Aging: A rarely discussed risk for retirees

Don’t tell Warren Buffett, but many scientists who specialize on the human brain believe that as we age, many of us will see a falloff in the ability to manage financial matters.

Dr. Joe Verghese, a neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and chief of geriatrics at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center in New York, notes that many cognitive functions or processes involved in financial decision making are located in the frontal cortex. This part of the brain is predominant through most of our adult years, so our investing expertise tends to improve at least into our mid-50s.

After that the brain’s limbic system, the seat of primal emotions like fear and greed, tends to gain sway.  These are just tendencies, and few investors of any age are immune to the fear-greed cycle.  Nevertheless, there are precautions we might consider as we age, such as:

Opting for simpler, more systematic investment strategies and consolidated accounts, if possible;

  • Auto-deposit of Social Security benefits and other distributions to a central account that another trusted individual can access and monitor;
  • Arranging for key payments (mortgage, utilities, taxes, long-term care insurance) to be maintained;
  • Introducing your financial and tax advisor to one or more trusted family members.


Over a lifetime of investing we face a wide range of risks.  Their timing may be hard to predict, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for their eventuality.  Finding a financial advisor who you can trust will to help avoid this risk.

Dean Eisenbraun is a Financial Advisor with Lion Financial Advisors. Dean specializes in PERS evaluation & counseling, asset management, retirement planning, retirement income strategies, and asset allocation. Schedule a personal meeting with Dean today to discuss your investment and retirement strategies at 503.505.6907 or at [email protected].

Not NCUA insured, not FDIC insured. No bank guarantee, may lose value.  Securities and advisory services offered by Dean Eisenbraun through KMS Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA / SIPC.

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