Managing money matters: Managing finances is associated with functional independence in MCI

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Mar;33(3):517-522. doi: 10.1002/gps.4817. Epub 2017 Oct 26.


Objective: Previous research suggests that overall experience participating in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) is associated with reduced IADL impairment in individuals with mild cognitive impairment, possibly because of an increased functional reserve. Given that difficulties managing finances tend to occur with mild cognitive impairment, this study explores whether experience managing one's finances is associated with independence across various IADLs.

Methods: Participants with a screen or baseline diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (n = 862) were taken from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study. Functional dependence and experience were quantified from the Functional Activities Questionnaire.

Results: No group differences between those with and without financial management experience existed in Mini-Mental State Examination scores, age, and years of education, although women were more likely to have experience managing finances (P < .001). Final chi-square analyses suggest that financial management experience is significantly associated with greater independence in the ability to follow TV, books, or magazines (P = .009) and remember appointments and important dates (P = .002).

Conclusions: Individuals who are rated as having experience in managing their finances were also rated as being less dependent in their ability to follow and understand TV and books and in their ability to remember appointments and important dates. Neither causation nor the mechanisms underlying this relationship can be discerned from these analyses. Therefore, further research is needed to investigate whether engaging in financial tasks protects against early financial impairment, potentially through an increased functional reserve.

Keywords: activities of daily living; financial capacity; functional reserve; instrumental activities of daily living; mild cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living* / psychology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Banking, Personal*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / psychology*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests