Aging in America: Steering seniors clear of scams
DALLAS — A nice nest egg and a trusting character combine to make seniors an enticing target for scams.
At the Edgemere retirement community in Dallas, seniors are regularly counseled in financial self-defense. Experts say seniors are particularly vulnerable to telemarketers and junk mail.
Financial advisors say family members should:
• Place elderly loved ones on the government’s "do not call" list
• Sign them up for the "opt-out" mailing list to limit postal solicitations
• Discourage seniors from attending those "free" financial planning luncheons
"I always tell them, leave your credit card and leave your checkbook at home and go enjoy a good meal," said Bob Guess, a financial planner who wrote a book called "Some Rob You with a Pen: A Guide to Protecting Your Assets."
"At most of these luncheons, you’re going to be dealing with someone that’s not a financial planner; they’re not an estate planner; they used bogus designations behind their plan; they have nothing to do with financial planning," Guess said.
Experts also say seniors should be encouraged to talk over any potential investment with a trusted relative or financial planner before signing on the dotted line.