Elder Fraud: 5 Tips to Protect Our Loved Ones
09 Jul 2015
There is no question that financial abuse of elders is a big concern. In a recent survey from AICPA, 47% of the CPA financial planners surveyed say they have seen an increase in financial fraud over the last five years.
Ted Sarenski, President of Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, says there are two main reasons for this trend. First, fraud is now more likely to be reported than before. Second, since the baby boomers are retiring and most members of that age group are not very well-versed in the latest technology, their wealth can be an easy target for scammers. As a financial planner, we need to be sure we are on the lookout and establish safeguards to protect our clients. Here are five tips:
- Establish a financial plan and review often
- Review investment statements and look for discrepancies.
- Get permission to contact other family members
- We use a form signed by all parties involved that allows the flow of information to go both ways. Do this before you have to or it may be too late.
- Involve children and spouse in meetings
- This can give a clearer picture of family assets and help to be better prepared in times of need. Communication is the goal.
- Make a will
- It’s amazing to see how many people do a great job accumulating wealth, but then, for some reason, they stop. A will can also help distribute assets in the most efficient manner.
- Tell client to use the planner as the “bad guy”.
- This can take the pressure off clients. If they are approached by a scammer, they can then say, “Hey, I need to contact my planner and see what my plan says.” My guess is they will leave the client alone at this point.
Financial abuse of elders has become a big issue today. With a little pre-planning, we can help avoid financial lives from imploding.
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Premier Investments of Iowa are not affiliated. Cambridge and Premier Investments of Iowa, Inc. do not offer tax advice.