Everything You Need to Know About Elder Fraud

March 21, 2019 by Comerica Bank

Financial scams are widespread, meaning consumers always need to stay on guard when it comes to their personal finances. Yet the scale of elder fraud and financial abuse in the U.S. makes it difficult for older Americans to address all the risks that come their way. Whether through fake IRS phone scams or a deceptive marketing campaign, elderly Americans are often the target of con artists and financial fraudsters.

However, despite this reality, there are many tools and strategies available to seniors and their loved ones. Taking advantage of these resources is an important step for consumers as criminal tactics become more advanced and generational shifts mean more older Americans than ever may be at risk. According to the Population Reference Bureau™, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to more than double to 98 million in 2060.

Combating elder fraud requires becoming educated on the topic and then pursuing measures to protect bank account and personal information. Read on for more information on everything you need to know about elder fraud:

Millions in self-reported losses a year

The first thing to know about elder fraud is that it is a big problem in the U.S - and growing even bigger. According to the Federal Trade Commission, American adults 60 years and older reported losing around $250 million due to fraud in 2017. But that number only tells half the story. The same FTC data indicated that adults 80 years and older lost an average of $1,092 per instance of reported fraud, almost double the next highest average ($621 for adults 70 – 79). Furthermore, seniors were the least likely age group to report fraud. While nearly a third of consumers 30 – 39 reported an incident in 2017, only 20 percent of those 60 – 69 reported fraud; this occurred despite that age group accounting for 19 percent of all reported cases.

These statistics underscore the reality that seniors are not only more vulnerable to fraud, but they are also often hit hardest by its financial impacts. This is compounded by the lower likelihood of self-reporting fraud, which only increases the risk older adults face.

How to identify and address the most common scams targeting seniors

Key to addressing elder fraud in real life is getting to know the usual suspects. There are many forms that senior financial abuse may take, but some of the most common actors to be aware of include:

  • Telephone and mail scammers.

  • Medicare scam operators.

  • Internet scammers.

  • Persons seeking or claiming to have the power of attorney or the legal authority to access or manage one’s money.

However, watching persons assumed to be close to seniors is important. Family, caregivers, and other relatives and friends may just as likely be after hard-earned money or personal information. A couple of the scams that are most commonly perpetrated to obtain such information or material gains include:

  • IRS phone scam: The No. 1 thing for any consumer — especially those who are seniors — to know is that the Internal Revenue Service does not and will not call you personally to demand immediate payment or face referral to law enforcement or some other form of punishment. The agency says so itself clearly, so be wary of anyone phoning that presents themselves as the IRS and demands such action. Never give out your Social Security number or credit card details over the phone to unknown callers.

  • Medicare fraud: This can come in different forms. For instance, criminals may steal Medicare insurance information to abuse directly through phishing scams or the like, while others operate seemingly legitimate services that will use your Medicare information to make bogus claims. Seniors may also be bombarded with marketing for medical equipment that could lead to financial fraud. 

Know what makes a senior vulnerable

Barring serious illness, the Center for Retirement Research of Boston College® said most seniors are capable of handling their finances. If cognitive ability isn't at fault for financial loss, it becomes more important to identify root causes:

  • Telephone calls: A senior who receives several telemarketing calls a day is greatly exposed to potential fraud. Opting out of marketing lists and opting into Do Not Call lists is a necessary step to take.

  • Loneliness: Lack of social and emotional support leaves seniors isolated and without mechanisms of defense against financial predators. Those living alone, recently widowed or living far from close family need the most attention and should find services that help them protect their finances.

     

Yet even if all precautions and measures are taken, elder abuse can still happen. When, and if, it does happen, you or your loved one will need to know what actions should be taken in the aftermath. You can report instances of suspected fraud or abuse to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, the Better Business Bureau®, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general offices. Also check with credit reporting agencies to ensure your information has not been used to open fraudulent accounts. You can even request a freeze on inquiries into your score, which could prevent further harm.

Whenever seeking ways to avoid elder fraud, talking to a financial partner is at the top of the list. Speaking to a reputable institution like Comerica Bank with proven tools and services can help connect seniors with the means they need to ensure their accounts and money are safe from the hands of prying calls and internet scams.

