The biggest threat retirees face

Jim_SamsonWhat’s the biggest problem you’re going to have to deal with going into retirement? Is it social security worries? Is it longer life expectancy tightening your budget? Is it healthcare?

The largest threat you could face might be even scarier than all of that, and you may never have even thought about it.

Let’s take a look at what this threat it, where retirees are most vulnerable, and what to do about it…

A growing number – now 18% – of friends and family of the elderly are worried about them becoming targets of financial abuse. That’s the newest threat facing retirees these days.

While the elderly themselves by and large believe they can handle their money well and aren’t worried about financial abuse, it’s a real issue. According to the American Journal of Public Health, roughly 1 in every 20 older adults in a study was facing financial abuse by a family member.

As sad as that is, it’s the reality that we have to deal with as a society.

But family members aren’t the only worry for the elderly. Caregivers and others coming in contact with older adults can be abusers as well.

And these older Americans are especially vulnerable to fraud due to the huge slice of the money pie in their hands. Approximately 70% of the nation’s wealth is controlled by people over the age of 50.

When considering that, it may not come as a surprise to learn that seniors’ average loss to fraud is about $30,000, according to Allianz Life.

Those losses are devastating for older adults who no longer have the time and resources to make up for it.

Perhaps the most concerning part of this entire dilemma is that most victims of financial abuse in this regard don’t even report it.

Why?

The majority of those victims face one of the following complications:

  • They feel their abusers have a legitimate claim on their money,
  • They’re afraid of losing their independence or feel ashamed, or
  • They suffer from overconfidence.

And with the America graying, financial abuse among older adults figures to become an even bigger problem.

While policymakers need to step up and do something, you can also protect yourself and your loved ones now that you know the dangers retirees face.

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