Life can throw some nasty curveballs when we least expect them. Bill and his wife Amy are professional lawyers in Toronto whose retirement savings were on track until two major events in a span of six months knocked their financial planning off kilter.
The couple, in their mid-50s, was leading a comfortable life when, unexpectedly, Bill’s father had a disabling stroke in June 2013. He’s still in hospital waiting for a long-term care space, but for now he’s moved in with Bill. Six months later, in December 2013, Bill’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. As a result, she too moved in with Bill and Amy since they live close to a major hospital where Bill’s mother is receiving treatment.
Although both parents are covered by OHIP, the ripple effects of both disability and cancer have had a substantial financial toll on Bill and Amy in terms of out-of-pocket expenses to fund certain drugs not covered by OHIP, homecare, personal assistance products, and diagnostic changes to their home to accommodate disability, among others. The costs are looming.
These expenses are in addition to their existing financial commitments such as saving for retirement and for their younger son’s post-secondary education. The couple is looking for financial planning strategies that will enable them to achieve their financial goals while managing the additional strain on their ability to save and invest. Will they be able to do that without being forced to delay retirement?