5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Financial Scams
by Constantine von Hoffman
Now that most baby boomers have begun hitting their golden years, they have become a golden target for financial scammers. Government officials expect 2011 to be a record year for scams against those 50 and older, so here's a list of 5 things to do to protect yourself.
The oldest of the roughly 77 million baby boomers (25 percent of the nation's population) will begin to turn 65 this year. Changes in pension structures have made most of them dependent on 401(k) payouts for their primary retirement income (other than Social Security), according to a study by Deloitte. Because these 401(k) payouts are typically lump sum, these retirees have to invest this money without the automatic benefit of professional money managers that comes with defined benefit pensions.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group of state financial regulators, saw the number of enforcement actions involving investors age 50 or older double last year and expect it to hit a new record in 2011. The economic downturn has ravaged a lot of retirement funds and left people more desperate to find a way to recoup their losses. In addition to that, they are doing this at a time when their financial abilities are on the wane. According to a study by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research, a typical person's ability to make effective financial decisions peaks around age 53 and then goes downhill.
Read More CBS Interactive.
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