Investment advisors carry an important burden of helping their clients protect retirement savings. This includes helping retirees avoid financial scams. Retirees are often targeted because they have retirement savings, investments, property, and consistent income each month. They are often vulnerable because of cognitive decline or disabilities. As a result, predators choose these targets because they know there is money available and it might be an easy target.
Whether you are an investment advisor or a family member helping an aging person with their investments, it is essential that you watch for potential signs of elder abuse.
Unauthorized Use of Financial Resources
As a person ages, they often have other people involved in their financial management. Family members, advisors, and others in a position of trust could potentially make changes to the financial accounts without the aging client knowing. Other times, a stranger could develop a relationship or cause concern for the aging adult, leading them to withdraw the money and transfer it for some reason.
What to Do if You Suspect Elder Financial Abuse
What should you do if you suspect that an elderly client is being exploited financially? The first step is prevention. Avoid this situation before it happens. Finances can be managed with basic checks and balances completed by advisors and trusted family members. Sadly, many of the perpetrators are in the victim’s family, which means that advisors need to watch for potential signs that someone is being abused.
Potential warning signs might include unexpected changes in regular financial habits, passing financial control to a new person, unexplained withdrawals or loans, or stress during conversations about money. Another warning sign is unpaid bills.
As someone who has a responsibility to care for an aging adult, you are probably required by law to submit a report if you suspect foul play. In California, you can refer to the Welfare and Institutions Code for Elder Abuse for information about filing a report and who constitutes as a mandatory reporter.
Working together, we can provide a safer world for people who might be at risk of financial elder abuse. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us for more information.
For more information email info@SeniorSafeAndSoung.org or phone 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound .