As we age, our priorities and needs change, and we deserve specialized care and attention that puts our best interests first. That's why it's crucial for seniors to work with business owners who understand our unique needs and can provide tailored services. In this blog, we'll explore why working with business owners specializing in senior needs can make all the difference.
Understanding the Complexities of Aging
Aging can bring complexities to our financial situation, such as healthcare costs, retirement planning, and estate planning. Business owners who specialize in senior needs are equipped to understand these complexities and help us make informed decisions about our financial future.
Tailored Services to Meet Unique Needs
Business owners who specialize in senior needs provide tailored services like retirement planning, tax planning, long-term care planning, and estate planning. These services are designed to help us achieve our financial goals while protecting our assets and ensuring our best interests are always top of mind.
Advocacy and Protection
Seniors can be vulnerable to financial exploitation and fraud, which is why we need advocates who can protect our interests. Business owners specializing in senior needs act as our advocates, protecting us from scams, fraudulent schemes, and other financial exploitation. They also provide education and resources to help us avoid financial scams and make informed decisions.
Peace of Mind in Financial Planning
Working with a business owner specializing in senior needs provides us with peace of mind. We can trust that they understand our unique needs and are acting in our best interests, especially when it comes to estate planning and protecting our assets.
Community Involvement for Access to Resources
Business owners specializing in senior needs are often involved in their local communities and understand the challenges seniors face. This involvement helps us connect with resources and services that we may not have known existed, and it keeps business owners up-to-date on changes in legislation and policies that may affect our financial needs.
All of us at Seniors Professional Services are specialized in seniors services. Whether you need to downsize your home, move into a retirement facility, home care, dental work, insurance, or anything else. We have a specialist for you!
Visit THIS PAGE for a full list of services and specialists available.
If you're in need of a service that isn't mentioned in the list, please fill out this form and let us know what you're looking for. Or if you have a service to offer seniors and would like to join our team, you can contact us HERE.
In the past, health experts paid a lot of attention to heart health and its role in longer life. Aerobic fitness improves heart health, and that is still very important. But more and more research is telling us how important muscle strength is to healthy aging. We have known for a long time that stronger muscles help reduce falls and maintain physical function. Now, a research review shows that 30 to 60 minutes a week of muscle training has many other benefits. It reduces the risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes.
Why is strength training important as we age?
As we get older, there is a progressive decline in muscle mass. That leads to a loss of strength and function. The term for this is ‘sarcopenia’. Sarcopenia increases the risk of poor health outcomes, including falls, loss of independence, disability, and death from all causes.
What is the best way to increase muscle mass?
Researchers have been looking for the most effective ways to treat sarcopenia. They have found that there are two key factors:
• overall physical activity
• nutritional supplements (especially protein)
Researchers found that a well-rounded exercise program, including both strength and aerobic exercise, was the most effective intervention to treat loss of muscle mass.
Some general guidance on strength training
Develop a muscle training routine you can do two or three times a week. Exercise all the major muscle groups in both the upper and lower body. Building muscle requires a little effort. Pick a weight that you can lift, pull, or push. Do the exercise 8 to 10 times in a row. This is called repetitions. Start with doing the repetitions for each exercise (a set) once or twice. Wait a few minutes between each set of repetitions. When it starts getting easier, try more repetitions, more sets, or a heavier weight.
I have never done strength training. Where do I get help?
Join a class at your local community centre or gym or find a personal trainer who has expertise working with older adults. This is a great investment for strong muscles and good health!
This article was submitted by Ken Kuhn, Regional Mentor of the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BCCRNs).
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This article is written by SPS Member Rebecca Awram, a mortgage advisor for Canadian Mortgage Experts, sharing her opinion from a mortgage perspective.
So many questions coming in from my clients on this topic. Everyone's looking for a simple answer, but it's a complicated question that requires a detailed response. I understand you're all looking for reassurance, but to truly receive comfort, you need to understand what's going on. So brace yourself, there's a lot to unpack here. Read it twice :)
Prime rate is increasing, currently sitting at 3.70%. Pre-covid in late 2019 it was at 3.95%. So nothing too crazy yet. What is crazy, is our rate of inflation. We haven't seen inflation like this since the 70s and 80s, and the concern of many of my clients is that like the 80s, this inflation will lead to a housing crash. The Canadian government was probably a bit too slow in reacting, and now is faced with the difficult task of slowing it down, even if it means putting us in a recession to do so. They have been criticized for not reacting fast enough, created a credibility issue, and hence will probably over react in the short term. Our government, unlike the governments of the 70s, are inflation fighters. They will ultimately do whatever it takes to get us back to target-inflation, with the mindset that the cure is not as bad as the disease. The economy needs to be slowed-down. But killing inflation also kills the economy
What is Causing Inflation? Are We Back To The 70s?
The 70s saw soviet tanks, war, energy shocks, opec pricing power and a massive spending frenzy of a rising middle class. An era of unprecedented technological growth and people that wanted vehicles, appliances and homes to put them in. Nobody was saving, everybody was spending and interest rates went through the roof.
