Markham, ON. May 6, 2012
Those who know me might recall my involvement in community work from time to time with different organizations, such as United Way of York Region, The Healing Cycle and Foresters, as well as various fund-raising ventures for Scouts Canada, Breast Cancer Society and local schools.
I try to give back to the community as much as I can, like hosting free workshops on entrepreneurship and the being a part of giving out a free wedding. As an individual, I reuse and recycle as much as I can and try to lower my energy consumption through ongoing projects such as planning towards the installation of solar panels on my rooftop.
I have been volunteering since the age of 12 and this was greatly influenced by my mother, who had been volunteering for most of her life. Years later, she still fulfills her volunteering passion as a committee member at CareFirst Seniors.
My mother’s involvement at CareFirst brought me closer to the services being offered to seniors. Then most recently, I came across this sponsorship opportunity for the Official Chapter Launch of CARP Scarborough.
Several friends of mine were interested to know how I came across this opportunity and wanted to know more about CARP:
I was introduced to CARP through one of my dear clients, Colin Ramdeen. Both himself and his father, Clive Ramdeen (a member of the Scarborough CARP Chapter) were involved in the Official Chapter Launch on May 31st, and Colin had told me about his involvement in the community work. I was not aware of CARP before this time, and here is what I learned:
“CARP is a national non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through the network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission”.
To me, I endeavour to bring social change to my community (as described above) as well as help bringing financial security to my clients as much as I can. In the last year, I was able to work with more elderly clients (most of them - parents of my clients) on their retirement withdrawal strategies as they approached their retirement; and tax savings strategies if they were already retired.
Seniors are smart people, as they have helped pave the way for the younger generations by building this wonderful world for us, so it saddens me to see that a lot of them share the same financial worries in regards to:
tight cash flow when they retire;
outliving their wealth as they withdraw their life savings, unsure of whether they can afford medical expenses as they age;
becoming a financial burden to their kids if they require long-term care.
Their concerns are understandable because if they have a high retirement income, not only do they get taxed in the highest income tax bracket, but they get all kinds of clawbacks on OAS and elimination on GIS. If they don't have enough income, they watch every penny and try to make sure they are self-sufficient because they see their children striving to make a living and support a family themselves.
The more I work with these seniors, the more I respect them (not that I didn't before), and I want to help ensure they are able to live the way they want and enjoy and maintain the level of lifestyle they had been working towards for their retirement years.
Being a sponsor of the CARP Launch event, gave me the opportunity to share with the seniors I met, the various types of services I can offer them as a financial advisor in the planning of their retirement.
To share with you, here is a video and some photos of the launch event. I would specifically like to thank my clients and peers, as well as Transamerica Life Canada, for their support and RBC Insurance for their help.