Lifestyles over 50 Finance & Money
Why do I keep getting calls at all hours of the day? I’m on the Do Not Call List. Why doesn’t that help? We hear these complaints from older adults and their families when they call to report a healthcare or consumer fraud scam. In addition to being a near-constant annoyance, phone solicitations are a main conduit through which scammers reach their targets. According to a 2020 report from Truecaller, about 56 million Americans received some type of unwanted call. Approximately $19.7 billion were lost to phone scams in the U.S. This is a growing trend — and according to telecom experts, this trend shows no signs of diminishing any time soon.
We are approaching the holiday season roller coaster that starts on Halloween and climbs up the big hill until it rapidly descends, starting at Thanksgiving, and leveling off on New Year’s Day. November is usually identified with Thanksgiving Day, but there is another very important day in the month that seems to come and go too quickly: Veterans Day.
The Pandemic of 2020 has affected us in ways we may not have imagined at first. Probably the biggest overall hurdle to normal life has been the lockdowns and social distancing, making it difficult to conduct business as usual. This is particularly difficult for those in the real estate industry, where houses need to be shown, contacts need to be made, and papers need to be signed. Changes in the economy and government regulations and reactions to the pandemic have caused changes in housing availability and migration patterns of families in flux.
Many people confuse the terms “realtor,” “real estate agent,” and “broker.” They might use them interchangeably as if they were the same thing. Their work may overlap, but there are distinct differences in their qualifications and professional standing.
Simply put, a realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the largest trade group in the country. Realtors are tested, licensed experts in their fields and are held to the highest ethical standards. Brokers are usually managers who own agencies and have agents working for them. Agents are basically salespersons who bring buyer and seller together and earn a commission on the sale.
Cybercriminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to gain access to confidential personal and financial information, warns David Finkelstein, St. Luke’s Information Security Director. He encourages everyone to be wary of on-line ads and websites that offer COVID-19 cures or preventions. “The COVID-19 pandemic creates a perfect environment for unscrupulous individuals,” Finkelstein says. “Many people are afraid and desperately looking for ways to protect themselves and their families. As a result, they are more vulnerable to falling for a hacker’s trick than they might be during more typical times. Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes for COVID-19, so be sure to get your information from reputable sources, like www.sluhn.org and www.CDC.gov.”
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public that telephone scammers may send faked documents by email to convince victims to comply with their demands. The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has received reports of victims who received emails with attached letters and reports that appeared to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG. The letters may use official letterhead and government “jargon” to convince victims they are legitimate; they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.
Spring is here — a season for change. Hibernating animals (and people!) wake up and move around; ferns begin to uncurl; acorns begin their transition to mighty oaks; birds build their nests; and many homeowners begin the search for their new nest. Unless you’re a hermit crab, moving from one house to another is not cheap — moving can entail expenses that are greater and more varied than you might expect. What are some money matters to consider when you consider buying a house?
No two home buyers are alike, but they share similar motivations. As a realtor I need to understand my client’s desires, their likes and dislikes and most importantly why they are buying. The range of motivations is a cross-section of human desires. By understanding my client’s motivation I can streamline the house hunting experience. I can save them time, they will have an enjoyable experience and will find a home that much more quickly.