2018 Elder Needs Survey Report
WELLS FARGO RELEASES NATIONAL DATA—RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTED IN MONEY MAGAZINE
Wells Fargo recently published research entitled the Elder Needs Survey after evaluating data derived from interviews of more than 1,500 older Americans, including senior citizens and adult caregivers. The results of the study were compelling. Nearly half of the seniors reported that they knew someone who had been the victim of a scam, but only 1 in 10 felt that they were vulnerable to exploitation. And although more than half of adult children believe that helping parents is “what families are for,” 34% report that they feel uncomfortable discussing the topic of money in a family conversation involving advance planning.
A piece in TIME Money Magazine highlighted the Wells survey and focused on the importance of having a family conversation that includes the subject of financial protection. COO Liz Loewy, who presented remarks at the launching of the Wells research, suggested that when initiating the idea of a family conversation, the messaging shouldn’t necessarily be centered on aging and the possibility of dementia in the future. “Don’t make it about fraud or getting older,” Loewy suggested. She recommended that seniors and their adult children start by making an ‘emergency contact list’ of sorts, including information regarding where they do their banking and the names of their attorney, Power of Attorney, financial advisor, CPA, and other vital contacts—to be shared in the event of a crisis. Offering to trade this kind of data should help put the conversation on equal footing and may end up being useful to all parties, Loewy noted. “You will have to deal with the discomfort now, or you will end up dealing with the consequences later,” warned Kez Wold, who oversees Texas Adult Protective Services. As the article points out, those consequences are not just financial—research from the University of Texas demonstrates that there is a link between elder fraud and health issues, including depression and even mortality.