20 May 2018

Elder Financial Abuse A Top Concern For Advisors

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They may not think it’s a common occurrence among their own clients, but financial advisors cite financial abuse of elders as a top ethical concern.

That’s according to new research from the American College of Financial Services. In its Ethical Issues in Retirement Income Planning Survey, the American College sought to identify financial services professionals’ primary ethical concerns in retirement income planning, gauge how financial professionals view the industry’s current ethical challenges and understand how ethical practices can be improved in retirement income planning.

The survey found that more than 80 percent of respondents are concerned about protecting their clients from financial elder abuse — in fact, it was their top-ranked ethical concern. But just 28 percent believed it was a common occurrence.

Approximately two thirds (64 percent) of respondents thought the ethical nature of the retirement planning industry was in good hands, with just 6 percent saying they believed that outright lying occurred by advisors. In addition, only 27 percent believed that instances of overcharging clients were common.

But when it comes to elder concerns, specifically, they had a number of misgivings about the knowledge level of both consumers and advisors across a variety of subject areas. For instance, 88 percent were concerned about their clients’ ability to properly understand their retirement income plans. In addition, 85 percent were concerned that clients do not understand the products and services they are offered.

Sixty-four percent were worried that retirement income advisors in general were unable to perform their jobs because of inadequate training, and 68 percent were concerned that retirement income advisors in general are not keeping up with legal changes that impact their clients’ retirement income plans.

When it came to social security, most survey participants agreed that a good retirement planner should understand the program, while 71 percent worried that other financial services professionals lacked the knowledge to properly utilize social security claiming strategies for their clients. Additionally, a mere 2 percent thought that financial service professionals overall were extremely knowledgeable about Medicare.

Click here for the original article from Benefits Pro.

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