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Senior Financial Scams Target Seniors Already Hurt By Recession

As individuals age they often come to need a range of support to get by each day. Medical assistance is the most common need, as various ailments affecting seniors often necessitate close, even around-the-clock medical aid being available. Similarly, basic household support may be required. This is different than medical care in that is doesn’t require technical healthcare skills. Instead, when mobility and physical strength is lost seniors might need help with personal grooming, household chores, and similar aid.

Our Illinois elder abuse attorneys know that there is still another type of help that seniors often need as they age: financial planning and organization. As we have repeatedly explained, senior financial exploitation is a growing and incredibly robust problem. It is a reminder that part of the aid that seniors receive as they age must include help with money matters.

A Monterey County Weekly story touched on the prevalence of cons of seniors. The article is helpful in that is reminds readers of the fact that the recent economic recession hit many seniors particularly hard. Retirees often saw their savings decimated as the value of stocks and other assets plummeted. This threw many seniors, often unable to work to increase their personal revenue, in very difficult financial circumstances. Many of these seniors have had a hard time meeting basic financial requirements, like mortgage or rent payments. Add to that the rising cost of medication and other healthcare bills and it is not an overstatement to say that some of the most vulnerable seniors have to choose between basic life necessities. Our Chicago elder neglect attorneys appreciate that no one should be forced to struggle in this way in their golden years.

All discussion of senior financial exploitation should be within that context.

For example, in some circumstances seniors may have faced this exploitation by their own banks. The article argues that some lenders tricked confused seniors into taking bad (or even unnecessary) loans. Many seniors were not aware of the fine details of those loans and some particularly unscrupulous lenders took no time to explain those details. One elder abuse lawyer summarized that “those folks who have worked really hard all their lives are looked at as really ripe for the unscrupulous part of the community to get their assets away from them.”

This sort of abuse occurs in countless ways. For example, some seniors are renting. They often end up paying rent to landlords who themselves have already gotten foreclosures for their own failure to make mortgage payments. Seniors then unknowingly enrich landlords who themselves are not even properly owning the home.

What is perverse about senior financial abuse is that the very reason that seniors are targeted is that they’ve generally “played by the rules” to save and invest their resources. Their hard work is the very thing that makes them ripe targets for those seeking to take their money. An important way to prevent all of this is to properly plan for potential incapacitation in old age. If a plan is in place for a senior to receive the support they need when they age then there is a far lower chance that they will be taken advantage of down the road.

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