Jun 15th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Seniors Cautious About Financial Deals

Vulnerability, especially economic, is one of the Achilles Heels of the retired person.  Because it is so easy to be drawn in, seniors should be especially cautious when it comes to financial offers, particularly unsolicited ones, that promise much and deliver little. Telephone and mail solicitations which come by way of robo calls or mass mailings should be especially suspect.  No door to door solicitation should be given the time of day.

We received a phone call the other day about leasing mineral rights on our property.  I did not indicate interest, but, sure enough, there came in the mail a full fledged offer, legal documents to be signed, and a check for the offered amount ready to be deposited.  I did not take the bait. I did call the agent and made inquiry about some of the particulars, indicating that I thought the per acre offer was much too low.  His return call with  assurances of an answer to my questions, and a hint of an increased amount to sweeten the deal suggested that the chase was on.  However, I read the small print and am aware of some of the market implications.   Therefore, the hare is running ahead in this race.

Some Rules to Follow

Rule one, when making deals: consider all options.  The temptation of a check, ready for the bank, is too easy to succumb to.  Give yourself time. Do your homework.  Anticipate any problems.  Protect yourself against a choice you may wish later you had not made.

If you are buying a home, be sure they throw in the kitchen sink and a home inspection, with suitable guarantees.  If you are purchasing or leasing a car, listen and look carefully for ways you can be caught paying for more than you bargained for.  When signing any legal document, be sure appropriate review has taken place.

Rule two, do not assume anything. This is so easily stepped over and missed.  If a “friendly” relationship has developed with a broker or sales person, do not assume that they are acting in anything except their self interest.  Exercise caution.  It seems sad to suggest that persons can’t be trusted, but some of them can’t.  Be sure to get references and do background checks on the companies with whom you are involving your good name and hard earned money.

Study and seek advice as you proceed to close the deal.  Be aware to what you are committing yourself.  Look out for the small print, particularly the very small print, like that that shows up at the end of commercials.  There could be a fox in that chicken house.

Rule three, take your time. Do not rush in, give yourself the luxury of being in control of the outcome.  Remember the person across the table does this everyday.  You may only do it once or twice in a lifetime.

Rule four: even when all else seems in place, all I’s dotted and T’s crossed, sleep on it. This may give you the best night’s rest you will ever have, particularly if you come up with caution signs that suggest you may not be making a good decision.

Rule five, when agreeing to the outcome be as sure as you can that you are comfortable with all implications, considerations, and deliberations. The ability to exercise willingness to reject a deal does not reflect negatively on you.  The outcome could, if you overlook any of the implications that are a part of this agreement.

Now, go out for dinner with your spouse/partner and celebrate your decision, whether negative or positive.  Feel good about your ability to process and engage in healthy decision making.  Allow yourself to be as serene and confident about your choice as you have every right to be.

Put it behind you, either way, and move on with the next phase of your life.

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