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Financial planning can help seniors avoid elder abuse

Experts say that the life expectancy of the average person is rising, with many saying that people will soon regularly live to be 100 years old. This means that many families will need to be prepared for the financial demands of longer lives. Unfortunately, senior citizens in Colorado often fall prey to both strangers and relatives who want to financially exploit them, which can seriously damage their assets. There are ways for people to protect themselves, and that includes comprehensive financial planning.

Nearly half of all senior citizens handle all of their own financial responsibilities, which is admirable, but can make them targets for financial abuse. Furthermore, research says that a significant majority of financial abuse cases are never reported, with a third of people saying they wouldn't even know how to do so. Despite the prevalence of financial scams, many seniors aren't aware of some of the most common methods. The good news is that the same research shows that people are well aware of the need to have safeguards in place. Many seniors report that they are careful to protect themselves by not giving out personal information over the phone, by not following email links from people they don't know and by regularly reviewing their credit report, among other measures.

One way seniors can protect themselves financially is to establish a durable power of attorney, though a large majority do not have one designated. A financial advisor can also help elderly people make decisions with their best interests in mind. Other seniors feel comfortable relying on their families for help with any decisions around money, though that isn't always the case for everyone.

What's most important is that all people, no matter their age, ensure that they utilize financial planning. This is a way for people to designate how certain assets are to be used throughout their lives, even if they experience cognitive decline or a medical problem. An attorney with significant experience in elder law can help seniors in Colorado determine what's right for them.

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