How to protect aging parents against financial predators
Have you noticed that your aging parents are receiving more mailings or phone calls from financial and insurance companies than ever? If so, take a moment to ask them about it. It may be one of the most important discussions you ever have.
Why? It’s unfortunate, but true, that some sales companies aggressively target seniors in an effort to get them to purchase products that are ill suited to their needs. To help prevent your parents from falling victim to these predators, consider the following:
· Help your parents find a reputable financial professional — This will enable them to proactively address any financial concerns they may have.
· Attend the appointment — If your parents are comfortable having you participate, go with them. This will provide all of you with an opportunity to ask questions and get answers, enabling you to have a meaningful discussion with each other after you leave the financial professional’s office.
· Read the fine print — Some investments don’t allow you to access your money for a specified number of years — sometimes 10 or 15 years or more — without incurring penalties or early withdrawal fees. Although many of these investments may benefit younger investors, they can create financial hardship for investors who are older or in poor health.
· Help eliminate unwanted sales calls — Put your parents — and yourself — on the “Do Not Call” list by visiting www.donotcall.gov or calling 1 (888) 382-1222. And help reduce the amount of junk mail received by visiting www.dmachoice.org.
James C. Hanna, CFP®, MBA, Financial Advisor, Certified Financial Planner ™ practitioner. Advisor is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Indiana.
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