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Finding the Right Balance: Meeting the Needs of Senior Investors Amid Heightened Regulatory Priorities, National Society of Compliance Professionals

Posted Mar 31, 2020

By Daniel A. Hetzel, Partner KDV Chicago
National Society of Compliance Professionals l  February 2020

Senior Investors

The aging of America’s population is placing increasing numbers of seniors at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment making this segment of the population more vulnerable to various forms of financial exploitation. This article explores how those in the financial services industry can implement best practices to protect elderly clients from financial exploitation. This article also discusses regulatory efforts to protect elderly investors and examines issues which those in the financial services industry face when trying to comply with various rules and
regulations designed to protect elderly customers.

In May 2019, the SEC’s Office of the Investor Advocate published an article entitled: “How the SEC Works to Protect Senior Investors” which contains a number of surprising statistics. On average, for example, 10,000 baby boomers retire each day in the US. By 2035, there will be 78 million people in the US aged 65 or older. Up to 20% of people over age 65 have some form of cognitive impairment – and more than half of people older than 85 have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans age 65 or older have been affected by elder financial abuse. Seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually from fraud or financial abuse, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and
a mere 5% of victims partially or completely recovered the items or funds taken from them.

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