Elder Financial Abuse Report


True Link is excited to announce the publication of our latest report, Pooled Special Needs Trust Best Practices, which sheds light on the processes, systems, and priorities of successful pooled trusts across the country.

While the field of pooled trusts is a young one, a result of enabling legislation passed in 1993, it is rapidly growing and continuously improving. Given the number of pooled trusts True Link supports and the close relationships we build with administrators, True Link is in a unique position to see differences and similarities across operational strategies, as well as challenges and successes across organizations. 

In collecting and sharing best practices – as conveyed to us by administrators – we hope to encourage the growth and stability of pooled trusts, and strengthen the broader field as a whole. 

Read the report to learn more about:

  • Effective beneficiary communication strategies
  • Technology used to simplify trust operations
  • Staff retention and how it can be affected by market cycles
  • Wealth management watch outs

To download and read True Link's Pooled Special Needs Trust Best Practices, please click on the link below.

Click here for full report >


Click the image to download and read the full report on pooled trust best practices.

The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015

The fraud research community has long suspected that losses due to elder financial abuse were worse than the $2.9 billion previously estimated. True Link’s data science team, looking for clarity and an accurate assessment of the problem, decided to tackle this question head-on.

The results of this research, The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015, reveals that seniors lose $36.48 billion each year to elder financial abuse – more than twelve times what was previously reported. What’s more, the highest proportion of these losses – to the tune of $16.99 billion a year – comes from deceptive but technically legal tactics designed specifically to take advantage of older Americans. 

According to Shawna Reeves, Director of Elder Abuse Prevention at the Institute on Aging, “Those of us working in the field have long known that the United States is in the throes of an elder financial abuse epidemic. Unfortunately, we've lacked well-designed studies capturing the true nature and scope of the problem. This study is a game changer. Not only does it challenge the previous studies but it serves as a clarion call for further research and action.”

In our 2015 report, you can learn more details about the size and severity of the problem, how seniors are being targeted, what puts them at risk, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones. Other important findings include:

  • Small losses are evidence of an underlying vulnerability: A senior who lost as little as $20 in a year to exploitation could be expected to lose $2,000 a year to other types of fraud.
  • A person who receives just one telemarketing phone call per day is likely to experience three times as much financial loss as someone who receives no or only occasional telemarketing calls.
  • It is estimated that 954,000 seniors are currently skipping meals as a result of financial abuse.

To read the Executive Summary or full report, please click on the links below.

Click here for Executive Summary >Click here for full report >

Report Infographic

Click the image to view and share important findings from The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015.

Financial Management Survey of Adults with Disabilities

Most existing money management tools aren’t designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But how could financial products and services better support this population? To answer this question, we collected data on the needs and challenges these individuals face when dealing with money. 

In collaboration with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Quality Trust, we developed and distributed a survey on the topic of financial management that focused on three main questions:

  1. How is your money managed?
  2. What challenges do you face when dealing with money?
  3. What type of service or tool could help you with these challenges?

The results clearly showed that current financial tools and services are missing the mark in supporting adults with disabilities. Over 75% of respondents report that their disability makes it difficult to manage their money, and only 36% reported that they are either “happy” or “very happy” with how their money is managed.

The survey also asked respondents to provide more detail regarding the most common challenges they face when dealing with money. Most individuals reported issues related to budgeting and spending management, including:

  • Creating a budget (49.4%)
  • Sticking to a budget (57.5%)
  • Keeping track of how much has been spent and/or how much money is left (51.7%)
  • Keeping track of bills and paying them on time (46.6%)
  • Impulse buying or shopping sprees (40.8%)

Our survey also sought to gain insight into what features should be included in financial tools or services better designed for adults with disabilities. In considering potential settings for a new financial tool, these options were considered desirable by respondents interested in a prepaid debit card product:

  • The ability to receive a text alert with important information about my spending (67%)
  • The ability to allow someone else to help me make decisions about money without giving them full control (52.8%)
  • The ability to limit how much money I can spend on different things (45.3%)
  • The ability to block certain types of purchases that I don’t want to make (35.8%)
Click here for survey results >Click here to learn more about self-determination >

Survey Results

Click the image to see our findings on the financial needs and challenges of adults with disabilities.

Other resources