Allianz Life Insurance unveiled findings Monday buttressing the arguments of elderly activists that senior financial fraud is under reported.
Only 8 percent of adults 65 and over who thought they were victimized financially say they discuss their finances with another person, according to new data from an Allianz study released initially in October.
Allianz also said fewer than one out of four seniors are communicating with other people to help them from being victimized.
While the study shows the vast majority of seniors aren’t reporting financial fraud, it doesn’t discuss why.
Senior experts have put much of the blame on two factors:
1. Many of the victimizers are caregivers. Elderly victims are often afraid reporting their suspicions will lead to retaliation or removal of the services.
2. Seniors are also afraid admitting being victimized could persuade their children to believe they are no longer capable of taking care of themselves and lead to the stripping away of control over their personal finances and/or be one step towards being placed in a nursing home. In one of the findings that shows the trust seniors place in financial professionals, 37 percent of the elderly who have financial advisors talked about adding a co-signer to checking accounts talked to them.
However, less than half as many seniors (14 percent) who did not have an advisor talked to someone they trust when they allowed a co-signer access to their personal financial affairs.
“When seniors have a trusted person – whether it’s a friend, family member, or hired professional – to help them manage their finances, they have a much better chance of feeling confident in their ability to protect themselves financially,” said Allianz President and CEO Walter White.
For the study, 1,223 adults 65 and over were polled from March 11 to 21 of last year.