Some of these items should sound familiar. But there are some stark differences. Our spending frenzy is winding down, as people stop buying the goods they wanted in boredom during covid (entertainment, projects, renovations, new hobbies, etc). Our employment rate is very high. We haven't stopped saving either, Canadians currently have $300B more in their bank accounts than we did pre-covid. Prices are continuing to rise, but it's not necessarily because of demand, it's because of constrained SUPPLY. There is an energy crisis evolving, a shortage of access to fuel, as countries around the world pull away from Russian oil. The war itself is pushing upwards on commodity prices. China has pretty much been closed for business all year, with a strict no-covid lockdown policy so their cheap goods and anything that needs a chip aren't making it to global markets. Supply chains around the world have been disrupted and are just starting to amend. All of these things lead to higher prices. Also people and businesses, sensing scarcity, compete to purchase more and hence drive up pricing even further. The system feeds on itself.
Will Increasing Rates Stop Inflation?
Probably not. Because low rates (demand) aren't what's driving it up. It's a supply-side driven inflation. But rising rates and a frightened populace that stops buying and spending, could afford us the time we need for some (not all) of these things to sort themselves out by winter 2022/23.
1. ENERGY SHOCK - always brings inflation. However, this time around, our dependency on oil is lower than it was during the 70s. Because of climate change, but also because of efficiency and usage. We are close to peak inflation, in relation to energy.
2. SUPPLY CHAIN - that's about 60% of inflationary pressures right now. The year 2021 had four years of average-consumption-of-goods crammed into one year. Demand shock with diminished supply. All related to covid, which about a year from now, should be irrelevant. Taking interest rates to the sky won't solve supply chain disruptions.
3. RENT - will continue to rise. It didn't go up as quickly as house prices during the pandemic, but during covid homebuyers got the benefit of a recession without the downside, renters did not. This has never happened before. Rent will continue to rise because of huge demand and lack of supply.
4. LABOUR MARKET - we simply cannot get enough people; wages are rising in low paid occupations, especially among job switchers. New immigrants traditionally took up a lot of the low paying jobs, but we now have highly skilled and more educated immigrants, so there's been a significant change in the structure. Young adults also traditionally fill a lot of low wage / labour positions, but during covid remote-work created more options and a huge chunk have moved to higher paying occupations.
Will Our Housing Market Crash?
The housing market is slowing. THIS IS A GOOD THING. It is a welcome adjustment, we shot way too high in late 2021 and early 2022 and a course correction is needed. Everyone benefits in a balanced market, instead of just one side over another. And it will continue to soften during 2022 because the government is raising rates and frantically trying to slow us all down, so that some of the things that are REALLY causing inflation (mentioned above) have time to correct. The long term trajectory for our market is still high, because the fundamentals remain the same. Immigrants, and demand, are ever-present. Supply is not. Cost of construction is rising (because of inflation on hard costs, but more importantly also the cost of labour) and developers are seeing their margins shrink. Many lower mainland projects are getting shelved right now, as developers want more certainty in expense and would rather start these projects when the inflationary pressures have subsided and costs are more predictable. So when we do wake back up and demand returns, supply will be even lower. Study after study says we have an existing supply problem against a backdrop of an increasing population.
Defaults, foreclosures and a housing crash? People rarely lose their homes because of rising rates, they lose their homes because of death, divorce and job loss. The metric you want to watch, if you're concerned about a housing crash, is unemployment. And that is at an all time low. Not a recent low, an ALL TIME RECORD low.
Additionally, people aren't as over-extended as the media would have you believe from their click-bait headlines. All those low rate mortgages taken out during covid had to qualify at 5.25%. And average mortgage sizes did not increase at the same increment as housing prices. What increased at the same pace was down payments. First time buyers were largely sidelined, but existing homebuyers moved up and moved out to secondary properties, with big fat down payments from their sale or refinance.
When Will Rates Stop Going UP?
It is much easier to predict long term outcomes than short term ones. 2022 is definitely a transition year, as we move from a pandemic to an endemic. Things will evolve. The effectiveness of monetary policy remains to be seen, but eventually the war will end, supply chains will improve, fuel costs will lower and china will open back up for business. These things do not have an end-date that we can mark on the calendar quite yet, but they will happen. And when they do, our rates will be too high to stimulate economic growth and will come back down. They won't come down to the artificially extreme low rates that we've had during covid, but I predict they will overshoot in the short term and then come down in 2023 to something that balances inflation with economic growth. It's a cycle that will play-out quite predictably, but when you're in it, it's hard to step back and see it from a distance.
Relax, turn off the news, put your phone down and go for a walk. It's all going to be okay.
On behalf of all of us at the Alzheimer Society of B.C., we hope that all is well and you’re enjoying your spring. A huge thank you to all of you who participated in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's on Sunday! You’re all making a real difference in the lives of people affected by dementia.
Open House at Harmony Court
If you’re a senior and considering purchasing a new home or refinancing the one you have, the prospect of such an investment might feel overwhelming. However, at Seniors’ Lending Centre, we know the ins and outs of this process, and it’s actually not a difficult one to complete! There are a few requirements and even opportunities to consider, but our dedicated team is happy to help you make a sound decision.
