The CFPB launched last week, in coordination with the FDIC, the Money Smart for Older Adults program, which seeks to raise financial awareness and address issues facing seniors.
“With this work, we are building together on the FDIC’s outstanding Money Smart curriculum for financial education, which is the best work of its kind that I have seen in this country,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “I first came across Money Smart as a local official in Ohio, where we enthusiastically spread it to teachers in the surrounding schools. Now today, we are extending this approach with specialized guidance to an entirely new population of seniors. Notably, this information will also be very helpful to the ‘caretaker generation’ of people like myself, who are looking out for an aging parent…”
Seniors are often the targets of unfair and deceptive financial practices. A Metlife study of elder abuse revealed that, in 2010, older Americans lost nearly $3 billion to financial exploitation—a 12 percent increase from 2008.
The Money Smart program includes discussions on common types of elder financial exploitation, how to financially prepare for disasters, medical identity theft, identity theft, planning for unexpected events, scams that target homeowners and scams that target veterans.
“We want to see older adults plan ahead in case they lose their capacity to make financial decisions,” Cordray said. “It is essential that we come together as a nation to protect our seniors and the money they have scraped together over a lifetime of hard work. Today’s launch will help dispel confusion about a variety of financial matters and will help protect seniors against scams, frauds, and other abuses.”