FINANCIAL FOCUS: Help older parents avoid financial frauds

Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 12:26 PM.

Become familiar with their financial situation. Having a serious discussion with your parents about their finances may not be easy — but it’s important. The more you know about their investments, retirement accounts and estate plans, the better prepared you’ll be to respond helpfully if they mention an action they’re considering that doesn’t sound appropriate to you.

Suggest professional help. If your parents are already working with a qualified financial professional, they’re probably less likely to be victimized by fraud than if they were managing their finances on their own. And it’s a good idea for you to know their financial adviser, and for him or her to know you, as you may well be involved in your parents’ legacy planning. However, if your parents don’t already have a financial adviser, you may want to recommend one to them — particularly if it’s someone you already know and trust.

Your parents may not need help avoiding financial scams. However, just in case, be prepared to act. Your intervention could help preserve your parent’s financial independence.

Joe Faulk is a financial adviser in Crestview.

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