Part of creating wealth with no regrets is choosing the right person to help you manage the wealth that you’ve worked hard to accumulate for your retirement and for your estate. Selecting the wrong person can have disastrous results that leave you with enormous losses and regrets: according to a CNN report, several recent studies have exposed the startlingly high amount of financial abuse that senior citizens experience during their retirement years.
The nonprofit organization Investor Protection Trust polled experts regarding financial abuse and found that 84% noted an increase this year in the financial fraud of seniors. 96% agreed that this type of fraud is a “serious problem.”
Senior citizens are being defrauded out of a staggering several billion dollars per year. Research from MetLife, an insurance provider, discovered that Americans 60 years of age and older were swindled out of an amount of $2.9 billion in 2010, an increase from $2.6 billion in 2008.
According to MetLife’s report, approximately half of the occurrences of financial abuse were committed by strangers. Another 34% of this fraud was committed by family, friends, or neighbors. Financial abuse can come from, for example, lottery scams to steal money or fraud designed to steal Medicare benefits.
Since these figures came to light, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has begun an investigation into financial abuse of seniors. Many seniors don’t report fraud because of embarrassment or unawareness that they have been defrauded. The CFPB is currently asking the public for examples of “deceptive practices currently targeting seniors.”
To avoid becoming victim to financial abuse during your retirement years, it helps to have a trusted financial advisor or caregiver manage your wealth. Before hiring a financial advisor, check their legitimacy. Equally important is to have a retirement plan already in place before reaching the age of retirement, so that you understand how much you have and where that money will go. Keeping track of your finances, especially with trusted professional help, as well as being wary of existing scams are essential for maintaining your financial well-being.