WASHINGTON (May 22, 2007) — They talked about the birds and bees with you, now it’s your turn to talk dollars and sense when it comes to your parent’s financial future and how to avoid losing their nest egg to financial fraud.
Free lunch seminars, high-pressure phone calls, and endless mail guaranteeing high returns with no risk, are just some of the tools con artists are using to target seniors, said North American Securities Administrators Association President and Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph P. Borg.
“Boomers and others need to give their parents the news: there are people out there who will try to scam them out of their life savings. Your parents need to talk to you and you need to talk to them about this sensitive subject,” Borg said. “This conversation could mean the difference between a secure financial future or one of uncertainty and despair.”
To help jumpstart this conversation, NASAA has produced a new episode in its podcast series, “The Alert Investor.” The episode, “How to Talk to Your Parents about Senior Investment Fraud,” is being released in conjunction with national Older Americans Month. Click here to listen.
“When you sit down with your parents, you aren’t there to direct, you are not there to control, you are there to inform and educate,” Borg said. A good way to break the ice is to bring up your own financial concerns. “Establish a consistent dialogue. Take the time to sit down and emphasize your concern that they have the information they need to make informed decisions about their future.” Next, review the Five W’s: who, what, where, when and why:
Who: Who are they talking to? Who’s giving them financial advice? Is there someone new in their life that seems to be spending a lot of time with them?
What: Is the information they’re getting accurate and are the products they’ve invested in suitable for their needs?
Where: Do they have multiple accounts or is their money in just one location?
When: Candidly discuss their future. We’re all living longer, so your parents need to consider investments that are suitable for their long-term retirement needs.
Why: It’s critical to discuss why they think a particular investment or salesperson are their best options.
The Alert Investor is one of many resources available on NASAA’s website. To learn more about investing wisely and to download the podcasts to your computer or MP3 player, click here.
NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico.
For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications
Melinda Semadeni, Investor Education Manager