How Identity Theft Hurts Retirement

Identity theft is a life shattering crime that is quickly on the rise. It affects all manner of people at all stages in their life. It can be devastating to several aspects of a personal financial plan, including retirement planning and retirement.

When an identity thief steals your information they are attempting to use your name for their personal gain. One of the major pieces of your financial puzzle is your retirement planning. An identity thief can use your information to access your retirement plans and retirement savings.

Any finances that you have with a broker or invested in a bank Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or even tucked away in a CD can be subject to fraud. Identity theft could result in these instruments being cashed out without your knowledge. Since these are typically long term instruments they could be cashed and the money long gone before you ever even realize it,

Accessing your money is not the only way that identity theft can hurt you however. Frequently these thieves will take out loans and credit cards in the names of their victims. This could severely hurt your retirement by resulting in credit problems that will prevent you from doing the things you may wish to do, like buying a home or boat.

Additionally, creditors will come after you to repay the loans, they may demand money and/or assets and try to sue you to take possession of these. Your retirement will be seriously negatively impacted by these types of credit issues. In most cases of identity theft the issue is eventually cleared up and the matter resolved, but, especially in retirement, this is a long drawn out and stressful process that no one wants to go through.

Identity thieves can use your information for many purposes beyond financial as well. In some cases there thieves have used victim’s personal information to commit crimes. In retirement identity theft can even mean being arrested for a crime you did not commit.

Retirement is the time of life when you should be able to leave work behind and go after the better things in life. Being the victim of identity theft can hurt your retirement by draining your retirement savings, burdening you with illegitimate debt and collections, and even put you in trouble with the law. No matter where you are in your life, safeguard your retirement, and your future, by being aware of identity theft and how to deal with it.