Financial institutions and wealth managers are eager to bring in younger customers and clients. The challenge, of course, is figuring out what will get their attention.
It might come as a surprise that what many younger adults want is help with their aging parents.
A new survey by financial safety service Carefull found that Americans’ biggest concern when it comes to their aging parents’ finances is protecting them from scams. That concern is justified, considering that consumers lost nearly $8.8 billion to fraud and scams in 2022, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Those hardest hit were older adults, who reported higher median losses than younger adults did.
Adult children aren’t just worried about protecting their aging parents from scams. The survey shows that many are actively engaging in their parents’ finances and are looking for solutions to make it easier to provide their parents with the protection they need.
- Nearly 1 in 4 respondents said their biggest concern about their aging parents’ finances is that they will lose money to scams and fraud.
- The survey found that 67% of respondents are worried that their parents will become victims of scams or fraud.
- Nearly half (45%) of respondents said their parents have been targeted by scammers.
- The survey found that 76% of respondents said they would use an app to protect their parents’ financial accounts against fraud and scams.
A majority of adults help aging parents with financial matters
More than half of respondents are helping aging parents with a range of financial matters, according to the survey of 200 adults from across the U.S. The most common tasks respondents said they help parents with are staying on top of bill payments and avoiding scams and fraud, followed by reviewing bank and credit card statements and estate planning.
Scams are a top concern of caregivers
When asked what their biggest concern about their aging parents’ finances was, nearly one in four respondents said they were afraid their parents would lose money to scams and fraud. This was by far the most prevalent concern.
After scams and fraud, the second-most common concern respondents had about their parents’ finances was that they won’t be able to afford long-term care. Running out of money in retirement was a close third, followed by the concern that parents will have trouble paying for medical care.
Protecting parents from scams is a challenge
Survey respondents said their parents are more likely to reach out for help with identifying and avoiding scams than with other issues. Yet, respondents still said it’s a challenge to protect parents from scams. In fact, this was the most common obstacle they said they faced when helping parents with their finances.
Nearly half of respondents said their parents have been targeted by scammers. To get help with helping parents who’ve been scammed, respondents said they were more likely to reach out to their parents’ bank than law enforcement—which shows the role that financial institutions can play in connecting with and supporting younger generations.
Addressing this need with technology
“Protecting parents from scams and fraud is top of mind for many adult children,” says Carefull co-founder Todd Rovak. “If their parents’ finances are impacted, theirs could be, too. So they’re looking for solutions—which financial institutions and advisors can provide with new technology.”
According to the Carefull survey, an overwhelming majority of respondents (76%) said they would take advantage of technology to protect their parents’ financial accounts against fraud and scams. Financial institutions and advisors who provide tech solutions to address this need can distinguish themselves from their competitors and provide value beyond traditional services.
Carefull partners with banks, credit unions and financial advisors to provide their caregiving clients a smart second set of eyes on their loved ones’ finances. Clients can link their parents’ bank, credit card and investment accounts to the Carefull service, which provides 24/7 monitoring and alerts when it spots unusual transactions, signs of fraud and money mistakes that are common to older adults.
Carefull allows financial caregivers to get view-only access, so their loved ones don’t feel like they’re giving up too much control. “The positioning is a huge piece,” says Rita Cheng, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. “Sometimes our parents can be stubborn.”
Carefull has become a second set of eyes for Blue Ocean Global Wealth’s financial caregiving clients. One client, in particular, told Cheng that Carefull was exactly what he needed, that it “gives me peace of mind knowing nothing will slip through the cracks with my parents.”
By providing a tool that can help adult children protect their parents’ finances, financial institutions and advisors can meet an overlooked need and attract the next generation.
To learn more about how to attract the next generation by providing Carefull's financial safety service, get in touch with our team.