- More financial advisors are probing their clients for signs that they are at risk of making poor decisions or turning into victims of fraud or abuse.
- “Most advisors’ clientele are in their 60s and 70s and these types of issues are front in mind,” said Chris Heye, the co-founder of Whealthcare Planning, a platform that helps people prepare for aging and tests their decision making capacities.
- If an advisor suspects financial exploitation is occurring, they can block transactions and bring in family members.
Annie Nova | @AnnieReporter
The Cooneys walked into the office to hear their test results.
Matt Cooney, a 79-year-old retired television sportscaster, was informed that his financial decision-making capacity was in jeopardy. Dobe Cooney admitted that her husband had lost track of their bills a few times lately.
“We don’t leave the teeth in the refrigerator or anything like that,” said the 75-year-old former nurse. “But as we get older, we seem to forget a lot.”
The exam had not been administered by their doctor but by their financial advisor, Carolyn McClanahan.
McClanahan, a certified financial planner and a medical doctor, is the founder of Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida. At her recommendation, Matt went to his own physician with the findings.
As it turned out, Matt indeed, had had a few silent strokes over the years.
Such discoveries are coming to the surface in the offices of financial advisors across the country, as it becomes increasingly common for financial professionals to probe clients for signs that they are at risk of making poor decisions or turning into victims of fraud or abuse.
“Advisors tend to be very close to their [clients],” said Jim Wrona, vice president and associate general counsel at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-funded regulator of the brokerage industry. “They’re in a fairly good position to know when something is out of the ordinary.”
“As we get older, we seem to forget a lot.”-Dobe CooneyDemographic shifts are one of the reasons advisors are increasingly discussing memory alongside risk tolerance. By 2035, there will be some 78 million people in the U.S. aged 65 and older.
Up to 20 percent of people over the age of 65 have some form of cognitive impairment, and more than half of people older than 85 have Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia.
As a result, older investors are a prime target for exploitation. Seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually from fraud or financial abuse, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
“Most advisors’ clientele are in their 60s and 70s, and these types of issues are front in mind,” said Chris Heye, the co-founder of Whealthcare Planning, a platform that helps people financially prepare for aging and tests their decision-making capacities.