These are difficult financial times, and it is challenging to know where to turn for advice. But you’re in luck. The Consumer University: Exercising Financial Wellness will be held 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Road, Bangor. The seminar is free, open to all and includes lunch.
A variety of topics will be covered with particular focus on information for older investors and consumers, including common and-or up-and-coming investment scams, identify theft, mail fraud and telemarketing scams.
The conference also will offer an overview of some newer types of investment products, and will discuss the pros and cons of reverse mortgages. While certainly not for everyone, a reverse mortgage may be perfect for your situation. Jill Chouinard of Money Management International will speak about what every consumer should know about reverse mortgages before making the decision to get one.
There are other some impressive entities involved in this conference, such as the Maine Office of Securities, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, AARP Maine, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other consumer protection and law enforcement agencies including the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
These are the people to trust. They are working together to present this free half-day program designed to provide advice and materials to help attendees protect their resources and guard against becoming victims of financial exploitation.
Judy Shaw, the head of the Maine Office of Securities; and Lori Schock, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy; will present a session on investment products that will give you an overview of the major kinds of investments that most people have now or may be thinking of purchasing in the future, especially if they’ve heard that these products are a way of stretching retirement savings.
The session will cover key information on annuities, stocks and bonds and mutual funds, including who regulates what product. You also will learn how to get more objective information about the product and how to avoid losing your nest egg from purchasing the wrong product. Participants will learn about the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation’s Outsmarting Investment Fraud Program, which is a specific, targeted effort to reduce the occurrence of investment fraud among older investors by teaching the tactics most commonly used by fraudsters — and the simple steps every investor can take to reduce the risk.
These are a few of the questions investors can ask to see whether they are being told the truth:
• Are you and your firm registered with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority?
• Are you registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission?
• Are you registered with a state securities regulator? Which one(s)?
• Is this investment registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the state securities regulator?
To verify the answers you receive to these questions, check the seller’s background and visit
http://www.saveandinvest.org or call toll-free 888- 295-7422.
And bring along your expired medications for the Penobscot County Triad drug drop-off box, staffed by Deputy Chief Troy Morton of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. Morton, who also is chairman of Triad, will give a presentation on fraud and identity theft. He is an audience favorite who always has the latest information on scams.
To register for this free seminar, call 866-862-0110.
Medicare Part D alert! The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D has moved to Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Eastern Area Agency on Aging will hold Medicare Part D clinics to help you sort out the prescription drug plans. We look forward to helping you, so give us a call and make an appointment to meet with us about your drug plan today.
Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Email Higgins Taylor at email@example.com. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.