6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Con Artists

If you’re retiring comfortably, or still in the process of accumulating a sizable retirement fund, you face fewer risks than other retirees. Unfortunately, you’re also at greater risk of one significant problem: Con artists will probably target you, and pursue you quite vigorously.

You didn’t make years of smart financial decisions by accident! You know what you’re doing, and you have a skilled financial advisor by your side. But you might still face a few problems that tend to plague retirees: Memory and decision-making skills can sometimes decline as we get older, and con artists are using increasingly sophisticated methods to get their hands on your money.

Right now, you can take these steps to lower your risk of falling prey to fraud.

Don’t give out information over the phone. Con artists are using sophisticated technology these days, and your caller ID might display something misleading like “US Government”, “Medicare” or “Social Security”. But remember that these agencies will not call to ask you identifying information, such as your Social Security number or tax information, over the phone.

Designate a power of attorney. If you are ever mentally or physically incapacitated, this person can make certain legal and financial decisions on your behalf.

Meet with an estate planning attorney. Your attorney can help you draw up power of attorney documents, explain what this designation can and can’t do, and advise you on other estate planning matters that might pertain to you.

Streamline your accounts. During your working years, it might make sense to hold multiple accounts. As you transition into retirement, remember that it’s much easier to keep track of one credit card, one debit card, and so on. Also consider whether you want to keep track of multiple investments, or choose something simpler like a mutual fund or exchange-traded funds at some point.

Sign up for safeguards. If your bank offers email or text alerts to notify you of large transactions, sign up for this service! You might consider sending these alerts to your power of attorney as well.

Continue meeting with us. Ideally, retirement planning should last for the rest of your life. Remember to schedule regular appointments with us.

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