Scammers target everyone and anyone.
Here is a sad but true story of one woman who believed the documents she received were authentic.
Scams and Other Business Ventures
Will you be next? Can you protect yourself or your loved ones from fraud? Stories like this one happen to millions of people every day.
The first letter was sent out on letterhead, informing her that she was a winner in a promotional draw. Her prize was $850,000.00. It had been deposited in Bank of America, and had been insured.
The letter appeared to come from the International Gaming Commission Sweepstakes & Lottery in Washington, DC. It stated that she should keep the entire details of the award “strictly from public notice”. In other words: Don’t Tell Anyone. The recipient of this letter was a 79-year-old woman, widowed, with a modest income and some investments.
The second letter appeared to come from the US Department of the Treasury, acknowledging her as a winner, stating the amount of her prize, and informing her that “… the amount you will have to take care of is $30,000.00 and it will have to be made payable to our chief accountant which that name will be given to you later.” The rest of the letter gave instructions to contact her “representative” whose name and phone number were provided, with a security code she should use.
Despite the impressive letterhead, the documents had numerous mistakes. There were typos and poor grammar throughout. For example, the first sentence of the letter from the Gaming Commission says: “Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice, the results of the First (3rd) Category draws of International Gaming Commission SWEETSTAKES.” And in paragraph three “… the total prize money of US$ 29,000000.00….”
Many people receiving such correspondence would immediately recognize it as fraud. This particular woman did not. She believed it to be authentic and promptly called her financial planner to pay the alleged taxes. She insisted that she couldn’t tell him why she needed the money.
Needless to say, this was a red flag to him. He was reluctant to make the transaction and asked her to wait until he returned from his vacation a week later. Somehow, she was able to make the payment herself.
The $30,000.00 is gone. The lady is poorer but wiser. But the scammers probably will never be caught.
Don’t let yourself be the next victim
Female? Thinking of retiring? Think carefully and get out your calculators.
Financially secure retirement for women is a thing of the past.
One in four older single women lives below the poverty line.
The sad truth is that women simply don’t save enough for retirement, and the financial security they had as wives can quickly disappear.
According to CNBC (2016/03/18) 36% of unmarried women and 29% of married women think they need less than $250,000 for retirement. At the same time, the majority of men think they need $500,000 for retirement.
There’s a strong disconnect here. Women usually live longer than men, they earn less than men, and, when widowed or divorced, their spendable income is considerably less. How is it they are so naïve about the cost of living?
For women retired or nearing retirement, here are some critical facts to help explain this puzzle.
How has this worked for women in America?
Most of these women lived middle class lives when they were married. Even though couples have savings and investment plans, when she’s alone the income isn’t sufficient.
All of these facts mean a reduction in her retirement finances.
By the time she is alone, her options have narrowed. Her only choice may be to start a new job in retirement.
Many women and men are doing just that. A hobby may become a small business, some companies specialize in hiring retirees, and there are affordable franchises especially designed for seniors.
The big issue is that this shouldn’t be happening to women.
The rising cost of living eats into spendable income, but drawing out money from savings has negative consequences. The result could be something like the obituary that follows:
It is with regret that we inform you of the death of your financial assets.
Your extensive portfolio had been in ill health for quite some time. Though several experts in the field of money management had examined said assets, the diagnosis was unanimous. Terminal.
Your portfolio began life on May first, 1981, with a deposit of $100.00. It grew as a traditional IRA, receiving annual deposits of varying amounts until 2004. No deposits have been made since that year.
The company which held the IRA, No Holds Barred, has deposited the last $100.00 in a cash fund, to be collected by the holder of the IRA, Ms. Jane A Doe.
Of course, no such item would ever be posted, but the results are the same. Only one third of women over 65 are married. That leaves a lot of single older women living on the assets that two people accumulated. The interesting thing is that when a husband survives his wife, he has almost no financial problems.
Where can you go to learn how to save and manage your money?
Many financial websites now have information especially for women. Some of it is not specific as to individual needs and situations. However, it is a start.
Here is a short list to begin your research for a more complete and secure financial retirement.
Google keywords to find a variety of websites that address different aspects of the financial situation facing women. Look for articles and educational insights especially for women, subscribe to newsletters, and make note of the top financial issues. Whether you are now retired or thinking about it, the cost of living will not go down. Start now to get your ducks in a row now.
“..a small sensitively written handbook that packs a valuable range of resources for those working to comfort bereaved children into a compact form.” Midwest Book Review
Helping a child grieve can be difficult and confusing; children cannot always articulate what they feel, and adults are often very deep in grief themselves. A Child’s Grief: Surviving the Death of a Parent is a unique book that offers insight and information for helping a grieving child. This book will help you and the child you care about to understand the deep impact of loss and what it takes to begin to heal.
The personal interviews offer a collective body of wisdom from those who survived the loss of a parent, and attest to the personal pain and the turmoil they felt. This book offers tools and solutions for helping a grieving child address bereavement in a positive way.
It’s an essential checklist to help keep the mind, body, and life glued together during one of life’s most trying times.—Writers Notes Magazine “Book Editor”
No Time to Grieve is a pocket-sized primer that can be used as a reference by the bereaved, the family, or those persons who help the grieving. The information and suggestions act as a guide through the practical and emotional aspects of grief and recovery.
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