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

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Understanding How Student Loans Work

February 5, 2019 by Comerica Bank

Student loans rank among the dominant themes of personal finance today. Rising tuition costs across the nation and increased debt carried by graduates has rocketed student loans to the top of the priorities list for many consumers. Indeed, there are several macro factors influencing the discussion: generational shifts in the population, the overall economic recovery and job creation post-Great Recession, for example. 

Yet these overarching factors can sometimes cloud what is already a complex concept. Student loans themselves, while seemingly essential to the financing of higher education, can be difficult to get one's head around. There are a number of variables to become familiar with, from what terms you receive to how you plan for repayment.

Understanding how student loans from a bank work versus how a government loan works is a critical differentiation to make. Finding the right financing for your education depends on what you know about student loans. Consumers considering college or university can talk to their local bank to learn more about getting a loan, but to start, here's a guide to the most important points.

Quick facts about student loans

According to Federal Reserve statistics, U.S. consumers owed more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt at the end of 2018, which is more than double the amount just a decade earlier. The share of debt held by younger students has rapidly inflated: Of adults with student loan debt, nearly 40 percent are ages 18 - 29. Tuition cost increases have fed this rise in part. U.S. News and World Report®️ data showed the average annual cost of attending a public, in-state school in 2007 was $6,468 (that's including tuition and room and board). By 2017, that figure reached $10,691. For private college, the increase is even more extreme, with average tuition and fees climbing from nearly $28,000 in 2007 to above $41,000 in 2017. 

The average bachelor's degree holder owes $27,000 by the time he or she completes school, Pew Research Center®️ said. Seeking more education costs more money, as postgraduate students owe on average $45,000.

How a private student loan works

Private student loans only enter the equation after a student has filled out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Upon completing this form, borrowers will receive a letter stating how much in grants and federal loans a student can expect. If this aid does not meet all costs concerned, students can then apply for a private loan from a bank or other financial institution.

Application process

While many students seek private loans from a bank or other financial institution as a supplement to federal financial aid to help pay tuition, that's not the only direct cost of education private loans can help with. Other items include textbooks and other living costs. It all starts with the application process, which is a key stage of the loan process. Applicants must:

  • Gather documentation: This includes readying your driver's license, Social Security number, school information and any other materials needed to establish identity or personal history.
  • Decide on how much to borrow: Since federal loans are tied to financial need, their amounts are limited. Private loans, however, are not capped and students can request what they want (even if they only get a portion of that initial figure). It's crucial here to budget and plan out what you need from a private loan. You don't want to get stuck with debt you don't actually need, but now must pay interest back on.
  • Get a cosigner: Loan applicants without a credit history (as most students about to enter college are) need to get a cosigner for their loan to satisfy lender demands. More on this below.

Credit-based decision

A key differentiator between private loans and government loans is that those in the former category are based on creditworthiness. That means the amount you receive and the rates you borrow at are influenced by credit history. This is what makes a cosigner so important. Students don't often have the employment history and established credit that qualifies them for beneficial rates and terms, so most use a relative or close relation to act as a cosigner to their loan. Another alternative is a parent loan, where a credit-worthy parent or guardian takes out a loan on behalf of their college-bound child, which can mitigate the latter's potential lack of credit. This means that even if you have no credit or bad credit as a student, there are still opportunities to get a private loan under the right circumstances.

Fixed and variable rates available

One of the bigger draws to a private loan is the borrower's ability to benefit from a variable rate arrangement. Private loans generally come in two formats: the fixed rate and the variable rate. Both are fairly self-evident, but a fixed rate loan is one with a locked-in interest rate from the beginning, while variable rate loans come with adjustable terms that may fluctuate with the greater economy and open students to the possibility of reduced costs. However, many variable rate plans also come with low introductory rates that can increase dramatically later on. Students must be sure to talk through the loan offering with their bank to be totally clear on the variables offered. 

Repayment plan

It is vitally important to understand your private loan repayment terms. While federal loans across the board do not require payment until after graduation (and even then, offer flexible repayment strategies), some private loans may require payment while you're still in school. Lenders may expect timely repayment upon disbursal of funds without a grace period. At other times, there may be penalties for earlier repayment that students and any cosigners have to be aware of. Also, it's less likely that a private loan will be forgiven if the borrower cannot make payments. While the government does forgive student debt in certain cases, private lenders typically maintain much more stringent criteria. In such cases, however, working with your bank or financial partner to find a pathway to repayment is possible and may lead to more flexible terms.

