Key Takeaways:

  1. Discover the legal protections available for retirement income, how it is protected by federal and state laws, and how it is available for your needs.
  2. Learn invaluable strategies for managing debt and preventing debt collector harassment.
  3. Learning about their financial rights and protections can lead to significant peace of mind and a more secure retirement for seniors.

In today's world, nearly half of American seniors find themselves facing financial vulnerabilities, with the shadow of debt looming large over their retirement years. attorney Eric Olsen, founder of HELPS, a national nonprofit law firm specializing in financial relief for seniors, brings his 44 years of legal experience to the forefront in his upcoming GetSetUp Guest Speaking Class, Guest Speaker: Eric Olsen - Attorney Eric Olsen’s Guide for Seniors Facing Financial Difficulties.” Eric's journey from a broad legal practice to focusing on bankruptcy and financial relief for seniors underscores his deep understanding of seniors' financial challenges. 

"In 1986, I realized that a lot of people needed help with bankruptcy, and I wasn’t impressed with the attorneys doing it," Eric recalls, highlighting his motivation to specialize in providing much-needed guidance and support for persons with debt. Eric started what became a large consumer bankruptcy firm.

In his practice Eric met with many seniors facing financial hardship. 

“Because federal and state laws protect their social security, pensions, and disability, many seniors didn’t need or could afford to file bankruptcy.  But if debt isn’t paid, collectors can call, send demand letters, and make life miserable.  For those harassed by collectors, the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act was passed in 1978. It provided that if a debt collector was sent what is called a cease and desist letter, debt collectors could no longer call or send demand letters. It also provided that collectors could not communicate with persons represented by an attorney.”

In 2015, Eric retired and founded a nationwide nonprofit law firm called HELPS, which stands for Help Eliminate Legal Problems for Seniors. HELPS's mission is to protect seniors who have debt they can't afford to pay from debt collector harassment and educate seniors on how to maintain their financial independence.  

“Starting HELPS was the best decision I ever made. There are so many seniors who need our help.” 

Legal Protections and Strategies for Seniors

Eric's class aims to demystify the financial protections that shield seniors from the stress of unmanageable debt. 

"Half of seniors are economically vulnerable, and almost no one tells them that their income and assets are protected," Eric notes, emphasizing the lack of widespread knowledge on this critical issue. 

His insights into safeguarding retirement income, from Social Security to pensions and IRAs, and how these assets are legally protected from garnishment offer a beacon of hope to older adults worried about making ends meet. During his Guest Speaking session, Eric plans to share how to stop collector harassment and the realities of debt-related lawsuits, offering practical advice grounded in federal law. 

“We will discuss how seniors' bank accounts are protected from garnishment, what to do with a car or RV you can’t afford, why you don’t need to go to court if you are sued, and why many lower-income seniors don’t need to worry about past tax debt.”

Eric’s Journey and Vision

Now 73, when not working helping seniors, he spends time on his farm with a border collie, grandkids, and a myriad of outdoor activities that keep him grounded and healthy. 

"Learning keeps you young and your mind sharp," Eric states, advocating for the continuous pursuit of knowledge to enhance one's quality of life. His commitment to educating seniors extends beyond the legal realm, touching on life lessons and the importance of understanding one's rights to maintain financial independence. 

"Things will work out when you have knowledge about these things, your income is safe, you don’t have to worry" Eric assures, reinforcing the power of education and awareness in overcoming financial hurdles.

Why Attend Eric’s Presentation?

Eric Olsen's session is not a legal seminar; it's a lifeline for seniors navigating the complexities of debt and financial insecurity. His dual focus on legal protections and the importance of staying financially knowledgeable offers a holistic financial approach to senior well-being. He plans to share the specifics on why seniors shouldn’t worry about old debt, how their retirement income is protected, how to prevent harassment from debt collectors, and why seniors don’t need to worry about lawsuits and their basic income being taken by collectors. 

His message is clear: understanding your financial rights is the key to a worry-free retirement.

Eric Olsen's "Guest Speaker: Attorney Eric Olsen’s Guide for Seniors Facing Financial Difficulties " class promises to be an enlightening and empowering experience for seniors, especially modest and low-income seniors. By shedding light on the protections available to them and offering strategies for financial independence, Eric aims to change the narrative around senior financial vulnerability, ensuring that retirement years are marked by freedom, not fear.

Mar 19, 2024
Financial Planning

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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