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Study: Seniors Overconfident in Ability to Identify Financial Abuse

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A study from Allianz Life shows that older Americans may be too confident in their ability to detect and stop elder financial abuse. The Safeguarding Our Seniors Study polled more than 2,000 Americans–both potential victims (ages 65+) and their friends/family (ages 40-64)–and found that misconceptions persist about the most likely sources of abuse, and the financial impact on victims, though under-reported, is often significant.

A summary of the study’s findings include:

  • Elders overwhelmingly (89%) said they could recognize elder financial abuse if it happened to them or a family member/friend, while only 1% definitively responding they could not.
  • Only 78% of younger family/friends of elders had confidence in their own ability to recognize elder financial abuse, and more than one in five (22%) said they could not or are unsure.
  • Nearly one in five (18%) family/friends are worried about an elder family member or friend becoming a victim of financial abuse while only 11% of elders share that concern.
  • Most elders (82%) said they have resources to protect themselves while only 58% of family/friends believe they have resources to protect an elder family member.

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