Presented by Robert Blakely CFP®, AIF®, ChFC®
Half of adults aged 85 and over have Alzheimer’s and half of the 5.8 million Americans with the disease may not even know they have it. By 2050 this number is projected to rise to 14 million. Symptoms of the disease can develop in people as young as age 30 and it’s revealed that the burden Alzheimer’s and dementia places on individuals, caregivers, government and the nation’s health care system is immense.
When it comes to your financial health, being afflicted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia could cause the inability to manage your own finances and make you vulnerable to investment fraud or financial abuse. According to The Financial Toolkit, in 2018 alone, older Americans lost an estimated $36 billion to fraud. Aside from fraud, just the simple ability to make sound financial decisions can be compromised even in those who previously had made sound financial decisions in the past.
With so much at stake, protecting and managing your legacy is paramount and integrating a Trusted Contact into your financial plan is not only a sound strategy but is a rule change securities regulator’s integrated in 2015 as a way to battle financial fraud.
A brokerage or financial firm must now ask or give the option to their clients if they want to assign a person who would be contacted if their advisor suspects fraud or mental decline.
As a financial planner builds a relationship with their client, and like the team at Blakely Financial, we are in a unique position to notice possible changes in the way a client approaches financial decisions or see red flags such as confusion, sudden unexplained withdrawals and actions not normal to patterns typically evident in the relationship. Planning ahead may help your advisor and you stay in control of finances, even if diminished capacity becomes a serious problem. Taking several steps now may help avoid or minimize problems for you and your family in the future.
As we observe Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month in June, think carefully about who you would select as a Trusted Contact and connect with your financial planner to make it official. You can dictate what information you want shared with your contact and take heart in knowing you’ve taken the steps to avoid or minimize problems for you and your family in the future.
Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning firm from Highpoint, North Carolina specializing in Financial Planning, Investment Management, Retirement Planning, Estate Planning, and Charitable Giving Strategies.
Robert Blakely CFP® is a recognized Chairman Level Advisor, a distinction based on annual production of the advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network, and founder of Blakely Financial, Inc,. who focuses on comprehensive wealth management. email@example.com