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Afraid of “losing it” with age?

edited January 24 in Off-Topic
This is a serious issue for older investors. I share this information FWIW. It’s new to me, and so I have no opinions or advice or personal experience to share.

From TRP: “A trusted contact is an individual identified and selected by the account owner who can be contacted by the financial firm if something seems amiss. For example, if the firm is concerned that the account owner is no longer able to handle their financial affairs , if the account owner cannot be reached, or if there is a reason to suspect fraud or financial exploitation, the firm is authorized to reach out to the trusted contact for guidance. Additionally, the financial firm can temporarily withhold the disbursement of funds or securities while any matters are being investigated. The firm is authorized to share transaction information, specific securities, beneficiary designations, and the account owner’s contact information with this individual. So, it is important that the account holder select someone he or she fully trusts.”

This seems to be a relatively new (and voluntary) provision, imposed on the financial services industry by government regulatory edict in an attempt to protect older more vulnerable individuals from fraud. It’s not unique to TRP (although others may implement it somewhat differently). FYI - At TRP the process of setting this up can be done online after logging in to your account.


  • edited January 24
    Hi @hank

    FINRA may have caused some changes, but; from my recall back into the 1980's these broad choices (below) at Fidelity have been in place. At one time I had full authorization to 5 accounts outside of the immediate family, including changing (buy/sell) investment holdings.

    This is Fidelity's area for these features.

    --- Authorized Access
    You can grant other individuals the right to view and/or manage your accounts. There are four levels of authorized access: Inquiry Access, Limited Authority, Full Authority, and Power of Attorney (POA).

    Edit authorized access

    --- Account Registration
    Events and changes in your life may require you to update the registration or owners on your accounts. You can make most changes online.

    Edit account registration

    Take care,
  • edited January 24
    Thanks @Catch22. I happened upon the link allowing one to set-up the feature while updating some info at Price today. Had not noticed it before.

    I’ll note that the article by a CFP explaining / discussing it (on T. Rowe’s website), which I linked above, is dated October 2019.
  • The term of art is "diminished financial capacity".

    This is something fairly new and is different from the usual levels of access. It's closer to Fidelity's "Request for Duplicate Statement."

    I know about this for two reasons. One is that a friend has been getting these statement for years for his father. Unfortunately when the friend (not the father) moved, he didn't update addresses and missed a statement saying that a LTC policy was about to lapse. Fortunately the insurance company was accommodating and reinstated the policy.

    The other reason is that I've been sent a couple of forms asking if I'd like to name a trusted contact. The forms said (or I researched) that they were required to be sent to those over age 65 or whom the institution had reason to be concerned about. (Oct 2016 article.) Not being 65 I took a bit of umbrage at the idea that my financial acumen was suspect.:-)

    Still, it's a good idea to put something like this in place before you really need to. At least if you haven't already given someone durable POA.
  • edited January 24
    Not to make light of a serious issue, but one wonders what kinds of inputs their algorithm is designed to identify? When does dumb, self destructive frequent trading end and one cross the line into “impaired” investing?

    I’d imagine moving 100% into cash one day and than moving (or attempting to move) it all back into equity funds a day or two later might qualify. But perhaps an 85-year old deciding to invest everything in an aggressive EM fund might also be enough to prompt a call?

    One supposes the govt. gurus who pushed fiduciaries into this also provided some appropriate guidance ...

    PS - Time to get back searching for the house keys ... I know they’re here somewhere ... :)
  • @hank
    I have your keys...............asked you not to have that "extra" scotch.........:)
  • Ya, it really is a serious issue. But let's giggle, just for a moment: "D'ya ever think about the hereafter?" ... Ya, I often walk into a room and have to stop to ask myself: "what am I here after?"
  • edited January 25
    Thanks @Catch. I’ll pick them up next time I’m in SanFransisco.
    Crash said:

    Ya, it really is a serious issue. But let's giggle, just for a moment: "D'ya ever think about the hereafter?" ... Ya, I often walk into a room and have to stop to ask myself: "what am I here after?"

    @Crash - I’m amazed by the eloquence (and endurance) of some of the presenters in the ongoing trial. Just now - this gem: “You don’t need to be eternal to be immortal”. Seems to tie in with your question or I’d not have quoted it.
  • I'm afraid of losing it period. Having held my best friends hand from the onset of early alzheimers to the end I can verify that it is an ugly business. No thank you.
  • Had a long talk last night (yearly) w an old friend whose husband has mild dementia (following postop stroke and other crap) and never was willing to give her PoAF. She does have PoAH. Too much was in his name alone. and so now everything is in a guardianship, which was costly to set up and for which she has to account in detail to a judge every few months. Plus keeping track of everything as to cashflow. A major cramp, making, e.g., downsizing and selling the house, and buying a car for their disabled son, many times more arduous than it needed to have been. But she is persevering. So yeah, such change and decline are ugly business for sure, and not going to get better; planning ahead concretely and bluntly is key, of course.
  • My kids sometimes ask me why I don't autopay my bills... I keep telling them I want to stay involved to keep me engaged. I think it helps... makes me use my brain. Use it or lose it.
  • @royal4 ...Not to mention the inevitable difficulties and screw-ups and deliberate entanglements when you decide to unhook the auto-pay feature. The only ones I let into my account is the CU that gave us our car loan, and they offered .5% off the interest rate for auto-pay. And we can just stop in to give early payments, too, in order to pay it off early. I made sure to specify with the CU employee that early payments would be applied to the principal, not the interest. Dealers are offering Zero % financing, but I won't deal with those big banks. Criminal slime. Wells is just the worst, most obvious one.
  • Somehow, whenever the financial industry tries to help me, I'm afraid. I'm not in a rush to add a "trusted contact" to my account. I suspect we will see fraud where "trusted contact" looted an account because THAT was an additional way into an account to hack it.

    It is not a matter of IF, but WHEN.
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