While All About Seniors provides resources to older adults, their caregivers, and industry professionals year-round, we hope to mark this month by bringing awareness to many of the ways Older Americans “Blaze Trails” throughout the community.
Blaze a Trail to Securing Your Finances
As an older American, you have worked and saved for years. You want to make sure your finances are secure. Most people who help you handle your money are well intentioned, but everyone is at risk for financial abuse.
Financial exploitation happens when someone improperly uses your money or property for his or her benefit. This abuse can be committed by someone you know or by a stranger.
It’s easier to avoid financial abuse when you are educated about the many ways to protect yourself.
Financial exploitation (abuse) is believed to cost seniors an estimated $3 billion annually.
Helpful Tips to Plan Wisely
Keep all of your important financial paperwork. This includes tax returns, investment and banking records, and legal documents. Keep these documents in a safe place that you share only with a trusted person.
Examine bills and bank statements constantly. Report any unauthorized activity – no matter how small. Use direct deposit for paychecks, social security and pension payouts to protect your money in transit.
Do not provide personal information – especially your social security number or bank account numbers – without verifying that it is a legitimate company that needs this information. To avoid scams, do not provide this information by phone.
As appropriate, enact a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney is a trusted person that makes decisions for you when you are unable or unsure. You can read a lot more about this topic by checking out our blog posts.
Learning about finances can be overwhelming, but there are many resources available to help you be a financial trailblazer.