Austin Frye Interviewed by Consumer Reports About Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

February 9, 2018 | posted in: Blog, Financial Insights, In The News | by
Regulators are stepping up efforts to protect seniors, but you still need to build your own safety net.

 

According to Penelope Wang of Consumer Reports, “By one estimate, older Americans lose up to $30 billion a year to elder financial abuse—the misappropriation of their money by con artists or thieves who are total strangers to them or even trusted friends or family members.  These crimes often go unreported because victims are ashamed to speak up or are unable to do so.  But that may soon start to change. The government and the financial services industry are finally taking steps to encourage people who are in a position to spot elder financial abuse—including brokers, bankers, and financial advisers—to act on and report what they see.”

 

Austin shared his thoughts about how to prevent elder financial abuse:

“The biggest risk factors in elder financial abuse are isolation and cognitive impairment,” says Austin Frye, a financial planner in Aventura, Fla. “So it’s important to reach out to your parent, stay in touch, and ask questions.”

 

You will want to know if your parent is keeping up with bill paying, or if he or she is in contact with strangers or new friends who may prove to be a risk.  Of course, your mom or dad may not be eager share their financial details, and you don’t want to be too intrusive or suggest that your loved one is no longer competent. So ease into the conversation, perhaps by sharing your own money worries and asking for advice. Or perhaps enlist one of your parent’s friends in the discussion.  If your parent is willing to accept some help with one or two tasks—perhaps with bill paying—start with that. Keep it low-key by wrapping in a social activity, such as going out for meal or visiting friends afterward. As you keep the connection going, you can gradually step up your support if your parent requires it.

Click here to read the full article.