Think Your Older Clients' Minds Are Sharp As Ever? There May Be Signs Of Impaired Cognitive Abilities Of Which You Should Become More Aware

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 08:07
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Think Your Older Clients' Minds Are Sharp As Ever? There May Be Signs Of Impaired Cognitive Abilities Of Which You Should Become More Aware

Tags: Advisor businesses | advisor industry people | client education

As the Boomer generation increasingly populates the retirement segment, a wide range of health and other age-related issues will come to the forefront. More than ever, Boomers will need sound investment advice and education. Ten thousand Boomers per day are becoming eligible for Medicare.

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Many are uneducated about what Medicare might mean for their investment strategies or tax planning strategies. Mental capacities can become increasingly impaired with age. This is normal cognitive decline outside the realm of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
 
The Investor Protection Institute and Investor Protection Trust says Boomers may not realize how much their cognitive abilities have been affected so they may not realize they are making bad investment decisions.
 
The Trust has created a pocket guide for doctors to help them identify when a patient might be at risk. It says advisors must become aware of the same indicators. The best way advisors can help is to work actively to maintain financial literacy among their older clients.
 
Other advisors could be misusing their credentials when it comes to developing closer relationships with clients or a doctor-patient-like relationship with them. Advisors must be even more conscious of their fiduciary duty in these cases.
 
The responsibility actually rests with both client and advisor. Clients need to remain engaged in their financial welfares and there should also be greater collaboration between the medical industry and industry regulatory agencies.
 
The Investor Protection Institute and the Investor Protection Trust are both non-profits focused on investor education and research. The study revealing the need for advisors to become more aware of their clients' cognitive abilities was commissioned by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It surveyed 756 healthcare, regulatory, financial advisory, and adult protection services professionals.

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