New initiative aims to promote seniors' financial health

New initiative aims to promote seniors

The Canadian Securities Institute (CSI), leading provider of financial services education and credentials in Canada, has launched a new project to help advisors address the challenges encountered by seniors and their families.

“Seniors form an increasingly large and important group of clients for financial advisors in Canada, possessing diverse and distinctive priorities,” said CSI Managing Director Marie Muldowney. “All investors face money management challenges, but seniors may also be challenged with complicated family situations, elder abuse, and cognitive decline.”

Through its new Financial Health for Seniors project, CSI will provide free resources to its designation holders as they support senior clients who face difficulties in managing their savings and wealth.

To illustrate the urgency of the problem, CSI cited estimates from the Canadian Institute for Health Information estimating a 68% surge in Canada’s population of seniors aged 65 and older in the next 20 years. Another forecast from the Government of Canada forecasts that seniors could make up as much as 23% of the country’s total population.

CSI also surveyed a representative sample of its 9,000 designation holders, many of whom said that it’s hard for them to recognize and properly handle the unique challenges facing senior clients trying to build and protect their wealth.

Aside from a dedicated website with resources tailored for seniors and their families, the Financial Health for Seniors initiative will open a series of webinars covering issues facing advisors as they work with seniors in their client practice. Upcoming webinar topics shown on the site include The Changing Face of Retirement Advice, Starting the Conversation, and Understanding the Complexities of Elder Abuse.

An advisory council and a content committee, composed of CSI designation holders who advise seniors daily, have been organized to oversee the project. Several members of the groups also work with non-profit organizations that serve seniors.

“As a director of the board for Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario and financial planner, I am well aware of the challenges faced by financial services professionals in providing guidance to Canadian seniors and their families,” said Tiffany Harding, vice president for Wealth Planning at Gluskin Sheff and member of the CSI Financial Health for Seniors Advisory Council. “CSI is well positioned to reach the broadest network of advisors and provide them with relevant resources.”

“I am very pleased to participate on the Advisory Council and to be able to bring more than 20 years of financial services experience with senior clients to CSI’s Financial Health for Seniors project,” said Daniel Plouffe, Director Wealth Solutions, Sun Life. “It is essential that financial advisors understand the mindset of their clients, who need to make important decisions on their hard-earned savings.”

The project is also an important pillar of CSI’s commitment to promoting fairness and responsibility within Canada’s financial community, the institute said.

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