Financial Counseling & Assistance
There are many financial decisions that older adults and individuals with disabilities face, from basic budgeting to financial planning. However, there are many who don’t have the best interest of older adults in mind. A 2009 study estimated that seniors lose approximately $2.6 billion per year due to financial abuse – fraud, as well as theft by family members and acquaintances.
Through the Money Management Program RSVP volunteers help low-income older adults or adults with disabilities with routine monthly bill paying. Help may include budgeting; opening, organizing and sending out mail; check writing (all checks are signed by the client); or balancing the checkbook. Services are generally provided in the home.
SMP is designed to reduce financial fraud and scams. Trained volunteers work with seniors and people with disabilities and provide education to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. In addition, they track consumer complaints and refer them for action when needed.
A 2019 report of the Federal Trade Commission found that "consumers 60 and older report losing money to scams less often than younger adults, but when they do lose money, they report higher individual losses."