Introduction to Money In Motion
One of the biggest trends in the financial world today is the transfer or sudden wealth within families or as I like to describe the situations, Money in Motion. Money in Motion is occurring more often in our Wealth Management practice as a result of a number of circumstances, with many related to the ageing of our client base. Some of the Money in Motion events we see from existing and new clients to our office include the sale of a principal residence, vacation or rental property, transition to assisted living or complex care, death of a spouse, inheritance of financial assets or the sale of a family business. These large financial transactions often come with a variety of new investment, tax, legal and emotional aspects that families have not dealt with previously while saving and investing for their financial security in retirement. Based on my years of experience in dealing with clients, there is a large practical and psychological difference when dealing with larger investment decisions. Our Money in Motion Blog Series will highlight real life scenarios a family may face as well provide some of the real solutions we have provided in helping clients solve the issues that are keeping them up at night.
Transition to Assisted Living
The first situation we are helping clients navigate is the transition to independent, assisted living and complex care. This is happening as a result of ageing becoming a larger issue for developed countries, like Canada, and the changing demographic profile of the country. The Post War Baby Boom, increases in life expectancy and advancements in health care have the population of Canadian Seniors living longer than ever before. In fact over the next 20 years beginning in 2017 the population of people aged 65 and over is expected to grow by 68% and the people aged 75+ will double by 2037 (source: 2017 Canadian Institute for Health Information).
We see this manifesting itself regularly in our Wealth Management Practice. The whole process can often be complex as it involves deteriorating health of one or both ageing clients, financial considerations, a need for more information on the process and family dynamics. Often this decision happens in a persons’ 70’s and 80’s, but in an ideal situation this journey for ageing clients begins early, well before a significant health issue becomes the catalyst for a change. By this I simply mean that an individual or couple should begin to talk about what their desired health care and living situation would be in the event their health declines. Engaging their spouse, their family, discussing their preferences for care and making plans in advance of the actual decision can reduce anxiety and bring Peace of Mind. Outside of when, where an ageing client or couple might make the transition to a care facility, the question of how do we fund our care is asked of us by our clients. Many times, clients are in a position to age in their existing home and use the public health care supports or their own financial resources to safely and comfortable continue to live in their home. What this means is they and their family may need to schedule care aide supports, home cleaning meals and household maintenance.
In BC an individual or couple who decide ageing in a facility is a better option has the option of choosing the Public care system or the Private System. Both options have their positives and negatives which may include location, availability and cost. Navigating the public system often requires some additional steps including working with health care professionals from the local Health Authority for assessment before placement. Given the limited resources the BC Health Care system is currently facing coupled with the ever-growing demand we have highlighted, the process can involve more steps and take a great deal more time than Private options. The private facilities by virtue of the way they are organized and operate may be a simpler and quicker option. That being said, unlike the subsidized, public options, these private facilities may pose affordability barriers.
Very often I find people that we speak with believe that safe, high-quality care in a private facility is beyond their financial means. Our work with clients many times entails taking a look at their financial situation to determine which of the two options is the most practical and viable. As stated earlier, the key to these discussions for us and our clients is to have a thorough examination of the issues, their needs, their support system and their financial situation which ultimately allows them to make a good decision on their future. In the next posting I will focus more on the financial considerations, strategies and a case study that shows how we help our clients navigate an important and inevitable stage in their wealth management journey.
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