Researchers Present, and Are Awarded, at 2023 AFCPE Conference

by Adam Felts

The Association for Financial Counselors, Planners, and Educators welcomed a group of AgeLab researchers for its 2023 conference. Adam Felts, Lexi Balmuth, Sophia Ashebir, and Lauren Cerino gave presentations on family caregiving and financial advice, the future of the advice industry, and financial exploitation among the oldest old. Two of their papers were honored with awards by the conference organizers.

Lauren Cerino gave a poster presentation on AgeLab research related to financial advisors' ability and tendency to give referrals for outside professionals for clients. Research on clients who are caregivers, in particular, finds that advisors are comfortable giving referrals to lawyers and tax professionals, but less so for making connections to professionals like geriatic care managers, aging in place specialists, and respite care providers. Only a minority of advisors receive support from their organizations in maintaining a network of outside experts. Meanwhile, on the client side, younger clients in particular are interested in being connected with a network of professionals by their advisor.

Sophia Ashebir gave a paper presentation on perceptions and experiences of financial fraud among members of the AgeLab's 85+ Lifestyle Leaders panel. Most members of the panel reported either being targets or victims of financial fraud. In focus groups on the topic, they noted technological inexperience, being stereotyped as vulnerable due to old age, and lack of familiarity with types of scams as being some factors for their risk for financial fraud. But they also observed that their age could be a protective factor against being defrauded, due to the experience and wisdom that can come with age. This paper was recognized with a conference award for best academic paper. Taylor Patskanick, the first author of the paper, was not able to attend the conference.

Lexi Balmuth presented on a paper on that explored client attitudes across generations toward financial professionals. Generally speaking, younger clients had a more expansive view of their ideal financial professionals, imagining that they might play a more comprehensive and even emotionally intimate role for them. At the same time, younger people were significantly more likely to report being willing to leave their current financial advisor for a new one, suggesting that this group is recruitable by advisors who are able to provide services that meet their desires.

Adam Felts gave a "research to practice" paper presentation on a resource the AgeLab developed with Transamerica designed to help financial advisors who work with clients who are family caregivers. The presentation went over the stakeholders who were involved in the development of the playbook, the multiphase, cocreative process that the AgeLab and Transamerica undertook to create the playbook, and finally, the contents of the playbook itself. This paper was recognized with a conference award for best "research to practice" presentation.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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