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Who Are Senior Specialist Financial Advisors?

by Chris Cooper, Financial Planning Expert
October 08, 2014

Question: I have been reading about ‘senior specialist’ financial advisers. Who are they and what do they do?

Answer: So called “Senior Specialist”  is a marketing credential for sales persons of annuities, reverse mortgages, and other expensive, difficult to get rid of, financial products. A lot of these “senior specialists” are crooks and should be avoided at all costs.

There are financial advisors who do specialize in the elderly. Some a licensed fiduciaries as I am in California, and all legitimate fiduciaries are NOT employed by or associated in any way with a financial institution such as securities broker/dealers, insurance companies and agencies, or reverse mortgage companies. It isn’t that all the people who work for these financial institutions are crooks. It is that they have too many conflicts of interest to give independent, objective advice about your given situation. People who are associated with financial institutions are only trained to sell their products to you, not advise you if you should buy any such financial product.

If you want objective, independent advice, then be prepared to pay for it, just as you would pay  an attorney. This is the trap middle class people get themselves into is thinking the financial institutions representative is giving them advice for FREE. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Get referrals to financial advisors who specialize in working with elders (and NOT ones who have marketing credentials) by asking your local agencies that work with the elderly, such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Area Agency on Aging in your community.

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Chris Cooper is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, Inc., a fee-only financial planning firm for elderly persons and the owner and founder of ElderCare Advocates, Inc. a private geriatric care management and long term care consulting firm. As a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, Chris can serve as  Conservator of the Person and Estate under court appointment,  as Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters and Health Care matters.

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