth watching
“The Retirement Nightmare” says that the most effective way to protect assets is to place them into a Revocable Living Trust. This places the assets in control of the successor trustee in case of inability of the grantor to act as trustee. A court-appointed guardian isn’t the trustee and can’t legally access assets in the trust.
My lawyer advised adding a clause to my Revocable Living Trust giving the successor trustee the ability to take over the assets if the grantor shows signs of mental incapacity, without the agreement of the grantor. I did not agree to this because it opens the same vulnerability.
This is a very serious issue. The solution isn’t obvious.
Most people experience mental decline with age. How much is too much to continue to manage our own assets? Whom can we trust to manage them for us? Would it be better to put investments on “autopilot” (a simple scheme like my rather tongue-in-cheek program above)?
What are you’all doing?