CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — October 2, 2014

Symposium to Explore Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease
and Dementia on Financial Planning

Transamerica and MIT AgeLab introduce a framework to guide discussions between
financial planners and their clients dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Transamerica and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab today highlighted the significant issues facing individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia during a day-long symposium in Cambridge, Mass. The symposium, titled “Financial Planning in the Shadow of Dementia,” brought together academic experts, caregivers, physicians, Alzheimer’s Association representatives, Transamerica management and financial professionals to discuss family dynamics, as well as the physical, personal and financial impacts of Alzheimer’s on the afflicted and their families.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. Unless a medical breakthrough is discovered, that number is expected to soar to more than seven million by 2025, and may reach as high as 16 million by mid-century.

"Transamerica is committed to helping financial advisors better serve and communicate with their customers at every stage of their lives," said Dave Paulsen, president, Transamerica Distributors. "One of the ways we are supporting advisors is by helping them address the distinct challenges faced by clients and families who are coping with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia."

In partnership with Transamerica and released at today’s symposium, researchers at MIT AgeLab developed a five-element framework to guide financial advisors in their discussions with caregivers and clients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease:

  1. Understand the client’s complete assets, especially real estate.
  2. Identify all income sources and insurance benefits to understand if they fit the client’s current and future needs.
  3. Focus on intentions: Help clients articulate their plans and wishes so that advisors can design an effective plan to meet clients’ needs and goals.
  4. Examine the client’s options for managing day-to-day financial affairs, including banking.
  5. Discuss the client’s and family’s preferences for care management and how to pay for it.

"Declining financial skills may be among the first symptoms to appear in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, the disease may leave individuals and families vulnerable to impaired decision-making and possible fraud," said Joseph Coughlin, Ph.D., AgeLab director. "That is why the AgeLab is pleased to be collaborating with Transamerica to advance the science and practice of financial planning behavior, engagement and decision- making. We expect our research to improve the financial well-being of families and inform the advisor-client relationship to ensure a secure retirement for both those suffering from Alzheimer’s and those who care for them."

"Research shows that the average advisor serves seven clients living with Alzheimer’s disease," said Paulsen. "This disease will transform the way our industry plans for retirement, and Transamerica is honored to hold a forum for this important discussion."

To learn more about the symposium, please visit


About Transamerica
With a history that dates back over 100 years, the Transamerica companies are recognized as leading providers of life insurance, savings and retirement and investment solutions, serving millions of customers throughout the United States and Canada.

Transamerica works to Transform Tomorrow® for those who entrust its dedicated professionals with their financial needs, helping them take the necessary steps to achieve their long-term goals and aspirations. Transamerica’s 10,000 employees serve nearly every customer segment, providing a broad range of quality life insurance and savings products, individual and group pension plans, as well as asset management services. In 2013, Transamerica fulfilled its promises to customers, paying over $6.5 billion in benefit claims, including return of premiums paid.

Transamerica’s corporate headquarters are based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Baltimore, Maryland. Transamerica is a member of the Aegon group of companies. Aegon is one of the world’s largest life insurance, pension and asset management groups, operating in over 25 markets worldwide with some 26,000 employees. For the full year 2013, Aegon managed €475 billion in revenue generating investments.

About MIT AgeLab
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab ( is a multidisciplinary program sponsored by businesses, governments, and NGOs worldwide to develop insights and innovations that translate longevity into the opportunity to live longer better. Conducting research in transportation, finance, health and well-being, and housing, the AgeLab creatively integrates studies in human behavior, technology, business, and public policy to invent life tomorrow.

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