What separates government loans from private loans

While the differences between federal and private loans seem clear, the details are always the deciding factor:

  • Interest rates: As mentioned, federal student loans come at only fixed rates, whereas private loans allow for fixed or variable interest rates. Also, if a student qualifies for a subsidized federal loan, the government will pay interest for him or her throughout the duration of schooling, or at least on a short-term basis. Interest paid on federal loans is always tax-deductible up to a maximum cap, while students will have to check their tax-exempt status with their private lender.
  • Repayment options: Federal student loans don't have to be repaid until a student graduates, leaves school or becomes less than a half-time student. Even then, students have a number of deferment options they can take advantage of if personal economic difficulty makes full payments a challenge. The government, for instance, allows students to tie payments to monthly income. Consumers with multiple loans from the government may also consolidate their accounts under the U.S. Department of Education and its partners, something that those with a private loan might not be able to do.
  • Credit impact: Federal loans are not made on the basis of credit and thus don't require a cosigner or credit checks. However, federal loans are reported to national credit bureaus, so taking out such loans can help students build first-time credit by establishing an account, history and track record of payments once they begin.

Student loan refinancing

Yet another distinction to be made between the two types of student loans is the possibility of refinancing. Since the federal government disperses loans on a fixed-rate basis, students can only refinance their loans into a new federal loan called a Federal Consolidation Loan. Students can, on the other hand, refinance their private loans into a new private loan. Refinancing is an attractive option for many young consumers because it allows them to take advantage of current economic conditions. If the opportunity for a lower rate arises thanks to market movements or policy decisions, students can work with their bank to explore refinancing options. Student loans are a big decision in the life of any student or parent. Finding the right financing from the best partners means all the difference in getting a loan with the right terms and repayment options. Reach out to Comerica Bank today to talk to our qualified professionals on any of the private student loan products. These offerings include parent loans that can limit the effect a student's lack of credit or financial means may have on the loan. 

 

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. 

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

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How to Build Credit from Scratch

January 8, 2019 by Comerica Bank

Your credit score is among the most important measures of personal financial health. Not only is it a pivotal indicator of the state of your finances and history as a responsible consumer, but credit scores also factor heavily into everything from applying for an auto loan to opening a credit card account. Basic consumer actions and decisions can in many ways hinge on a credit score. A high score may open the way to wealth building and personal finance advancement, while a low one often proves to be a sticky challenge to get over.

Knowing this, young consumers often ask how they can build first-time credit. The situation may seem a bit bleak at first; after all, teenagers don't often have the time or means to build a credit score and thus need to start from scratch. However, taking steps to build credit at this age helps lay the foundation for strong personal credit down the road.

There are many factors that relate to credit scores and building your credit profile: interest rates, payment history, account longevity and credit utilization among them. Here's what you need to know when looking for ways to establish first-time credit.

A primer on credit scores

First, some basic information on credit scores. FICO®️ credit scores, which are a prevailing industry measure, range from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the more likely lenders are to work with you based on your creditworthiness:

  • 800 and above is considered excellent.

  • 740 to 799 is very good.

  • 670 to 739 is good.

  • 580 to 669 is fair.

  • 579 and below is poor.

The variables that could affect FICO®️ scores specifically include: payment history (which makes up 35 percent of your credit score), amounts owed or outstanding (30 percent), length of credit history (15 percent), credit mix (10 percent) and new credit (10 percent). There are three main credit reporting bureaus that calculate this score, and consumers are entitled to one free annual view of their score from each agency — those being Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®.

Building first-time credit

Knowing all the factors that go into your credit profile helps young adults shape personal finance habits and build better scores. The earlier you can make credit clean-up a priority, the better, and this can be accomplished a few different ways. While the first thoughts of building credit always veer toward opening a credit card account on your own (for which a time will come), there are other ways to build credit without a credit card. When you're 18 you can: 

  • Become an authorized user: If you have a parent or legal guardian willing to add you as an authorized user to their card, that's an easy route to immediate creditworthiness. As an authorized user, young consumers will inherit the credit profile of that account and can use family cards that have been open for years to provide an initial boost to credit building. Of course, being added to a trusted account that makes timely payments is paramount.

