An Objective Partner
Mary was in her 80’s and had never married. She had been living in her home for 40 years. No longer able to manage her house, Mary decided that she needed to downsize. She had moved into a senior’s apartment but had yet to sell her home. The home needed a thorough cleaning, and the house was full of unsorted assets which required attention. Mary was neither physically or emotionally able to handle the task and sought help.
In our first meeting with Mary, we learned that she was an only child and had no relatives. None of her friends were physically able to help with her move as they were in their 80’s as well. However, she had designated two friends as Powers of Attorney and future estate trustees. Mary said she didn’t know where to begin after having lived in her home for so long and was grateful for our assistance.
From the beginning, Mary struggled to part with things from the house. She had trouble deciding what to take to her new apartment and often had to be reminded that she was now living in a much smaller space. She was also reluctant to throw away items with low or no monetary value, such as old magazines or clothes, so special consideration was required before donating or throwing anything away. Additionally, Mary having some difficulty with her memory and often forgot previous sorting sessions or decisions she had made.
The Gauthier Family
Dave Gauthier made plans to visit his mother in the summer. He was concerned about the fact that his widowed mother was showing early signs of Dementia. She had been faring well since her husband passed away 5 years ago, but friends of Gina’s had called Dave at his BC home to let him know about small things that had changed in her behavior. Gina had started to ask the same questions she had just obtained answers to, and became frustrated with once simple tasks. Dave decided to take his 3 week vacation to visit his mom, and assess the situation for himself.
When he arrived he found clear signs of the early stages of a progressive illness. Those signs were confirmed in a conversation with Gina’s doctor. More discussion with Dave’s sister Anne, who also lived away from the area, gave them the resolve to find Gina comfortable accommodation in a seniors home with support services for her condition. After a week of viewing the alternatives, they settled on a local home that suited Gina and her family advisors.
Bob, a Financial Planner, called in January to ask if we would be a good fit for one of his clients. He had been doing client maintenance, and while going through the “J”s he discovered that long time client, Mrs. Jones, had a problem. In her 80’s, she had been fighting with mild osteoporosis and her fear of falling brought her to the conclusion that she should move to a single level seniors home. This way she would have more support and fewer obstacles.
Mrs. Jones spoke to Bob about how much it would cost to stay at the home she and her daughter Ellen had picked out. She wanted to know if Bob could help. After meeting with Mrs. Jones and Ellen, Bob discovered that she had enough equity in her house to top up her current portfolio and provide ample cash flow for her projected needs. He also found out that Mrs. Jones didn’t know how to begin her move. Her own condition limited her ability to do physical tasks, and her only daughter who lived close by worked full time, kept her own house and was putting her son through college.