EPSON MFP imageAnd I’m Dr. Mikol Davis, psychologist.  This is a true story about my Mom, Alice who was age 90 when this happened.

This is so hard to believe, isn’t it Carolyn?

CAROLYN:
It’s so ironic.  Here we are, always trying to give folks a heads up about preventing financial abuse.  And then, something abusive happens to Mom!  It’s amazing.

This situation came up when Mikol’s Mom decided to change financial advisors. The guy she was using for financial advice had talked to her about her investments a year before this happened.  He thought he had explained this particular thing he put her in, but I doubt it.  In any case, he never told her that he wanted to take a large sum and put it into something where she couldn’t access her money for 12 years!

Does that make sense to you?  12 years of not being able to take out your cash for a 90 year old??

It didn’t make sense to us either.

So, what did you do, Mikol?

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MIKOL:  I called my mother’s advisor and asked him about this and why he had done this. He said “she doesn’t need the money” and she invested “for the benefit of her heirs.”  We know the financial advisor actually has no way of knowing whether my mom will need the money sooner than 12 years. It was just plain wrong.  Besides, she doesn’t invest money for the benefit of her heirs. She invests it to take care of herself, in case she lives to be 100. She’s in good health and she just might do that. If she needed full time care, she also might need to use that tied-up money.

The government regulatory agency is called FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). We are going to report the advisor to FINRA.  You can do that online, with the FINRA Investor Complaint form.  This is the link to it.  http://www.finra.org/complaint.  You fill out the form online and submit it.  It is also possible to print it out and send it in.  The regulatory agency has the ability to prosecute financial advisors, brokers and dealers who sell unsuitable investments to elders.

They get a commission on the sale, up front, not later. They are motivated to sell these products.

Tying up an elder’s money for years at a time is usually not considered appropriate and this agency has prosecuted many firms for doing things like this.  They may have to pay the money back to the senior and pay a fine to the government too.

Carolyn, what can we all do to find out if your aging parent is being taken advantage of by a financial person?

CAROLYN:

We encourage you to speak with your aging loved ones about their investments.  Sometimes, they get tempted by promises of high rates of return. At this time, the kind of investment the advisor put Alice into pays a 6.5% return. She doesn’t need to take that kind of risk.  Most people don’t, especially if they are over 65 and retired.  We can demand restitution from the advisor or report them to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

If you have difficulty talking with your aging loved ones about finances and you’re worried, contact us at AgingParents.com. We offer you our advice and help. You can request a complimentary consultation too.  Contact us at AgingParents.com and get started today.

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