Frankly this is the only ‘advice’ that I give to senior citizens. What does it mean?

Well thanks to aggressive selling of mutual funds, life insurance, and of many other products – financial and non financial – senior citizens are also being harassed by salesmen with their vares.

What exactly should senior citizens do?

Well it is a matter of great distress if you tell them to slam the door in the face – my parents can never do it. One delivery boy from a nearby shop – played the old trick of asking for water – and stole a mobile phone. This was still an inexpensive learning.

My advice comes from the fact that it is not necessary to buy ANYTHING from a door to door salesman. So just say No. If you want a mobile phone, go to a Tata Teleservices outlet and get it. If you want to give a charitable donation, GO TO THEIR OFFICE. Too many charitable institutions are also using volunteers – and senior citizens (frankly most citizens) have no way of knowing whether the person who has come is genuine or not.

It is not to say that Senior Citizens are not capable of handling frauds – they have the experience. However, the risk of dealing with a person who comes knocking is too high – and that person could be ARMED. Saying no is a difficult art for many people – but worth learning.

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  1. Hi Subra,
    Thanks for highlighting this…
    My dad (retired) has invested in weird MF schemes just because someone was kind enough to come home and fill up the forms. The infortunate part is that he was under the impression that these are tax-saving schemes where they were some stupid equity schemes.
    Similarly, he opened a joint account in Axis Bank because they were canvassing door-to-door for senior accounts. No harm done, but this is one more account he needs to handle which adds no real value to him.
    Once, a lady came home and asked for money for HelpAge. I said give me the brochure, I’ll review the website & decide on including them in my subsequent charity plans. She was almost enraged that I would not give money to her directly. Great expectations!
    The best option is to take the literature & tell them that if interested after review with your financial planner, you’ll call them back. That is usually a goog dead-end…
    Regards, Param

  2. The biggest problem in life is EGO. Most people (old or young) find it difficult to accept that they cannot understand. Even when it is their own money, they do not ask questions. So they just get intimated or bullied into parting with their cheques. Many of them do not know whom to turn to for help. Many children are worse informed about financial products – so it is like the blind leading the super blind.

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