Present and Future Social Security Outlooks for Older Americans

Social Security Word CloudYou are now in your late 50’s and getting closer to retirement.  As you were working, discussions about Social Security benefits have been prevalent in the mouths of the government, the media, family and friends.

Everyone relies on Social Security, but it is especially important to those that are older.  Recently, older Americans have been feeling the pressure from wages not increasing and pensions becoming smaller and smaller.  This pressure is only likely to grow in the future.  How do you make sure that your plans for the future will be viable?

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Common Scams Targeting Seniors

Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The PhoneWe try to protect the older members of our families. We look in on them when we can, we advise them to keep their homes secure, we make sure they get to their doctor’s appointments.

But in some cases, threats to senior citizens can come from people half a world away.

Financial scams targeting seniors are – unfortunately – everywhere these days. Here are some of the most common, according to the National Council on Aging.

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What is Undue Influence and How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

When a person has diminished mental capacity, is ill or isolated, they become more vulnerable to those who might do them harm.

At times, people take advantage of those who are elderly or vulnerable for financial gain or control over assets. One form of exploitation is undue influence.

Undue influence is not typically considered a crime in and of itself, but acts as the means for committing a crime. It is commonly recognized by the misuse of one’s influence to substitute his or her own will for the will of another. The influencer takes advantage of his or her position of power over another person and the consequences can be very destructive.

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Tax Scams to Avoid

Don’t fall victim to tax scams! Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Here are some of the recent 2014 tax scams the Internal Revenue Service wants you to be aware of:

(1) Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security Number (SSN) or other identifying information – without your permission – to commit fraud or other crimes. In many cases, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.

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Steps to Prevent Identity Theft and What to Do if It Happens

Identity theft isn’t just an unauthorized charge on a credit card. Identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission, “occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.”

Although financial institutions, health care companies and other businesses have taken steps to improve security measures, you cannot rely on them to protect you. Taking steps now can prevent you from a major headache later.

PREVENTION – Be sure to always review your monthly statements from your checking or other financial accounts. The earlier that you catch an error, the easier it will be to resolve it. Also, balancing your check book will help you see where your money is going and will help you spot any unauthorized charges or withdrawals. Continue Reading Steps to Prevent Identity Theft and What to Do if It Happens

Scam Alert! Financial Scams Targeting Seniors

Financial fraud is one of the fastest growing forms of elder abuse. Financial elder abuse is when someone illegally or improperly uses a vulnerable senior’s money or other property. Many states now have laws that make elder financial abuse a crime and provide ways to help the senior and punish the scammer.

Elder financial abuse is tough to fight because it often goes unreported. Many elder victims are often too confused, fearful or embarrassed by the crime to report it. A recent study by Consumers Digest estimated that there are five million cases of this financial abuse in the United States each year, but law enforcement only learn about one in twenty-five cases.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones from financial elder abuse by familiarizing yourself with the most common scams and learning what to do if you suspect foul play.
Scammers target elders that they perceive to be vulnerable. It is often those who are isolated, lonely, physically or mentally disabled, unfamiliar with handling their own finances or have recently lost a spouse. Continue Reading Scam Alert! Financial Scams Targeting Seniors

Tips for Safe Summer Travel

Are you thinking about traveling this summer?  Senior citizens love to travel over the summer. It is important to keep health and travel safety concerns at the forefront. It can ensure a safe, fun, and problem free trip. Here are some tips to ensure safe travel:

To keep yourself healthy while traveling, follow these tips:

  • Pay attention to the heat and stay hydrated. The easiest way to stay cool and comfortable is to drink 6-8 glasses a day. Don’t wait till you are thirsty…drink throughout the day even if you aren’t thirsty.
  • Increase fluid intake by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Continue Reading Tips for Safe Summer Travel

Seniors and fraud: how to recognize it and stop it

Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The PhoneAccording to a recent article in Elder Law Answers, 70 percent of the nation’s wealth is controlled by people age 55 and older. Of course, as people get older they need help with day to day activities and finances can be one of those activities. That’s where the potential for fraud comes in.

Many times the perpetrators are people that the victim knows, such as an adult child, grandchild or employed caregiver. Signs that fraud is taking place include:

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