Resident runs financial seminars for staff
When concerning matters of budgeting or investments, Meadow Park Chatham has a resident expert, literally.
Bill Martin, 87, who lives at the long-term care home, has 50 years of business experience.
He gave up his last client four years ago.
Working as the branch manager for the local Canada Trust in Chatham for 13 years, Martin has also run his own businesses and served on both the board and as manager of the local chamber of commerce.
A few months ago Martin approached Meadow Park Chatham's administrator and education co-ordinator about providing in-services for staff on financial planning.
“Some of the girls here started asking me questions,” says Martin about why he proposed the seminars.
“I've got a wealth of various experience," he says. "I kept on my last client until age 83. From then on, I've been paying it forward.”
Martin led four sessions — budgeting and debt, investments, RESPs and asset allocation — at the long-term care home between January and March.
Lydia Swant, co-ordinator of volunteers and family services, says Meadow Park Chatham was delighted to have Martin run these sessions.
“Although the in-services were small, the staff who attended were very appreciative of the information Bill had to offer,” says Swant.
“Just the fact that he wanted to do this project was impressive. A few of our staff have even approached Bill on a one-to-one (basis) for financial advice.”
Martin says it was therapeutic for him to offer the session and intellectually-stimulating. Moving to the home 16 months ago with an inoperable tumour which is now in remission, he says, “I'm in pretty good shape really.”
The Second World War veteran who received the distinguished flying cross remains active by writing opinion pieces for area newspapers and remains involved in an investment club he started at a local seniors' centre. He began sharing his financial wisdom when he realized through his involvement with the seniors' centre that younger retirees “didn't know a thing about investments.” He said he would give the club a year and it's still going strong several years later.
At the long-term care home, where Martin resides with his wife of 63 years, he says his “door is open” if anyone wishes to approach him individually for financial advice.
“Our residents in long-term care have so much to offer us,” says Swant. “Their knowledge and wisdom are priceless.”
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