  • Apply for a student loan: Going to college is a goal for many young credit builders. This higher education also offers them an opportunity to start a credit profile by applying for a student loan. Rising tuition costs mean more students are expected to contribute to their schooling, and securing a student loan enables young consumers to establish an account and make timely payments; both are actions that positively impact a credit score. Family members with established credit can also act as co-signers.

  • Make rent or mortgage payments: While not all young consumers live on their own, those who do also have the chance to build their profile without the need for a credit card. Say you live off campus during school; those rent payments you make can factor into your credit history. If you become a first-time homebuyer when young, then you establish first-time credit as well. Mortgages can gradually increase account length. Of course, timely payments are critical.

Getting a credit card for the first time

Inevitably, you'll apply for a credit card on your own. As the most direct way to establish first-time credit, these accounts are widespread and diverse in America, and finding the right card is important for young consumers. Consumers often value simplicity and convenience when choosing a card, but digging into the specifics is a priority for any consumer new to the process. Familiarize yourself with these basic elements of any credit card offer:

  • Interest rate: Specifically, the annual percentage rate (APR) is the rate at which you pay to borrow money. In the context of a credit card, it is applied if you carry a balance on your account. Although you may only be required to make a minimum payment, carrying increasing balances month over month exposes you to high-interest payments. Knowing what rate you sign up for, and what an introductory discount offer will expire and revert to, will help you maintain personal finance awareness.

  • Credit limit: Your credit card issuer will set a cap for your billing cycle. Any spending above that maximum may result in fines or penalties. Credit limits are often set according to the extent of the creditworthiness of the applicant, so as you build credit, be aware your lines may not be as large to start with; which thus means keeping strict attention to your spending and account management.

  • Rewards: There are all sorts of credit cards designed for specific uses or audiences, like travel cards that accrue miles or cashback when the card is used at certain stores. Compare your preferred categories and always read the fine print because some cashback bonuses may be limited opportunities.

  • Fees: Make sure to check for any annual maintenance fees, potential surcharges for services and any other costs that indicate more suitable cards for establishing first-time credit are available.

If a traditional credit card like the above isn't yet an option for you, consider a secured credit card. This option requires you put down a deposit for the card up front, but any spending and payment activity builds credit history, unlike a debit card.

You may also wonder whether one card is enough to sufficiently build your credit score. In many ways, credit cards are one piece of the puzzle. Having a healthy mix of installment credit (personal, home or student loans) and revolving credit (credit cards) is important to a high credit score. Speak to a representative at Comerica Bank to find the right credit card match for you. Contact us today.

 

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. 

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

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How to Get an Identity Protection Plan

January 2, 2019 by Comerica Bank

Identity theft has become a fixture of news headlines, television crime dramas and public policy. But although most Americans are familiar with the ideas surrounding fraud in the internet age, few actually have an identity protection plan in place. This leaves them unprepared for a crime that now poses a distinct threat to a majority of people regardless of their tech savvy or internet use. Simply being aware of the threat of identity theft and basic safeguards against it can significantly reduce the chances of becoming a victim. Going the extra mile and signing up for a full-featured identity protection plan provides an additional layer of security that often proves invaluable.

Identity theft facts

Identity theft or identity fraud is committed when a group or individual gains unauthorized access to another person's personal information. That information is then used to profit by opening accounts in the victim's name, purchasing products, selling that person's private data to others or any number of illicit activities.

Javelin Strategy & Research®️ found that in 2017 alone, an estimated $16.8 billion was stolen from U.S. consumers and businesses through identity fraud. The vast majority of these crimes are conducted using computers and the internet, but one does not necessarily need an active online presence to fall prey to identity theft. It's estimated that 16.7 million Americans were victims of these kinds of crimes in 2017, and the incidence of identity fraud continues to grow substantially each year.

Despite the threat posed by identity theft, many Americans are either unaware of the magnitude of risk involved or do not take the right precautions to reduce that risk, according to Pew Research Center®️. Given the wide variety of methods scammers use to assume the identity of others and profit from deception, though, it's hard to blame U.S. consumers for their complacence.

