Financial elder abuse is the illegal or improper use of an older person's funds, property, or resources, according to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA). It can take on many forms and includes a broad range of conducts. These crimes are most commonly perpetrated by strangers/non-legitimate businesses, followed by family members and neighbors, according to a leading report by MetLife, Virginia Tech and the NCPEA. They also can be ruinous for older Americans, whose entire retirement savings can be erased in the blink of an eye. Given the threat to senior's retirement security, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) provides consumers and financial service professionals with the latest information regarding financial elder abuse and prevention. By increasing awareness and knowledge regarding financial elder abuse, it is our goal to prevent it from occurring so that retirees can maintain a secure and dignified retirement. 
Also of concern, the capability to make decisions regarding one’s financial assets is one of the first abilities to decline as cognitive impairment encroaches, according to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute. This decline of skills – often referred to as diminished capacity – can occur well before a diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. Given that diminished capacity greatly impairs one’s ability to make financial decisions, its detection is critical to protecting older clients from financial harm.

Resources for Consumers, Financial Professionals, and Financial Services Firms

Protecting Against Financial Elder Abuse - Where to Go for Help

Find Assistance in Your State

An interactive resource map provided by the Insured Retirement Institute. 

Are you in need of help, or know someone who is? Use this interactive map to find resources in your state. 

Consumer Resources

Protect Your Pocketbook

A resource from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service's Administration on Aging. 

This guide is intended to be a tool to educate you about financial exploitation, provide you with tips on how to stay safe, and direct you to resources in case you need help for yourself or a friend. 

Fraud Prevention

A tip sheet from the Insured Retirement Institute and the National Retirement Planning Coalition. 

Recent research has shattered the traditional concept of the financial fraud victim. Targeted individuals tend to be financially knowledgeable, college educated, have above average income, and are self-reliant when it comes to making decisions. Learn how to protect yourself from common tactics.

FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors

A toll-free number that senior investors. 

Senior investors can call to get assistance from FINRA or raise concerns about issues with brokerage accounts and investments.
Click here for more resources for consumers. 

Financial Advisor Resources

Fact Sheet for Advisors: Signs of Diminished Capacity

A tip sheet for financial advisors from the Insured Retirement Institute developed from a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, North American Securities Administrators Association, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

When working with older clients, learn what signs and red flags to look for that could indicate that the client has diminished capacity.    

Fact Sheet for Advisors: Signs of Financial Elder Abuse

A tip sheet for financial advisors from the Insured Retirement Institute developed from a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, North American Securities Administrators Association, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. 

When working with older clients, learn what signs and red flags to look for that could indicate that the client is a victim of financial elder abuse.     

Retirement Income Planning and the Elder Market

A research report by the Insured Retirement Institute. 

This exclusive research report from the Insured Retirement Institute explores the challenges advisors face in conveying pertinent information to older clients, a market segment that is growing in both number and net worth. The report also found that social and family issues take on a greater importance for older investors, often including a variety of aspects related to lifestyle changes in retirement and the participation of family members and others in the decision-making process.  
Click here for more resources for financial advisors. 

Financial Services Firm Resources

Protecting Senior Investors: Compliance, Supervisory and Other Practices Used By Financial Services Firms in Serving Senior Investors - 2010 Addendum

An addendum to a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, North American Securities Administrators Association, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

This report addendum adds to a 2008 report that identified examples of financial services firms' practices regarding their interactions with senior investors.  

Protecting Senior Investors: Compliance, Supervisory and Other Practices Used By Financial Services Firms in Serving Senior Investors

A report by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, North American Securities Administrators Association, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

This 2008 report identified practices from financial services firms regarding their interactions with senior investors.  

Inter-agency Guidance on Privacy Laws and Reporting Financial Abuse of Older Adults

Guidance for financial firms from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and other government agencies.

This guidance issued in 2013 clarifies that reporting suspected financial abuse of older adults to appropriate local, state, or federal agencies does not, in general, violate the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or its implementing regulations.
Click here for more resources for financial services firms.