Today, using our knowledge of mortgages for seniors in Canada, let’s walk you through how to buy a home or refinance in retirement.
If you wish to obtain approval for a traditional mortgage through the bank, you can do so. However, going this route means you need to follow the same lending guidelines as with younger, employed individuals, so it may sometimes be more difficult to get a decent pre- amount – usually if your income is insufficient. Despite this, if your pension can cover the costs, you likely won’t be turned down, especially if you have enough savings put aside for a large down-payment. There is no age limit associated with a mortgage pre-approval, and it is illegal for any bank to discriminate against senior borrowers.
Canadian Home Buyers’ Plan (Withdrawing from RRSPs)
Many mortgages for seniors in Canada are approved using funds the borrower withdraws from the RRSPs they have contributed over time – up to $35,000 and completely tax-free. This is a great way to increase your down-payment and drive down the total interest, but you need to repay all the RRSP funds you withdraw before reaching age 71. This is known as the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). Learn more about it and how to withdraw these funds.
Refinancing (Borrowing from Home Equity)
Interested in making the most of your retirement? Those dream trips, classic cars and new adventures are calling, and refinancing your home creates some cash flow to make these opportunities happen. As stated by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), you can borrow against your home equity if you’re over age 55 with no significant debt. You don’t need to sell your property or move to a lower-cost home in order to obtain it. Refinancing in particular is an easy option, allowing you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s total value. Those funds are then made available to you, ideal for enjoying your golden years to the fullest, with manageable monthly installments between 25 and 30 years. Learn more about home equity loans in Canada.
CHIP Reverse Mortgages
An alternative to refinancing is applying through the Canadian Home Income Plan, otherwise known as CHIP. Available exclusively to seniors aged 55 or older, borrowers on this plan don’t have to undergo credit checks or meet minimum income requirements. Along with that, there are no monthly repayments to worry about – you can pay as little or as much as you can afford – so it’s one of the best options when looking at reverse mortgages for seniors in Canada! Note that the amount provided depends on the location of your property, its value and your approximate age, among other factors. See all the important details regarding CHIP, or download our free guide.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to refinancing and mortgages for seniors in Canada – our team can clarify all the important details and even present alternative options! To get started, reach out to us at Seniors’ Lending Centre today for a free, no-obligation quote.
Written by Rebecca Awram
Mortgage Broker at Seniors' Lending Centre
It’s hard to believe it, but spring is here! While we’re just starting to say goodbye to the frigid temperatures of winter, warmer weather will be here before you know it.
But before you pull out the grill and dust off your lawn chairs, take some time to make sure your garden is ready for the coming season. From weeding to pruning and even planting some hardy vegetables, here are a few things you can do to prepare your garden for spring and ensure it’s ready to grow your plants and produce this year.
Give Your Tools Some TLC: Make sure your tools are ready for the tough work ahead by cleaning and repairing any of your tools that need a little love. Sand off any rust using steel wool; use a sharpening stone to restore your pruning tools; take your gas-powered equipment in for a tune up; and wipe down your tools with penetrating oil to keep them in tip-top shape.
Divide Perennials: Right before new growth begins is an ideal time to dig and divide your perennial flowers that are overgrown. Dividing perennials is a budget-friendly way to fill your garden with more plants or share them with your friends to plant in their gardens. Replant the divided clumps immediately and water them well to encourage new growth.
Clean Up Your Flower Beds: Clear away dead leaves and any other debris left by the winter storms. You can also take this time to trim back your annuals, pull weeds, groom your trees, and clear away any winter protection—like raised bed covers—that you added last season.
Inspect Your Trees for Winter Damage: Those snowy winters can be hard on your trees. Take this opportunity, before the leaves grow back, to inspect your trees for damage. Prune off any broken, dead, or storm-damaged branches and trim back your fruit trees before new buds begin to bloom.
Add Fresh Mulch + Fertilizer: One of the easiest ways to make your yard look clean and polished is to add fresh mulch to your garden beds. This can also help the soil retain moisture and can help prevent weeds. While you’re at it, add some fresh fertilizer under the mulch to give your plants some much needed nutrients as the weather warms up.
Start Your Seeds Indoors: If you’re planning to add to your garden this year, now is the time to start your seeds! Although growing season is technically still a few months away, many seeds for annual flowers and edibles can be started indoors earlier in the spring.
Get Ready to Plant Cool-Season Vegetables: Hardy vegetables like artichokes, peas, potatoes, and some types of lettuce germinate best in cool soil—that means early spring is the perfect time to plant them! Once your soil has thawed, plant them in your garden beds to help set them up for harvest by early summer.
Harmony Court Estate in Burnaby offers two large garden courtyards and our Garden Club allows residents to get their hands dirty as they help to spruce up our common walking areas. Our magnolia and cherry blossom trees will be in pink bloom very soon and we encourage you to come by for a tour.
Many of our spacious apartment size suites have balconies overlooking either courtyard with an enhanced view of the mountains on the North side and beautiful sunset views from the South.
For your personalized tour, please call Joel at 604-527-3323 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a virtual tour visit: www.agecare.ca/tourharmony
Harmony Court Estate
7197 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5E 4A6
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