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BMO Financial Group

June 29, 2011 14:38 ET

Proud of Pride: BMO Offers Top Financial Tips and Considerations for LGBT Community

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 29, 2011) - The spotlight is on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community this month and Pride Week celebrations are underway across Toronto. BMO Financial Group today hosted a panel of experts who discussed some of the unique issues and financial challenges that the community faces as well as BMO's ongoing support for diversity both in and out of the workplace.

The panel featured Dr. Amy D'Aprix, BMO Life Transition Expert, Gavin Clark, Chair of BMO's LGBT Affinity Group, Navinder Matharu, Branch Manager at BMO's Church and Alexander Branch, and Nada Ristich, Director of Corporate Donations, BMO Financial Group. During the discussion, the panellists touched on a number of social, cultural and financial issues facing the LGBT community including:

o Estate planning
· Some members of the community are estranged from the rest of their family. Many do not have an extended family or children.
· As a result, there becomes an issue around estate planning - how do you figure out who you are going to leave money to? If you don't have family, do you leave your estate to an institution?
o Care giving
· Those who have a partner will likely rely on them for old-age care, the community faces the unique challenge of who is going to care for them as they age - as many do not have children and may be estranged from their extended family.
· The community needs to think of alternative options for receiving old-age care in retirement - money may need to be set aside for additional care, such as, for a nurse or a nursing home.
o Ensure a proper will is in place.
· Even if you have no spouse or dependants, you should have a will. Dying without a valid will means the court will decide on a personal representative for you and the provincial succession laws will dictate whom your estate goes to.
· Common-law partners should not assume they will be entitled to their partner's estate at the time of death because the rules differ by jurisdiction.
o Housing/Retirement Living
· Alternative options for things like retirement housing or care giving can be more expensive and can add as much as $50,000 in annual costs to retirement plans.
· Many people in the community face the challenge of finding a place to live in retirement that supports the fact they are gay and where they can live comfortably.
· It is important that they address this pre-retirement and ensure they have a big enough support network and have saved enough money to live somewhere they will feel comfortable

Affinity at Work

Ensuring a barrier-free environment where talent and performance are what defines success are at the core of BMO's ability to create value, deliver an exceptional customer experience and develop innovative solutions for the community.

BMO's LGBT Affinity Group, BMO Pride, is committed to a diverse workface and an inclusive and barrier-free workplace.

"During Pride Week, we have directed our efforts towards events like the Pride and Remembrance Run which raises money for fantastic organizations like the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Triangle Program. BMO employees also support the 519 Church Street Community Centre's fundraising efforts during Pride, both through sponsorship and volunteer hours," said Mr. Clark.

According to Statistics Canadai:

Half of all same-sex couples in Canada lived in the three largest census metropolitan areas:
o 21.2 per cent of all same-sex couples reside in Toronto
o 18.4 per cent of all same-sex couples reside in Montréal
o 10.3 per cent of all same-sex couples reside in Vancouver
Men vs. Women
o 53.7 per cent of same-sex married spouses are men.
o 46.3 per cent of same-sex married spouses are women.

i Based on a 2006 survey from Statistics Canada

Contact Information

  • For more information, or to arrange for an interview with
    any of today's panelists, please contact
    Martha McInnis
    416.867.4914
    martha.mcinnis@bmo.com