When your clients spend time during this season with their aging loved ones, let them know that it’s an opportunity to look out for signs that a loved one needs help. Some things are possible tipoffs that they should get involved in helping monitor their aging parents’ spending, giving and susceptibility to scams. Educating them about these signs gives the client the impression that you understand and that you care. Your Boomer clients may have parents or other relatives in their 80’s, 90’s and beyond. You can help both clients and their aging family members stay safer.
Encourage them to watch out for these three signs when they see loved ones at their parents’ homes:
- Evidence of unpaid bills. Older folks begin to lose the capacity to keep track of finances very early in the process of any form of dementia. If bill collectors are calling, or they see dunning notices, that is a red flag. They could be forgetting what to pay or when to pay a bill. Insurance can be cut off, utilities can be stopped and a lot of other consequences flow from this forgetfulness. Adult children can help by offering to do the bill paying, putting it online or otherwise keeping watch over bills. Your Boomer clients could be stuck with having to support their aging parents if the elders lose the ability to manage their money.
- Too much “charitable” giving to anyone who asks. Scammers call seniors and pose as anybody from anywhere. Unsuspecting elders believe them and do not check out the validity of the charity they claim to represent. Remind your clients to caution their senior loved ones to ask for detailed information about anyone who solicits them, including name, address and phone number. They should to call the charity and verify that the solicitation was from them.
- Evidence of a new “friend” who seems overly involved in an aging parent’s life, especially if he or she has access to personal information such as Social Security number, credit cards and bank accounts. There are predators out there waiting for a chance to get to the money and run. Particularly with a parent who has memory loss, manipulation and theft are all too easy for a person just hanging around waiting for an opportunity to steal. At AgingInvestor.com we suggest that adult children closely monitor seniors’ accounts and question anything odd immediately.
Client education needs to be about more than what products will yield the best return and how to make money last. It has to be about your client’s life too. And since regulators want all advisors to educate clients about issues that affect them, this is one perfect for the educational effort. Feel free to copy this email and send it out modified a bit, with your name on it. Your clients will appreciate you!