There is No Free Lunch or Dinner for Seniors

Seniors beware of the ubiquitous offers in the mail for free financial seminars that offer a lunch or dinner as an added enticement. Recent articles in Investment News and the Wall Street Journal have alluded to the fact that various forms of elder exploitation are on the rise, as the elder population continues to increase. These offers are not personal invitations but rather mass mail offers to their target age group in any given locale. Once seniors accept and attend these functions, they are asked if they would like to sign up after the brief seminar or be contacted following the event. In any event, those who sign up with the “Retirement Specialist” often end up buying insurance products with high commissions such as variable annuities, among other things, which are often unsuitable for retirees because of penalties for early withdrawals and long holding periods.

These invitations are attractive to seniors who have seen their investment portfolios decline in value and are seeking advice on assuring that their funds do not run out during their lifetime. As a result of this need, many who arrange for these seminars profess special knowledge regarding advising seniors about their investments so that they reduce market risk, avoid probate and reduce the amount they owe in taxes. Often the presenters will have special designations on their cards and invitations stating that they are a “Retirement Specialist” or some other designation that appeals to the targeted age group. Not all offers for investment seminars are conducted by those who seek to defraud senior citizens, but many such designations are received with little or no study and the payment of a fee for the course. The bottom line is that seniors must be vigilant and conduct their own investigation into the background of the firm or the representatives soliciting their business before turning over their life savings to them.

If you, a family member or a friend have suffered investment losses in the hands of a “retirement specialist”, please contact our securities law firm for a confidential consultation at 1-800-259-9010.

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