NPR logo Financial Scams Go Gray


Financial Scams Go Gray

Seniors are increasingly scamming other seniors, according to a piece in the WSJ over the weekend. The article suggests that financial scams between seniors are growing not only because the elderly are more susceptible, but also because the people with the skills to execute the ploys are aging and in need of money themselves:

Many financial planners who got into the business during the bull market of the early 1980s are senior citizens themselves now. With their own wealth ravaged by the bear market of the past decade, many of these people can no longer afford to retire. That, say regulators, may be prompting some older financial advisers to engage in riskier and less ethical behavior.

The Journal's article goes on to highlight research that shows aging investors find it harder to read the financial situations they find themselves in:

What's more, according to research by Harvard University economist David Laibson and his colleagues, the typical person's ability to make astute financial decisions peaks at about age 53, then wanes with each passing year; another study found that investing ability takes a steep drop after age 70.