May 09 , 2024  /   Consumer Insights

Options and Opportunities: Pattie Lovett-Reid’s Perspective on Financial Conversations for Couples

As advisors, it’s crucial to recognize that navigating finances as a couple can be sensitive. Money discussions often evoke feelings of comparison and envy, leading many to avoid the topic altogether. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s important to inform clients that they can’t fall in love with money and expect it to love them back. It won’t. Yet, couples still face challenges often rooted in differing money values inherited from their upbringing.

In my household, we are very transparent with our children about our financial situation, the decisions we will be making today and, in the future, what they can count on and where they must fend for themselves. We strike a balance between compassion and empathy. Ultimately, our decision as a couple is to move forward with decisions that matter most to us.

As an advisor, you should encourage couples to have these types of money conversations at critical junctures in their life. They may occur when the couple moves in together, decides to have a family, makes career choices, debates spending versus saving, and even discusses where and how they enjoy their retirement. The point is that regular “money meetings” are essential for couples to prepare for any significant expenditures and life decisions they may have. It is not a one-and-done conversation. Life is full of changes, and Plan A can quickly turn to Plan B, and your clients must pivot accordingly.

I was intrigued by a couple I met at a recent HomeEquity Bank reception. They told me that despite little money early on in life, they didn’t focus on scarcity. Instead, they focused on abundance and celebrated the little milestones, not wanting to miss out on life and waiting for the significant events. I found this perspective so profound.

I decided to probe further to determine how they had reached this point. It all came down to one word: options.

This couple reached out for help, asked many questions, and listened objectively. They trusted their advisor and were realistic in their expectations. It was a true partnership that has helped them get to where they are financially today.

Money isn’t meant to be loved. It is intended to be spent, shared, and used to help the less fortunate.

Back to the word “options”. That evening, it was reinforced why I joined HomeEquity Bank: people want to have options they can explore to fund the lifestyle they want to enjoy. All they need to do is have the conversation and permit themselves to look at all the options openly and transparently as a couple.

That evening, many clients spoke up and shared their financial decisions, challenges, and the options they chose that were right for them. There was no shame, embarrassment, or hesitation—just a frank, fact-finding, open dialogue.

Recognizing our progress in destigmatizing money conversations is important but remember that it’s ongoing. Encourage clients to keep the dialogue going and remain open to exploring all available options together.

Pattie Lovett-Reid
Chief Financial Commentator
HomeEquity Bank

  • Posted by Ajoshi
  • On May 09 , 2024
  • 0 Comments
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November 09 , 2023   /   Consumer Insights

10 Telltale Signs of a Potential CHIP Reverse Mortgage Client

Do you have clients aged 55 and above who need help to qualify for conventional lending products? It’s a common scenario, and it can be challenging to find the right financial solution for these individuals. However, there is a valuable alternative that can address the unique needs of this demographic: the CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank is a secure financial solution that enables Canadian homeowners 55+ to access up to 55% of the equity in their home in tax-free cash, without the need to move or sell, and the best part is, they don’t need to make any monthly mortgage payments until they no longer live in the home. To identify prospective clients who may benefit from the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, it's essential to be aware of specific indicators that suggest their suitability for this particular financial solution. Here are ten signs that point to a potential CHIP Reverse Mortgage client. Payment Struggles: The client is making late payments, skipping payments, overdrafts, and complaining about costs/expenses. Declined Applications: The client is declined for conventional lending products due to a low credit score, insufficient income or back taxes owing. Family Assistance: The client's children want to assist their parents to help them maintain their independence financially. Sale of Investments: The client is selling off their registered or non-registered investments. Inheritance: The client is helping a loved one with an early inheritance to help with a downpayment, education, divorce, etc. Death of a Spouse: The client is dealing with the death of a spouse and is struggling with a reduced income and needs to requalify for revolving credit. Grey Divorce: The client is dealing with a divorce and is looking to buy out the marital home from the other spouse. Real Estate Investment: The client wants to invest in real estate or needs a bridge financing solution. Homecare for One Spouse: The client is in need of homecare or assisted living for either themself or their spouse. Financial Strain: The client has a financial plan shortfall and needs to increase their monthly cash flow. Recognizing these signs allow you to proactively engage with your clients in conversations about the potential benefits of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how the CHIP Reverse Mortgage can assist your clients, please don't hesitate to contact your Business Development Manager. Your client's financial well-being is our top priority, and we're here to support you in achieving that goal.
June 15 , 2023   /   Consumer Insights

