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In the "State News" section of this month AARP Magazine I found a brief article that I wanted to pass on to the readers of this column. It is a very important warning about scammers in Washington State who are "capitalizing on a Veterans Affairs benefit that provides in-home assistance. Eligibility is based on income and service."
Apparently some unscrupulous "advisers" are convincing veterans to transfer assets from their bank accounts, or retirement investments, into an "irrevocable trust" in order to "appear impoverished" and qualify for that VA, in-home assistance benefit. One thing they do not do is tell the veterans that "such a move could tie up their assets for a decade or more before it starts to pay a monthly income, and that it could jeopardize the veteran's eligibility for Medicaid. For a person going into retirement, having needed assets tied up for this long is not good.
But here's the kicker. Those so-called "advisers" can walk away with a commission of "$75,000 for a $500,000 annuity.
I am following AARP's lead here and warning veterans who are drawing close to retirement, mostly Vietnam era veterans at this time, not to be taken in by such a "deal." The article says that 10% of the population of the state of Washington are veterans. This may also be happening in other states, so I'm passing this on here for veterans in those states too.
These unscrupulous advisers are counseling veterans to participate in a lie by shifting money into these irrevocable trusts in order "to appear impoverished." But worse, they are doing it only to make huge amounts of money for themselves, not to "help" veterans.
If you know veterans in Washington State, or any other state, please pass this article on to them. Twitter it. Send it out to your "facebook" friends. Do what you can to help inform veterans that this kind of scam is going on and it is nothing more than the art of the "rip-off."
Please continue your support for our efforts at theveteranssite.com to feed the homeless veterans as well. Thank you.