Roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and roughly 70% of the nation’s wealth is controlled by individuals over 50. This puts an entire generation at great risk of losing large amounts of money to fraud. In fact, the average loss to fraud by seniors is $30,000.
Since 2006, June 15 has been recognized as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This year, we partnered with NAPSA for the Second Global Summit on World Elder Abuse Awareness. Several FSI staff members also attended the Summit.
FSI is proud to be involved in such a worthy cause. Members, regulators and legislators have already all made such great strides with this issue.
In 2014, we launched our Elder Abuse Resource Center, which is aimed at educating our members on the issue of elder financial abuse and provides red flags to look for that may indicate financial abuse along with a wealth of other helpful materials for advisers to protect their clients. The resource center also provides a one-stop point of reference on the appropriate agencies and organizations to reporting abuse to for all 50 states. This information is vital in assisting our members in fighting the proliferation of elder abuse.
We were privileged to be invited to take part in NASAA’s advisory council to its Committee on Senior Investors and Diminished Capacity. We appreciate this opportunity and are excited to continue the important work the Council is doing.
Earlier this year NASAA finalized its Model Act called “An Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults form Financial Exploitation.” The act, which can be adopted by states as regulation or legislation:
- mandates advisors to report financial exploitation to state securities regulator and state adult protective services agency;
- provides civil and administrative immunity for liability to broker-deals and investment advisors who take actions permitted under the act to prevent potential fraud; and
- allows temporary holds on disbursements where there are potential signs of financial exploitation.
We were also fortunate to attend Maine’s 3rd Annual Elder Abuse Summit to learn more about the innovative ways that Maine is taking to tackle this issue.
FSI is proud of the work we members, regulators and legislators have been involved with but realizes that there is still more to be done to increase investor protection and prevent elder financial abuse.