Today’s Baby Boomers are the first generation to largely retire using IRA and 401(k) plans instead of company pensions. A frightening 2011 article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short” cited that:
“The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement.”
This leaves many Boomers worried—and ideal targets for financial fraud by those who claim to know the secrets for greater returns.
● self reliant when it comes to making decisions
● more inclined to have above-average financial knowledge and income
● college educated
● open to new ideas or sales pitches
Moreover, seniors who have recently experienced a health or financial setback are at greater risk of falling prey to fraudulent criminals.
Remember, a good deal will still be there tomorrow.
Here are additional tips to protect yourself:
Be Assertive Saying “No”
Practice ending conversations that seem overly pushy or aggressive. A simple “No thank you, I’m not interested” can be followed with “I don’t invest unless I first review the investment with ________.” Having an exit strategy makes it easier to leave the conversation if pressure mounts.
Turn Tables and Ask Questions
Criminals gain your trust and determine how they can manipulate you by asking seemingly innocent questions about your children, lifestyle, hobbies, or political views. Depending on the investment offered, a proper professional will be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state securities regulator.
● Are you and your firm registered with FINRA?
● Are you registered with the SEC?
● Are you registered with the state securities regulator? Which one?
● Is this investment registered with the SEC or my state securities regulator?