Navigation Menu

David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602

Link to Home Page link to Information on the Divison Link to Staff name, telephone and e-mail link to Topic Index Link to Frequently Asked Questions Link to Hot Topics Link to Training Calendar Link to Area Agencies on Aging Links to other Aging Sites Click to e-mail webmaster Link to the Department of Health and Human Services Disclaimer

North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

animated image of caution

U.S. Senate Panel Investigating "Senior Financial Advisors,"
Insurance Cos.

****** Alert #169 ******

The Special Committee on Aging of the United States Senate has opened an investigation into three insurance companies and three firms that either “certify” or provide training to individuals wanting to advise seniors on financial and estate planning matters. According to the New York Times, which ran a story on the investigation last Friday, the committee’s main concerns are that certain insurance agents, who tout themselves as certified senior advisors, are engaging in deceptive marketing practices in order to sell insurance products that are unsuitable for many retirees. One company targeted in the investigation reportedly taught agents how to “drive a wedge” between retirees and their regular financial advisors. Some of the insurance agents in question refer to themselves as “registered financial gerontologists,” according to the article.

An aging specialist with an Area Agency on Aging in the western part of the state today described how these tactics have affected two of her elderly clients:

I have been dealing with this exact scenario with a local guy, ____________ . He is a “Certified Senior Advisor.” He is registered through the society listed (in the article). He is using tactics that I don’t agree with. The son of a local elderly couple contacted me about him. The couple trusts this guy. He signed them up for their Medicare Part D options. They ended up with plans that did not cover their needs and it has been a huge mess. He has made himself “indispensable” to them to get all of this corrected. These mistakes have cost them a lot of money and now he is trying to talk them into doing a reverse mortgage to come up with extra cash. He, of course, wants to manage these funds for them. He has even told them if they don’t let him handle their reverse mortgage then he won’t be able to help them out anymore with their insurance problems.

The son (who lives in New York) thinks he is a crook – but his parents trust this guy. If they do decide to pursue a reverse mortgage – they have to come see me first. Hopefully I can get them to see that with a reverse mortgage – they don’t need a financial planner and that it is an unnecessary expense to purchase an annuity with the proceeds.

******End of Alert******

July 23, 2007

vertical line

NC Senior Consumer
Fraud Task Force

View Alerts:

Consumer Fraud / Alerts

Federal Trade Commission Alerts
(Protecting America's Consumers)

Related links

The United States Postal Inspection Service - Watch