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Financial Conversations with Fitz #114 - Senior Protections For Their Money - 07/10/2012

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Well the 100 degree days are over for a while.  Wow, do we need rain.  Can’t believe our crops still look green as they do.  Hills are starting to shrivel and burn. The DOW opened on the down side.   Grain Markets had a wild week.  All related to moisture!  Six weeks ago we were talking $5.00 corn now we are over $7.   The DOW will probably open down this morning.  Looking are new earnings quarters.

Well, last month we talked about senior financial abuse in general.  One of the concerns for the senior citizen is that with all the government cutbacks there are fewer people to check on abuses.  There are several new groups being formed with new legislation but that is still on the drawing board.    So you need to stay local with your checking and banking and investing.   The police and sheriff can’t keep up with all the fake checks or money orders that are floating around.    Some of the groups that are focusing on seniors are out of US jurisdiction, so no help if it is wrong.    With the unusually low interest rates in the market really sets up some of these great offers.    The temptations to get that 4% to 5% return is so tempting we are all wondering if this is possible.    Like I told one of my clients if something is paying that much higher be extra careful.  It has probably changed the type of market the money is in.    Will it change in value in the market changes?     Are you at risk with your original money?   I rec’d a call this weekend at home on gas/oil futures - Very high risk investing.     Another item to watch for is “Chartered Financial Advisor for Seniors” - These groups are not very stringent with their certification.  Again check on local references.  Ask to meet with them with your banker or financial advisor.  That will determine how valid they are.  SEC/FINRA does a good job of monitoring those that are under their umbrella.   Another one to watch for is the contact that says you have money coming if you will just send in a check to secure it.   Don’t be embarrassed if you get taken in.  They are professionals in their profession.    That is where we come in at to tell you yes or no.   If you don’t know the party that is calling you to review your finances, don’t meet with them without a reference from someone you do know.    We can check on anyone that calls you.  Takes a few minutes to go online thru agents licensing to find out.    I had mentioned an insurance agent from out of state that was calling on local widows.   We were able to check his origination and find this out.   She cancelled the appointment.   Stick with your own attorney or local advisor..  Had another one with the same problems this month.     Be sure you set up the necessary papers with your family or financial advisors to help you with your financial affairs.   The numbers are staggering - one in five or 7.3 million seniors have experienced this.  Come in to see us for an annual review on your own local finances.   Do you want more than one of your heirs to help the remaining spouse conduct business?     Does your family know where your stocks and grain investments are located and who do you trade with.   If you do it on your own with the web is more difficult for the family to track.     Elderbridge agencies in Carroll, Fort Dodge and Mason City also have some references.     We have the help here at TSB.

Questions call TSB at Forest City, Thompson, Titonka 

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.