Aging of Population Raises the Bar for Advisers


The problems of elder financial abuse and loss of cognitive faculties due to aging are on a steep upward trend. The inability to manage money and make sound financial decisions is one of the earliest indications of Alzheimer’s disease.  Financial advisers should look out for clients who stop paying bills, seem addled about their assets, or exhibit signs of vulnerability to financial fraud, according to one expert. See Elder Financial Fraud.

As more baby boomers enter the higher risk ages for Alzheimer’s disease and other disabilities, financial advisers will see more clients with cognitive impairment and other health-related issues (“How advisers can help clients deal with Alzheimer’s,” by Dr. Robert Porkowski, a physician and vice president for medical strategy at Prudential Individual Life Insurance. As a result, financial advisers need to be sensitive to their clients becoming victims of financial scams perpetrated by others and need to be very cautious in direct dealings with these fragile clients.

Dr. Porkowski’s major message is that investment advisers can help clients and their families plan for these contingencies before they become impaired.  Among other things, he advises clients and/or investment advisers to:
•    Discuss purchasing insurance long-term care insurance, annuities, and life insurance with riders that provide a benefit if chronic care is needed.  While the average stay in a nursing home is fairly short, the need for assisted living for someone with Alzheimer’s can last for years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
•    Execute a will, living will and durable powers of attorney for health care and financial matters.
•    Build a team of resource providers to include family members who will be the principal care providers, an elder-law attorney, and a certified public accountant.
•    Document such efforts and discussions with clients and families in case legal issues arise later on.

Page Perry is an Atlanta-based law firm with over 150 years of collective experience maintaining integrity in the investment markets and protecting investor rights.