Minnesota Lawyer and Finance & Commerce – Partner Content
Author: Vincent D. Louwagie
The number of Minnesotans turning 65 during 2010-2019 (about 285,000) will be greater than the past four decades combined.
- Around 2020, Minnesota’s 65+ population is expected to eclipse the 5-17 K-12 population, for the first time in history.
- The total number of older adults (65+) is anticipated to double between 2010 and 2030, according to our projections. By then, more than 1 in 5 Minnesotans will be an older adult, including all the Baby Boomers.
- While we have known for decades that our population is aging, the facts above may still be surprising and concerning to some. We all have to deal with the implications, especially economic, of an aging population.
There have been well-publicized reports of problems in some nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Those are serious issues and are the subject of important studies, new proposed legislation, and much discussion. Minnesota has enacted a number of criminal statutes to further the legislature’s stated public policy of protecting “adults who . . . are particularly vulnerable to maltreatment. . . ”
But, for decades little has been done by the legislature to provide enhanced civil remedies to senior citizens who are victims of financial fraud. Financial fraud on senior citizens should not be neglected. The Minnesota Attorney General’s “Seniors Guide to Fighting Fraud” reports on common scams often directed at senior citizens. It reports that telemarketing fraud alone is estimated by the Federal Trade Commission to cost US consumers of all ages more than $40 billion per year. It also notes that while people in their 20’s report being defrauded more than people over 70, seniors tend to lose more money (presumably because they have more money to be pilfered).