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Protecting a Senior’s Nest Egg from Elder Financial Abuse

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 27, 2017 12:00:00 AM / by Bart Delsing

Keep your older loved one’s money safe with these five tips

By the time most of us have hit our mid-20s, we’ve started working, and we continue to do so for several decades. Ideally, at some point we can stop getting up early most days to shuffle off to a job and coast into a nice relaxing retirement. But in order to do this, money is of course the key consideration. The right amount is vital to be able to comfortably enjoy our golden years.

If you have parents or grandparents that are near or in retirement, how confident are you that their finances are in good shape? They may have money saved away or a good investment portfolio, but there’s a danger you may not be aware of: elder financial abuse

According to a recent survey of caregivers, almost 40 percent of seniors have experienced some sort of abuse related to their money, and victims lose an average of $36,000. If your loved one lost that much, how would they be affected? To prevent this from happening, there are things you can do: 

Get in the loop

To keep your family member’s money safe, it’s important for you to know as much about their activities as possible. Find out where they keep it, who’s managing it, and all other pertinent information. You should also have access to documents such as deeds or wills. 

Don’t ignore warning signs

Vigilance is often the best way to spot a problem. If you’ve noticed letters from creditors, suspicious actions with their bank accounts, or anything else that just looks funny, be sure to investigate.

Talk about possible scams

Elderly people are often targets for scam artists, which is why you should talk to your loved ones about how they may be approached. This could include phone calls or emails telling them they’ve won something or perhaps it’s a person posing as a bill collector trying to get payment. Make sure that they never give out account information or Social Security numbers. 

Encourage socialization

If your loved one lives alone and rarely goes out, this is detrimental for several different reasons. First, this isn’t good for their physical or mental health. But it can also put them at greater risk for financial fraud. When someone has a good group of friends, this can act as a support system that will look out for his or her best interests. 

Act quickly

If you do discover that abuse or fraud has happened, contact the authorities right away. Acting immediately is the best way to get money back. Even if funds can’t be recovered, it could prevent other people from getting hurt in the future. 

People set on stealing from older folks may never stop, but these tips can help you stay one step ahead of them. Another great way to keep an eye on the financial welfare of your older family members is by hiring a home health aide. Someone who sees your loved ones on a regular basis will be able to closely monitor their situation. FirstLantic can supply you with a trusted and experienced caregiver who helps with all of your loved one’s needs. Since 2000 we have been providing homecare services to seniors in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River and Broward Counties. For hourly, daily, or overnight care, contact us at 877-618-3624 or just fill out our online form.

Topics: Senior’s Nest Egg, Elder Financial Abuse

Written by Bart Delsing

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