For example, in a 2018 poll of 1,000 participants sponsored by AARP®️, more than three quarters of respondents incorrectly believed that IRS agents could contact taxpayers through email or text message, or were unsure. Impersonating IRS agents over the phone or internet has become a common scam to commit identity theft or coerce victims into making fraudulent payments. Although schemes like this have grown in frequency, a majority of respondents to the AARP poll still said they were "extremely confident" or "very confident" in their ability to detect fraud.

Identity theft presents a major threat to American consumers and businesses because it is both deceptively simple to carry out yet difficult to spot. 

Consumers who do not keep a close watch for signs of identity theft - particularly those who are not frequent internet users - go more than 40 days on average until realizing their identity has been compromised. In that time, criminals could be racking up thousands of dollars in illicit charges and otherwise digging victims into a deeper hole. By the time victims realize what's happened, they could be facing more than just an empty bank account balance. It may become impossible for identity fraud victims to use credit cards, withdraw funds from their bank accounts or conduct any routine financial transactions. The end result is a great deal of lost time, money and any sense of security.

Identity protection plan basics

The best offense against identity theft is a strong defense. Everyone should take steps to ensure their personal information is secure, as well as to recognize the signs of identity theft and respond quickly. According to security experts and financial regulators, the most effective steps involved in an identity protection plan are also some of the easiest for the average person to accomplish:

Set up account alerts

Most banks, credit card companies and other financial services now automatically alert customers to suspicious activity. If a large sum of money is withdrawn or a card is used in an unusual location, for example, financial institutions may contact consumers to notify them of these transactions and confirm their legitimacy. Most will also give customers the option to enable additional automatic alerts and to customize the events that trigger them or how they are communicated. These alerts offer an excellent first line of defense against many types of identity theft.

Use strong, unique passwords

Online password security is another major component of identity theft protection. Many acts of identity fraud are committed by simply guessing a victim's password or PIN. Criminals are easily thwarted by users who practice good password security, which involves the way passwords are created and managed.

  • Use a different password for each online account.

  • Each password should be at least eight characters and contain different letters, numbers and symbols.

  • Do not use common passwords or anything that is easy to guess. Refrain from your own birthday or, worst of all, the word "password." 

Stay vigilant

Identity thieves are always becoming more sophisticated in the methods they use to steal data or tap into computer networks. However, some of the most effective types of identity fraud are based on tactics that have been in use for decades. Digital scammers still often rely on tricking users into a false sense of trust so that they willingly give up information. As a general rule, never give out any password or piece of personal information to anyone. Don't enter passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or other important identity data into any website or email without first verifying the authenticity of that site.

Signing up for an identity protection plan

Taking all the necessary steps toward protecting your own identity can become tedious and confusing. The threat of identity theft is constantly evolving as criminals switch to different tactics and adopt more sophisticated technology. That's not to mention the fact that many businesses with access to consumer credit card numbers and passwords have become victims of digital theft themselves, leaving countless people vulnerable at no fault of their own.

For many individuals, the risks and consequences of falling prey to identity thieves are simply too great to handle on their own, which is why more people are enrolling in services that create a full-fledged identity protection plan to keep a watchful eye over it all. Commercial identity protection plans typically include services that monitor for potential fraud, financially insure against the risk of identity theft and take action to recover losses sustained in the event of a security breach.

Credit monitoring and fraud detection

Identity protection services often combine the fundamentals of fraud prevention discussed above into one package. That usually includes services to monitor users' credit reports, Social Security numbers and other sources of personal information for signs of illicit use. If a threat is detected, the identity protection plan should then take steps to warn users and actively address the problem. For example, if the service provider detected suspicious activity like an unexpected new account on a recent credit report, they might institute a temporary freeze on all of the user's credit accounts and reach out to them to confirm what additional steps should be taken.

Identity recovery

If identity theft does occur somehow, an identity protection plan may include recovery services to help clients through the legally complex task of "cleaning up" after the crime. Victims of identity theft need to know the proper channels for reporting and resolving these issues, which may include working with law enforcement or the court system. Dealing with creditors, collections agencies and credit reporting firms is also essential to the identity recovery process, one that can be difficult for the average person to take on alone. 

