10 Tips for Retirees
How to Avoid Financial Scams and Protect Your Retirement
In a world where financial scams and fraud are increasingly sophisticated, retirees need to be well-informed and alert. Today, I want to share essential tips to help you protect your hard-earned savings.
Sadly, scammers often target retirees due to their substantial savings and perceived lack of familiarity with digital technology. Understanding how to recognize and avoid these threats is crucial for safeguarding your financial security.
10 TIPS FOR RETIREES TO AVOID FINANCIAL SCAMS
1. Recognize Common Scams The first tip is to educate yourself on common scams that are targeted at retirees, such as phishing emails, fake IRS calls, and lottery scams. Familiarizing yourself with scammer tactics is a good start toward protecting yourself.
2. Never Share Personal Information Never share personal information like Social Security numbers, banking details, or passwords in response to unsolicited requests, whether they come via email, phone calls, or messages.
3. Be Wary of Unsolicited OffersIn general, be cautious of all unsolicited offers, especially those that seem too good to be true. Also, be aware that high-pressure tactics, like limited-time offers are often used by scammers to rush you into making decisions.
4. Use Secure and Strong PasswordsA tried-and-true principle of online safety is to use strong, unique passwords for each different account. You might also consider using a password manager. Additionally, regularly updating your passwords can significantly reduce the risk of digital fraud.
5. Verify Charities Before Donating Retirees are often generous people and frequently give to charities. Generosity is a great quality to have, but before donating to charities, especially those that reach out to you, verify their legitimacy through websites like Charity Navigator or the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
6. Keep Your Software Updated Just like an unlocked door, one of the ways that hackers and scammers can get in is through outdated systems. Keep your computer and smartphone software updated. Regular updates often include security enhancements that can help protect you against newer attacks.
7. Monitor Financial Statements Monitoring your financial statements is always good personal finance. Still, with this tip, the idea is more specific — go through each bank and credit statement looking specifically to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions. Should you find anything that looks suspicious, the good news is that early detection can prevent larger losses or a bigger hassle in trying to get the charges cleared.
8. Be Skeptical of Investment Opportunities Be skeptical of unsolicited investment opportunities. Always research and consult with a trusted financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Even some of the most intelligent people have been scammed. Scammers are not called scammers for naught. It’s important to do due diligence and get that second layer of professional insight if you think an investment opportunity looks appealing.
9. Consult with Trusted Individuals This tip is so important I could say it twice. Before making any significant financial decisions, consult with trusted family members, friends, or financial advisors. A second opinion can provide clarity and prevent you from making a hasty decision. Someone else may notice a red flag that you didn’t, and pausing long enough to take a second look could spare you the heartache of financial loss or the aggravation of trying to recover it.
10. Educate Yourself Continuously Lastly, as new scams or new twists to old scams constantly appear, it is wise to educate yourself about financial schemes continually. You might consider participating in a local community seminar, or maybe your bank or other trusted source is hosting an online webinar focusing on fraud prevention for retirees.
I don’t share these tips to make you cynical but to remind you of the reality of this growing problem and the need to be continually alert. Staying vigilant and informed is your best defense against financial scams and fraud. By adopting these practices, you can protect your assets and enjoy a secure and stress-free retirement.
Chris Zeches is a Certified Financial Planner® and Managing Partnerat Zeches Wealth Management. Zeches Wealth Management has one singular focus: To financial planning and tax expertise to help multi-generational families and business owners achieve more of what they love.
Have A Question?
If you have questions that are specific to your family’s situation, feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to help.