8 Ways Seniors Can Protect Themselves from Money Scams

There are a number of money scams that all senior citizens should be fully aware of. In this day and age it is just too easy to get taken advantage of if you don’t have the right information. The more you learn about these scams and how to avoid them, the better your can protect yourself. Each year thousands of older people throughout the UK get swindled out of their money from unscrupulous scammers, but there are numerous things you can do to not become a victim.

1. Realize That Everyone is a Potential Scam Artist

While many elder people are taken advantage of by complete strangers, sometimes it is their own family they have to worry about. You should always be sceptical of anyone who tries to separate you from your money, even if it is someone you are related to. Whether it is your children or grandchildren, you need to keep this in mind. It may come in the form of a “great investment” deal or a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme. The point is that you should always be suspicious when it seems like someone is after your hard-earned money.

2. Stay Active and Involved

One of the most effective ways to keep from becoming the victim of a money scam is to stay active instead of just sitting at home all day. Those who have an active social life are less likely to fall prey to a money scam. Sometimes older people fall for these scams simply because they are lonely and happy to have someone interact with them. The less isolated you are, the safer you will be.

3. Always Turn Away Solicitors

If someone comes to your door or cold calls you at home trying to sell you something, you should immediately refuse. This is not a tactic that is used by most reputable companies and organizations. You should be extremely wary of anyone who tries to sell you something over the phone. While there is a chance they are legitimate, it’s not worth taking the risk.

4. Destroy Documents with Sensitive Information

You should make a point of shredding any paper documents that have any sensitive financial or personal information, such as your credit card number. Those who throw this information in the trash without thoroughly destroying it first put themselves at risk for identity theft. You make it much easier for scam artists to take advantage of you if you don’t do this regularly. Invest in a good shredder that has a cross cut feature.

5. Have Your Name Added to a Do Not Call List

If you want to put an end to annoying solicitation calls, you can opt to have your name put on the Do Not Call List. While some calls from salespeople might still get through, it should drastically reduce them. This is really something that people of all ages should do, if for no other reason than to be able to eat dinner in peace each day.

6. Opt for Direct Deposit

If you receive benefits cheques from the government, it is a good idea to opt for direct deposit. Receiving paper cheques raises your risk of being targeted by scammers. Someone can still the check right out of your mail box, which is the last thing you want to deal with.

7. Don’t Give Out Your Personal Details Unless You Need to

Giving out your personal and financial details to the wrong people can land you in a nightmare of a situation. It is a good idea to only do this with people you know and trust. It is especially important to never give out this kind of information over the phone to anyone at all.

8. Never Accept an Unsolicited Offer Right Away

If you have received an unsolicited offer of any kind, you should always do the proper research before making a final decision. It’s never a good idea to give any solicitor your money before you take the time to vet them. This will help you stay safe from those who would try to take your money without giving you anything in return.

Final Thoughts

Because of all the different money scams that exist in the world, it is important that you educate yourself as much as possible. The information in this article could help you keep from being taken advantage of financially, whether it is by a complete stranger or someone close to you. One of the best things to keep in mind is to never give your money to anyone unless you trust them and have a very good reason for doing so. Make sure that you do your research before investing in anything so that you can minimize your risk as much as possible.

Financial Tips that All Married Couples Should Follow

Money is one of the most common reasons for arguments among married couples, and it is a leading cause of divorce. If you want to ensure that you have a long and happy marriage, you will need to make sure your financials are sorted out. These tips can help you avoid all kinds of financial pitfalls that plague too many couples all over the world. By taking some simple steps you can put yourself on the right path. This is something that you and your spouse should both be very concerned with.

Make Goals Together

It is important that you make financial goals with your partner and then actually work towards them together. Those who do not take the time to make these goals usually end up getting into arguments constantly, which can eventually lead to splitting up. Always make sure that you are on the same page with your financials so that you don’t get stuck in a bad situation together.

Divide the Responsibilities Evenly

You and your partner should both have certain financial responsibilities, such as paying the rent or mortgage, utilities, car insurance and other bills. It is never a good idea to just assume that your spouse is going to take care of anything. There should be a very clear division of responsibility when it comes to these things. Being late on even one payment for your bills can negatively impact your credit.

Get Adequate Insurance

One of the big mistakes that a lot of married couples make in terms of their financial is to not get an adequate amount of insurance. It is particularly important to do this if you have children. Life insurance is something that not nearly enough people take advantage of. If you have an entire family, the last thing you want is to leave them in the lurch. A life insurance policy will put everyone’s minds at ease.

Have a Will Made Up

Anyone with a family and/or a significant amount of assets should have a will made. Whether you are 20 or 80 years old, this is a very good idea to consider. Take the time to think about who you want your beneficiaries to be. This document will basically state how your estate is going to be divided in the event of your passing. Those who do die before having a will drafted leave behind grieving loved ones who have to deal with a lot of unpleasant business. By doing this you will make it much easier for your family when you are gone.

Live Below Your Means

Living below your means might not sound like a very good time, but it will help you save money for retirement. You might have to sacrifice some of the smaller luxuries that you are accustomed to, but it will be worth it in the end. This doesn’t mean that you have to live far below your means, but rather just being more frugal. The less money you spend now, the more you will have when you are no longer working.

Never Hide Anything from Each Other

When you start hiding things from each other in a marriage, there is a good chance it won’t last much longer. It is crucial that you are completely honest with each other when it comes to how you spend your money. If you made a big purchase that you shouldn’t have, just come clean. You don’t want your partner being surprised later on when they are reviewing your joint bank account statement. The more transparent you are with each other about financial matters, the easier it will be to stay on track together.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Spending money can be a lot of fun, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you aren’t being irresponsible. It can be easy to get caught up in the stress of always saving and scrimping, but once in a while you should splurge a little bit. You don’t want to go very far out of your budget, but remember to enjoy life.

Financial matters can definitely be a source of contention among married people, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These tips can help you improve and maintain your relationship over the years. The more honest and transparent you are with each other about these issues, the easier it will be to avoid major problems down the road. Some things that may seem like small issues now can easily become far bigger in a short amount of time.