While healthcare issues plague our aging population including Alzheimer’s, financial advisors are increasingly needing to handle elder clients with a significant amount of care.
"It's not hard to see how diminished capacity and increasing dependence on others can make people more vulnerable to financial exploitation and other forms of elder abuse," Rick Fleming, the head of the SEC’s Office of the Investor Advocate told an advisory conference earlier this year. "It is my belief that the trusted advisor has an indispensable role in protecting investors not only as they plan for retirement, but particularly as they begin to face the special challenges and dangers of diminished capacity.”
As part of Fleming’s speech to the advisory conference, the investor advocate trotted out several statistics facing an aging population.
Of particular interest to financial advisors is the projection that there will be 16 million people over the age of 65 in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s, almost triple the number that exist today.
That stat, paralleled in Canada, suggests advisors are going to be dealing with issues in the future they presently might not face on a daily basis.
To address some of the concerns regarding seniors, the OSC’s Office of the Investor will hold a roundtable consultation in the fall in conjunction with the OSC’s Investor Advisory Panel. Focusing on investment issues senior’s face, it’s hoped the event will deliver tangible solutions to ensure the protection of some of Ontario’s most vulnerable investors.
Meanwhile, non-profit organizations such as the Small Investor Protection Association, FAIR and CARP, continue to work with securities regulators such as the OSC to ensure seniors are protected against issues specific to their demographic.
Advisors are expected to play a significant part in forming that protection.