According to a study by the Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, nearly 1 in 5 Americans older than age 65 have been taken advantage of financially.

Financial exploitation can be alarming and unexpected, especially because it can happen at the hands of a family member, friend, or caregiver. Now you can help reduce that risk by naming a trusted contact for your Vanguard accounts.

Why should I set up a trusted contact?

Consider these 2 reasons:

  • To help protect your accounts from fraud. Unfortunately, fraud and financial exploitation are increasingly common in today’s world. By adding a trusted contact to your Vanguard accounts, you lower the risk of your accounts being compromised.
  • To protect you if your health status changes. If you develop a medical condition—especially one like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia—a trusted contact can help us determine if you’re no longer able to protect your interests.

When you name a trusted contact for your individual Vanguard accounts, you’re authorizing us to communicate with that individual if we become concerned you may no longer be able to manage your finances. It doesn’t give that person permission to transact on your accounts.

How do I choose a trusted contact?

Vanguard clients can log on to their individual accounts and name a trusted contact.

We recommend selecting someone you can depend on to provide an informed and objective assessment about your whereabouts, well-being, and health status. Also, consider naming someone who can’t transact on your accounts to help ensure objectivity.

You can also learn more about why it may be a good idea to name a trusted contact.


Note:

Trusted contacts aren’t applicable to 403(b) accounts, most 529 accounts, annuities, and institutional accounts.