‘Out of the box’ financial advice — one of the many topics at this year’s 50+ Wellness Day

by Tim Cassell 
Eastern Ontario Financial Services

Even though, all our cases are custom tailored, some stand out for their unique situations. It’s like it was yesterday. A frantic call came to me from the daughter of an elderly local lady. Her voice was shaking, and I had a hard time understanding her. She said a local real estate agent had recommended me to help her. She proceeded to tell me about her mother’s dilemma.

Her mom was living alone and had recently fallen and injured herself. She had been hospitalized and was to be released soon. She would need to go to a retirement home for rehabilitation and, most likely, permanently. The issue was financial. Her mom was on a small pension and could not afford to pay for the retirement home fee without some funds from the sale of her house. They needed to obtain the best amount possible from the house sale so her mom could stay at the retirement home as long as possible. I told her I could help, and we set a time to meet at her home in Ottawa. I could hear the frustration and anxiety leave her voice, as she thanked me several times.

I contacted my associate, Alex, to assist with the meeting. Alex is also a financial advisor and mortgage broker. When we arrived, she and her sister were both present, as they share the Power of Attorney position. In addition, we like to talk with everyone involved in the decision-making process. We confirmed via documents that they had authority to speak with us on behalf of their mother. And, so, we started our meeting.

After confirming the prior conversation, to ensure all the facts, we recommended they arrange a reverse mortgage until the mother’s home was sold. This was at a figure they were happy with and not at a fire sale price. This would give them access to some funds immediately to pay for the retirement home. The sisters were happy with our suggestions and the relief on their faces was very rewarding for us.

Once the house was sold, we were able to invest the funds into investments with guarantees, both death benefit and maturity guarantees. Unfortunately as with many seniors who suffer a major injury, their mother passed away not long after moving into the retirement home. Soon after their mother’s passing, within days, the two received cheques from the investments, without fees from probate, lawyers’ fees, bank fees or estate fees.

This case saw us helping clients in a time of desperation, but it could have been avoided had the clients arranged a meeting with us earlier for preplanning. Our consultations are free, with no obligations. We always leave the client time to think about working with us, as well as time to talk with family, as this is one of the most important decisions of their lives. We encounter many different situations, from many different clients and always listen to their wants and needs and custom tailor each solution.

To learn more about the many services available for those living in Dundas County, visit the 50+ Wellness Day event set for Thursday, October 3 at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners. In addition to booths filled with relevant agency representatives, there will be several presentations, as well as a free lunch. For more information about this event, please contact taryn.hoogeveen@wnphc.ca or crooney@carefor.ca.

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