How to Recognize the Five Most Common Forms of Elder Abuse

Over three days in December, the HomeEquity Bank Customer Experience team hosted Laura Proctor, a Prevention Consultant from Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario, to teach them more about elder abuse. Laura shared statistics about the prevalence of elder abuse in Canada, explained the different forms of elder abuse, and discussed the impact of elder abuse on older adults and how to recognize it to prevent and stop it. Because of the importance of the topic, we wanted to share what the team learned so you, too, can recognize the signs of elder abuse. Over the next 20 years, Canada’s 65+ population is expected to grow by 68%. With an aging population, it’s crucial for Canadian businesses to recognize this growing demographic and understand the issues they face, such as ageism and elder abuse. Ageism refers to the stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination towards others or oneself based on age. Ageist attitudes can lead to poorer medical and mental health outcomes, employment discrimination, significant monetary loss, increased social isolation and loneliness, environmental stressors, and even elder abuse. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines elder abuse as “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm and or distress to an older person”. A 2015 study by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) showed that 8.2% of older adults in Canada experienced some form of elderly abuse. Among older adults, there are five common forms of abuse: Emotional/Psychological Abuse: Psychological abuse is the most common form of abuse among older adults. It consists of any verbal or nonverbal activity that results in the degradation of an individual’s identity, dignity, and self-worth. Individuals who experience psychological abuse typically tend to show signs of increased fear or anxiety. They begin isolating themselves from friends or family, display unusual behavior, and become disinterested in everyday activities. Financial Abuse: Financial abuse is described as any improper conduct, done with or without the informed consent of an individual, that results in monetary or personal gain to the abuser and monetary or personal loss for the individual. Older adults experiencing financial abuse may showcase changes in their appearance, health status, or personal habits. Other indicators include unexplained changes in wills or title documents, increased telephone solicitations for funds, missing personal property, funds wired out of the country for mysterious reasons, missing or redirected mail, and names added to their bank accounts. Physical Abuse: The third most common form of abuse among older adults is physical abuse. It is defined as any act of violence or rough handling that may or may not result in bodily injury but causes physical discomfort or pain. Older adults experiencing physical abuse may display signs of dehydration or severe weight loss. They may be getting over- or under-medicated and display injuries such as bruises, cuts, or sores that they cannot explain. Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual conduct of any kind with an older person or sexual contact with anyone who is incapable of giving consent. This includes joking of a sexual nature, sending or receiving sexually explicit photos, and inappropriate touching, to name a few. Among older adults, sexual abuse is a form of abuse that is not talked about enough. Neglect: Neglect is the failure to provide care and assistance required for health, safety, or well-being and includes inaction or a pattern of inaction that jeopardizes the health or safety of an older adult. An individual can neglect an older adult by not providing them with food or water, not providing proper clothing or hygiene, or leaving them in an unsafe environment. They may even deny an older adult access to necessary services such as home care, nursing, or medical attention. With Canada’s 65+ population expected to grow by 68% in the next 20 years, it has become more important for Canadians to recognize signs of elder abuse and ageism and take action. To learn what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors, visit canada.ca/seniors. To report elder abuse, contact your local authorities or seniors’ safety line.
February 13 , 2023   /   Consumer Insights

How to Determine if the CHIP Reverse Mortgage is Right for your Client

Each of your 55 or better clients has different financial needs and goals. Some may be motivated to give a loved one a gift of a lifetime by helping with a down payment on their first home. Other clients may want to pursue their passions and interests or travel while maintaining their desired lifestyles in retirement. Others may still be interested in investing in their home by making repairs, refreshing their décor, or renovating with the goal of aging in place. By listening carefully to what your client is telling you – directly and indirectly – you can better identify their needs and provide them with the best advice for their situation. While various scenarios warrant a discussion about a reverse mortgage, HomeEquity Bank has found that individuals who use the CHIP Reverse Mortgage typically fall within four groups based on their financial needs: To alleviate the stress of debt. This client may need help paying credit card bills or making mortgage payments. Additionally, they may be putting their children’s needs above their own and helping with the down payment on a home. They do not want to dip into their savings or investment portfolio. Pay for unplanned expenses. This client may have encountered an unexpected home repair, such as fixing a leaky roof, needing to retrofit their home for mobility reasons or hiring in-home healthcare assistance. Want to live life to the fullest. This client is aged 55+, and like many retired Canadians, they finally have the time to pursue the things they always wanted to do – however, they do not have the funds to support these activities. This client may wish to purchase a vacation property or visit more family and friends out of town. Maintain standard of living. This client needs help adjusting their lifestyle after retirement. They may be experiencing a shortfall in their retirement funds as they try to maintain their accustomed lifestyle. If your clients relate to any of the above scenarios, recognize those challenges and offer a solution that allows your clients to move forward confidently using the CHIP Reverse Mortgage. To learn more about how the CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank can help, find a BDM near you.