From retirement parties to weddings, baby showers and more, summer is a time of celebration. This season, we’ll be blogging about the impact that many of these significant life events can have on your finances. We’re kicking off our Summer Celebrations blog series with a post on protecting your retirement in honour of Seniors’ Week, June 2 – 6, 2014.
You’ve worked hard and you’re looking forward to a fulfilling retirement. All of that can be jeopardized if you fall victim to an investment scam - a misstep that’s easy to make in a world where you’re bombarded by companies encouraging you to invest with them.
Here’s the reality: there’s a chance some of these salespeople are trying to talk you out of your cash. Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to scam people, particularly those who have money for the taking - those with retirement savings.
So how do you decide where to invest your retirement money? Keep the following five considerations in mind before committing to any investment opportunity:
- Be suspicious of any strangers who seem especially friendly but are also trying to sell you something. Scam artists will use your sense of trust against you, often pretending to have interest in your family and may even infiltrate your place of worship or community organization.
- Don’t make any decisions on the spot; take time to think about any investing decision.
- Ask yourself: “Why is this person trying to sell me this investment? What’s in it for them?”
- Think about whether you are in a position to risk your savings. If something goes wrong, what can you afford to lose?
- Ask lots of questions and ask the right people. Get a second opinion from friends or family members not involved in the deal. You can also talk to someone with business knowledge such as a financial adviser or planner, or an accountant.
Many of us have lived through times when we took a person’s word and deals were made with a handshake. In fact, it can seem rude or inappropriate to question someone, especially if they seem friendly or pleasant.
“When it comes to investing, you can’t be too careful,” says Lorinda Brinton, ASC senior advisor for investor education. “If you’re not sure about an investment, don’t hand over your money. It’s okay to say no -- you could potentially avoid a financial loss down the road.”
Do you want help taking the first steps to protect yourself and your retirement? Contact us! We can tell you if the individual or company offering you the investment is registered and if they have any history of enforcement action.
Do more to protect yourself from investment fraud:
Check back later this month, when we’ll share some tips for grads on how to handle any monetary gifts.