Seniors Beware!

With the elderly population booming, there are some scam artists looking to make a quick buck using "investment" ploys. Those seniors over the age of 60 make up 15 percent of today's population and account for 30 percent of fraud victims. Security regulators want you to beware of some practices targeting the elderly

Lunchtime at the Stevenson household.  Carl Stevenson retired from the Army and the state of Alabama.  He says,  "We are happy in retirement. and fortunately we us..... have the resources that we can enjoy retirement."

And that's the goal for retirees. But there is concern about seniors being duped into investing in variable and equity index annuities.... Which are fine for some people ... But not many retirees.

So what do you do?  Talk with a licensed agent who will ask you the right questions.

Yvonne Messer is an Ameriprise Financial Certified Financial Planner who says those questions would include, "What would you like to have happen when you pass away with investments and do you need the money tomorrow?"

Do your homework on that person.  She adds, "A licensed individual, company with a good reputation, credentials after the person's names."

That's so she takes education seriously and keeps up to date with current events and changes in the market.

Messer adds,  "Annuities are contracts and you need to read the fine print."

That's to keep from getting stuck with hidden fees, charges for early withdrawals and steep sales commissions.

For Carl, a fee for service type of investment is preferred.  He says, "Pay for the fee and the person that's providing that service does not stand to gain from my investments."

What works for carl may not work for someone else. The bottom line? Do research and ask a relative or friend for help.  And if you suspect a problem call the Alabama Securities Commission at 1-800-222-1253.

Senior Investor Resource Center:

Reported by: Ashley Anderson