Identity theft insurance

In many cases, the identity protection plan will include a level of insurance coverage to financially reimburse customers for losses sustained from an identity theft case. This may include funds to cover the money that was actually stolen as well as legal fees that result from the recovery process.

Is an identity protection plan worth it?

Consumers should conduct their own assessment of the risks posed by identity theft and the potential impact on their lives. In the end, paying a regular fee for additional protection against these threats may prove worthwhile.

Identity protection plans may be made available to fraud victims for a limited time after their personal information is compromised for reasons beyond their control. That can include high-profile corporate data breaches. Identitytheft.gov is a website managed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that provides numerous resources for those who have had their identity stolen, whether in a random incident or as part of a larger case. Reviewing tools and advice available here through the FTC may be a useful first step for those who are concerned about identity theft.

 

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. 

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

 

 

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3 Life Changing Events to Prepare for Financially

December 6, 2018 by Comerica Bank

Nobody wants to think about a tragedy such as a natural disaster, car accident, illness or death, but those who plan in advance can alleviate the damage to themselves and their loved ones. However, you don't want to plan for just a disaster. Plenty of positive life changes also create financial challenges. Either way, it is important to make financial plans that give you the flexibility to respond.

Achieving financial peace of mind begins with an emergency fund.

Setting up an emergency fund

Conventional wisdom suggests that an emergency fund should contain enough savings to replace between three and six months of income or living costs. This can prove a key safety net for many minor emergencies and sets a foundation for further savings.

An emergency fund is usually best set aside in a high-interest savings account separate from your other funds. This makes it easier to avoid dipping into it casually for alternative purposes while allowing some interest to accrue over time.

Setting up an emergency fund is just the first step to being prepared for a life-changing event. Retirement accounts, funds devoted to saving for education and strategic estate planning are also important parts of strategizing prior to an emergency.

Ultimately, a life-changing event can be just about anything, but the most financially disruptive ones are those that have both an immediate and long-term impact on you or your household's fiscal well-being. With that in mind, here are three major life events and some tips on how to prepare for them:

1. Adding to the household

Whether you are getting married, expecting a child or planning for adoption, expanding your household brings unique financial challenges and opportunities that must be considered.

In the case of marriage, you must consider how you and your partner will merge finances, manage shared accounts and plan for your future together. Preparing to add a child to your family means thinking about new costs and saving for education. In either case, you may also need to think about insurance needs that may emerge to protect any dependents from a loss of income.


Strategic wealth management is critical in all of these cases, as it lays the groundwork for preparation. An effective wealth management partner can help you:

  • Identify the best account types to use relative to your financial priorities and future goals.

  • Help you evaluate cost expectations and your current ability to withstand those expenses.

  • Provide insights into trusts, specialty accounts, and estate planning opportunities to help you manage them effectively.

2. Illness and death

If your household has a primary earner, how will you maintain your lifestyle if that person becomes seriously ill or dies? What can you afford to invest in protecting against such an event, such as through insurance or savings, to safeguard the future? Do you have the resources needed to avoid financial hardship - health care costs, family support systems, etc. - if a member of your household becomes seriously ill?

All of these questions need to be considered with care, and they aren't ever easy to answer. Wealth management services can help you understand the full implications of such events. For example, if you own a business and a health issue forces you to step down from your position, a wealth management team can help you identify the best options to move forward while protecting yourself and your loved ones from financial difficulties. 

3. Employment changes

Whether you are laid off, decide to leave your job or are planning for retirement, it is important to have a financial plan to weather the period in which your income declines (or disappears altogether). An emergency account is a good first step here, but it is a limited solution.

Retirement planning is also becoming extremely complex. CNBC® reported that many consumers underestimate how long they are likely to live after retirement, leaving them in a situation in which they outlive their savings.

When planning for a change in employment, it's important to assess your entire financial portfolio, including any stock interests that may be associated with the company you worked for, and to understand regulations surrounding those funds.

Be ready for change

Wealth management services can help you evaluate the implications of change, gain a deep understanding of how life events impact your financial situation and advise you on next steps. At Comerica Bank, we take a thoughtful, personal approach to wealth management, building strong relationships with customers to help them achieve their goals. Contact us today to learn more.

 

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. 

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

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