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elder financial abuse

Elder Financial Abuse Is Increasing

Elder Financial Abuse Is Increasing. A September 2018 Forbes report said that elder financial abuse would only get worse as we age. With 10,000 people turning age 65 every day for the decade, the demographics include a growing pool of potentially fragile retirees and the elderly, many of whom are susceptible to financial exploitation.

alphabetastock.coms recent article entitled “Elder Financial Abuse Is Rising” says that, although the criminals are out there, a lot of elder financial abuse actually begins in the retirement system, because individuals must accumulate and handle a large amount of money designed to last an entire lifetime. With $14.5 trillion in self-directed retirement accounts in the U.S., it’s a big, enticing target for financial predators.

Elder financial abuse includes all of the frauds and scams targeting seniors and because it’s a hidden crime, many victims opt not to report it. Those that do report the crimes, frequently don’t prosecute.

However, when it comes to trying to promote real changes that will provide some material protections, the investment, insurance, and financial services industries directly or indirectly have been showing some reticence about the potential compliance expense. Some of these companies are lobbying to maintain a status quo—one that’s on a course to see a steady rise in elder financial exploitation.

Many retirement investors think their professional financial advisors are fiduciaries who are legally bound to act in their best interests. However, that’s not always so. Many professional financial advisors need only adhere to a lower legal standard of behavior. They can’t outright tell you a lie—but they can make recommendations that don’t put the customer’s best interests as a top priority.

A GAO study found elder financial abuse to be a growing epidemic. Rather than being able to live out their golden years in safety and financial security, the lack of financial safeguards are leaving an entire (and growing) group of older Americans at risk. These seniors are often left on their own and confused as to how the advisors they entrusted with their financial security are permitted to make moves that are motivated by high commissions and self-interest. These so-called professionals aren’t required by the law to place interests of their clients ahead of their own.

Theft and illegal behavior is one small component of the elder financial exploitation. A bigger part comes from abusive financial practices, such as higher fees and complex and unsuitable advice and recommendations from professional financial advisors who aren’t fiduciaries.

Be sure that you are working with a financial professional who is a fiduciary. Ask your elder law attorney for recommendations.

Reference: alphabetastock.com (January 11, 2020) “Elder Financial Abuse Is Rising”

Read more :   The Rising Menace of Elder Financial Abuse

 Analysis: Financial Elder Abuse is on the Rise

For a longer read an Extensive PDF Pamphlet:  Elder Financial Exploitation

And read one of our previous Blogs:   How to Combat Elder Financial Abuse

Scams are Being Perpetrated on Veterans, Active Military and Their Families

The scam victims who were military personnel, veterans or their spouses reported higher median losses than non-military consumers, the BBB said.

nj.com says in its recent article entitled “Veterans warned to beware of scams that target military families” that a common scam is “pension poaching,” which targets elderly and disabled veterans and their families.

The Better Business Bureau says that unethical financial planners, insurance agents, or other entities may claim they can help their marks apply for Veterans Affairs benefits programs, sometimes charging large advance fees.

These scammers may actually be trying to get veterans to move their assets to try to gain benefits they can’t qualify for, allowing the poacher to profit at the veteran’s expense.

New York recently passed legislation called the Pension Poaching Prevention Act that is designed to protect veterans from scammers. The bill restricts who can receive compensation for preparing benefits.

Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth), who serves as chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs committee, was asked if New Jersey is working on similar legislation.

“Through their service and sacrifice, our veterans earn an array of well-deserved benefits – but that too often makes them prime targets for scammers and con artists,” Gopal said in an email. “Right now, we’re working to push a bill — S2838 — that would require telecom companies to warn their customers about potential scams or fraud risks. That’s an invaluable tool to many New Jerseyans – and especially older residents – who are finding themselves lost in an ocean of robocalls and scammers.”

Senator Gopal said he will review efforts by New York and other states “to see how New Jersey can continue to defend our veterans and keep their benefits safe.”

Reference: nj.com (Nov. 11, 2019) “Veterans warned to beware of scams that target military families”

For information related to Florida visit: Military and Veteran Consumer Protection

You can also read a previous blog we’ve posted entitled: What Types of Long Term Care is available for Veterans

 

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