Beware: Seniors Subject to Fraud

"An estimated one in five older Americans have been financially exploited," according to an article in Barron's, describing the situation as an epidemic. While seniors are subject to a variety of scams, the majority of financial abuse "comes at the hands of family members, friends, or caregivers improperly using a retiree's money." In fact, "AARP found that financial exploitation by family members involves larger sums than those by strangers."

A common example is when an adult child is being compensated for the time she spends caring for an aging parent. Eventually, the child begins drawing additional funds for herself because she "deserves" it. An open conversation with the other siblings or family members can help provide transparency. Requiring more than one person to engage in, or review, financial transactions on behalf of seniors also helps.

It is important to be aware of the warning signs that someone you know may be vulnerable:

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A Lesson from the Election

The presidential election brought home a major point we always seem to forget -- our quest for certainty is never achieved. We crave certainty because it's so comforting. We fear uncertainty because it can be painfully disorienting.

Yet surprises happen!

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Why 55 is Too Young to Make Retirement Decisions


People tend to believe who they are today is pretty much who they'll be tomorrow, even when they have acknowledged to having changed significantly in the past. This phenomenon, known as the "end of history illusion," should make you a bit more cautious before making a major decision, like buying a house for retirement. You never know how your likes and dislikes evolve over time. Watch the video to find out more.

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Money for Nothing

People typically make investments to earn money. Seems pretty logical. But recently a number of governments, like Japan and Germany, have been issuing bonds with a negative yield, meaning an investor would lose money if they held the bond to maturity. Basically, the purchaser of such a bond is paying someone to hold their money.

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The Importance of Immigration

We are hearing a lot of passionate rhetoric about illegal immigration during this campaign year. Such talk may prevent us from recognizing the importance of legal immigration to the continued vitality of the U.S. economy. Just take a look at the problems that Japan faces with a dwindling, aging population. China is on a path to suffer a similar fate.

An extremely low fertility rate in Japan is causing its population to decline rapidly, with projections of a one-third drop by 2060. At that time, close to 40% of the people will be 65 years of age or older. This demographic atrophy will likely lead to a lowering of the national income. A smaller, older population means less productive output.

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