There are more than 50 million Americans aged 62 and older who are prime targets for financial exploitation, both by persons they know and by strangers. You may be one of these targets. Get information about how to avoid such exploitation and how to help others in this article.

Fraudsters are constantly looking for victims. Older ones may be less active in offensive and defensive activities, and as a result are often more vulnerable to financial exploitation than in their prior years. So what position should they be taking to withstand such an assault?

Do these things to minimize the risk of financial exploitation

  1. Establish strategic relationships. Often, the first step to take as we age is to establish and maintain a good relationship with your community bank. Community bankers are in position to know you, and to offer you helpful suggestions on how to structure account ownership and disbursal requirements. Incessant conversations do not make the relationship, but neither does a single meeting at the branch office.
  2. Get educated. Inform yourself of available resources and also common pitfalls. One good resource is the “Money Smart for Adults” program produced by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Both the FDIC and CCPB offer instructor-led training and very helpful documents that include contact information to local and regional assistance. Individuals can enroll in this program, and so can institutions. If you are evaluating elder care facilities, you might inquire about their programs and education on the topic of financial exploitation.
  3. Make a plan. Your plan should include a financial plan, also a caregiver plan that contemplates proper funding. Remember that money is the grease that helps to keep your life functioning smoothly. So don’t make it hard for your caregiver to care for you, neither make it too easy to abuse the privilege.

The important thing to remember, whether your vantage is from that of the senior or the caregiver, is that a successful aging transition requires good education, trusted advisors who help formulate the strategy, warm relationships with care-givers, and a strong support base. When your family and community banker are among that select group the right things can be done because they are properly funded, in every sense of that word.

It sounds trite to say these days, but for what it’s worth Peoples Bank cares about its community – the people and their families and their economic success. We remain committed to people, especially those whose many years merit respect and care. Let us know how we can help you and your family.

Get more information:
Press Release: FDIC & CFPB Collaborate on Tool to Prevent Financial Exploitation
Web site: Money Smart – A Financial Education Program for Older Adults