Distressing — that’s how to describe the fact that older Americans are losing at least $2.9 billion every year to people who take advantage of their vulnerabilities. And that’s only for the cases that are actually reported.* It’s called elder financial abuse, and it’s occurring more frequently every year.
Who’s victimizing older Americans? It could be anyone. A 2011 study* shows that:
The same 2011 study also shows that nearly 60% of the perpetrators are men between the ages of 30 and 59, while most of the female perpetrators are between the ages of 30 and 49.
And as our baby boomers lead longer lives, the number of older Americans will only increase. As will elder financial abuse. It’s in all of our best interest to learn more so we can stop this kind of abuse in its tracks.
In this topic, we’ll take a closer look at elder abuse, include warning signs, how to protect yourself (or your loved ones), and resources that are available to help combat this growing trend.
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*Source: The 2011 “MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse.