Our aging loved ones and family members have spent most of their working lives to realize their own vision of financial freedom. Unfortunately, this financial freedom can be diminished, reduced, or even destroyed by individuals who prey on the elderly. As our loved ones and community members age, they can experience loss in their decision making capabilities and judgment making them more vulnerable to financial fraud.
Financial fraud can take many forms and come from different sources. One common occurrence is called “phishing”. “Phishing calls” are where individuals will try to impersonate banks or credit card companies in hopes to obtain valuable information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers. Another occurrence is when individuals will impersonate family members asking for money to be sent to them. Unfortunately, another form of financial fraud can come from family members who try to steal money from aging family members by pretending to be looking out for them. Often times, this is the saddest and most difficult form of fraud to protect against.
In order to protect your loved ones from fraud or theft, review these options:
- Hire an investment professional, preferably a Fiduciary. Fiduciaries are legally obligated to act in the best interest of the client and cannot be swayed by personal interests. They are often local and able to assist you while other family members can be away or unprepared to assist.
- Include family members in the financial planning process. Naming a fiduciary responsible for your financial plan is important, but educating family members on your wishes can remove any doubt about what your future will be.
- Make sure your family knows who your chosen representative is and keeps watch for signs of fraud. Some examples that should prompt further investigation by family include unexplained missing funds, transactions which are unnecessary, investment opportunities that seem too good to be true, refusal to keep or provide access to financial records like credit card and bank statements, or suspicious large-ticket purchases like cars or jewelry.
- Warn family members about giving out personal information verbally over the phone. Call your trusted financial advisor regarding any calls soliciting your private information or money.
It is crucial for individuals and families to prepare for retirement and the aging process. Creating a sound estate plan is important, but depends on the ability and honesty of the representative appointed to carry it out. We recommend hiring a fiduciary to carry out this delicate process and ensuring your loved ones will be taken care of properly.
CPS Investment Advisors is always ready to help with any retirement planning needs. Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns regarding your financial needs.