Elder financial abuse is a rapidly growing problem in America. As the population ages, and wealthy boomers retire, they are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous scammers. Last year banks reported over 24 thousand cases of elder financial abuse in America. That’s more than double the totals from only five years ago.
Americans can fight such elder financial abuse by working with a reliable advisor earlier in life to build an investment plan that is right for them, and will stand the test of time as they age. Those advisors should absolutely be held to a fiduciary standard. If you ask your advisor and they say they’re not held to a fiduciary standard, find a new advisor today. They aren’t working for you, they’re working for their company.
In The Wall Street Journal, Yuka Hayashi reports on the growing trend in elder financial abuse:
The increase occurred as new federal and state laws are prompting banks to take a more active role in trying to address frauds and scams that target older customers. For their part, banks are beefing up training programs for employees on how to detect, stop and report issues without violating a customer’s privacy. Employees are even learning to recognize early signs of cognitive decline.
The issue of elder financial abuse is likely to grow even more pronounced. An average of 10,000 Americans turn 65 a day, a pace expected to continue through 2030. In that year, one in every five people will be 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Meanwhile, people over 50 represent one-third of the population but account for 61% of bank accounts and 70% of bank deposits, according to 2017 research by the American Bankers Association.
“Anything having to do with elder financial abuse or exploitation affects a huge part of our customer base,” said Rob Rowe, associate chief counsel at the American Bankers Association.
The 24,454 suspected cases reported in 2018 is up 12% from 21,839 cases in 2017, the previous record, and more than double the number in 2013, according to Treasury Department data.
Read more here.