The Mid Canterbury Service Centre’s budgeting team in Ashburton, is seeing a steady rise in over-60’s clients.
“Life circumstance can change at any age,” says Mid Canterbury Regional Manager Jackie Girvan. “It’s easy to assume that elders who are struggling financially have simply made poor life choices. While this is the case sometimes, budgeting is only one part of being financially capable. For those facing hardship, there are often multiple and complex factors at play. Fortunately, these factors are something that Presbyterian Support is well placed to support.”
The House that Jack Reverse Mortgaged
When Jack’s wife went into a residential home, he was left with some debts run up by her when she was unwell. Jack, too, had a habit of putting things ‘on the tab’. The two had never run a household budget. Instead, when funds ran short later in life, they set up a reverse mortgage on their home. Now faced with selling his home, Jack will struggle to buy the smaller house he needs. He approached Presbyterian Support for help in learning to budget and is slowing changing his spending habits.
A Little Loose Change
Andrea and James are both on Super and have very little debt – mainly a small mortgage. Finances are tight and when James unexpectedly had to take over the couple’s financial management he was worried. Andrea had always taken care of things, so he came to Presbyterian Support for support with managing their money. When we first prepared a draft budget, James was surprised to see that instead of not having enough to meet their obligations, there was a small surplus.
In her early sixties, Carolyn has found herself suddenly alone and unemployed after an acrimonious marriage breakdown. Carolyn’s mental health has declined significantly and she is faced with surviving on a benefit until she reaches retirement age. She has come to Presbyterian Support for help in navigating the financial, as well as emotional, road ahead.
Creditors at the (Hospital) Door
Peter is 76 years old and fell behind in all of his payments when he was in hospital for several weeks recently. Presbyterian Support helped Peter to negotiate with his creditors and to organise his banking so that he had a separate bill-paying account. With a budget and automatic payments in place, Peter now feels much more in control of his finances and his future.
Presbyterian Support Mid Canterbury and Selwyn, provide free, confidential one-to-one financial mentoring as well as small-group peer-to-peer learning to anyone interested in improving their financial capabilities.