Greetings. I’m Skip Humphrey, and I’m excited to begin work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as the head of the Office of Older Americans.
I grew up in a household where it wasn’t enough to just have a point of view. My parents taught me that if I had a problem, I needed to do something about it. Here at the Office of Older Americans, we’ll be embracing this do-something attitude from day one.
Congress has charged us with working to improve the financial decision-making of seniors and to prevent unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices targeted at them.
The 62-plus population has been hit hard by the economic crisis. Many seniors are not financially prepared for retirement, and financial exploitation of older Americans is growing.
The Office of Older Americans has an opportunity to address this crisis. We will:
- Give seniors the tools they need to make educated financial choices
- Coordinate efforts to help seniors across a wide spectrum of interest groups
- Gather research and information about trends and bad practices to help policymakers and the financial services industry address seniors’ needs
- Protect against false and deceptive designations of financial counselors to make sure seniors have access to qualified financial advice
I want people to know that when we are looking at issues in the financial marketplace, we consider how they affect older Americans and what we can do to make sure seniors are well served. Our office will listen to and learn from the voices of the more than 50 million Americans aged 62 and over. We want to help seniors figure out what they need to plan for retirement and long-term care, and whether the people who advise them are qualified. While we will help track down scams and enforce the law, we will also educate seniors on how to identify and avoid scams before they put their home and savings at risk.
You can expect to hear more from this office at consumerfinance.gov/older-americans, and I also plan to be out there talking with you from day one. I am honored to be able to bring my experience to this new office, and I look forward to hearing from you during the coming months as we develop our plans.