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Resilient finances start with flexibility

Challenging times highlight the value of Manulife One.

Even before COVID-19 arrived in Canada, many Canadians lived paycheque to paycheque.[1] Then the pandemic shut down businesses across several sectors, leaving many to face a sudden and significant drop in income. 

It’s not surprising that in Manulife’s 2020 fall debt survey[2] about one in three respondents said they were financially unprepared for the pandemic and more than seven in 10 said the pandemic had an impact on their debt. More than one in three acknowledged they were losing sleep over their debt, and nearly half were experiencing negative emotions about their financial future.

As advisors know, but clients may not, flexibility is an important ingredient in a financial plan that can ride out crises – whether those crises affect an individual or the whole world. The Manulife One account provides flexibility by accommodating the ebb and flow of income and debt. It may be an ideal solution for clients who want to keep their long-term plans on track through times of adversity by better managing their debt while continuing to save and invest when they can.

Maintaining long-term plans 

With Manulife One, clients can skip a monthly mortgage payment, if necessary – and, sometimes, it is necessary. The fall debt survey also found that nearly one in four respondents has had to borrow to cover everyday expenses during the pandemic. 

Pausing mortgage payments can allow clients to continue prearranged deposits into savings plans or insurance premiums. Then they can catch up on debt repayment when conditions improve. Without that flexibility, clients may miss savings targets or let insurance protection lapse. This could mean they have to work more years before retiring or retire with a lower-than-anticipated income.

Of course, the pandemic didn’t affect everyone equally. Some people pivoted to working from home. These clients experienced no reduction in income while spending less on commuting, lunches and other expenses associated with working in an office. In addition, travel restrictions meant fewer vacations away from home, which increased some people’s ability to save and invest.

Manulife One can benefit people in this situation as well, allowing deposits to immediately reduce debt, which decreases interest payments and can enable someone to become debt-free sooner. Alternatively, deposits can be used to top up retirement savings, making it possible for a client to retire earlier or enjoy a higher level of retirement income.

Close up of mobile phone screen with Manulife Bank App open.

Giving clients choices

Flexibility is about giving clients choices, so they can adjust their plans to changing circumstances – even an unexpected global crisis like COVID-19. By combining a mortgage, bank account, short-term savings, income and other debts into one account, Manulife One helps build financial resilience. It also simplifies everyday banking, making it easy to see a snapshot of debt and assets through a single monthly statement. And it can help reduce anxiety by removing the usually hard-and-fast requirement to make every monthly mortgage payment.

The advantage to offering Manulife One to your clients

There are advantages for advisors, too, that go beyond helping clients stay protected, reach their investment goals and reduce financial stress. Many of our top advisors use Manulife One as a catalyst to uncover more investment and insurance opportunities. Moreover, advisors who qualify for Silver Elite, Gold Elite or Platinum Elite status benefit from trailer payments, rate enhancement on advisor bank accounts, and fee savings and rate reductions on their personal Manulife One account, specialized lending products and ManulifeMONEY+TM Visa[3] Infinite credit card. 

Learn more about Manulife One and about Partner Rewards (Repsource login required).

Table showing the annual qualification criteria for Manulife Bank Partner Rewards. Qualification period: January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.* Status: Silver Elite - New mortgage deals**: 3 or Average bank AUM*** $10 million AUM or $3 million deposit AUM. Status: Gold Elite - New mortgage deals**: 6 or Average bank AUM*** $25 million. Status: Platinum Elite - New mortgage deals**: 9 or Average bank AUM*** $50 million.

* You must meet the qualification criteria in the current calendar year. Your mortgage deal count resets on January 1, 2022. Your benefits will become available one month after you qualify or upgrade your status.

** Includes newly funded Manulife One, Manulife Bank Select and Manulife One for Business accounts, as well as roll-ins from second to first position. Excludes limit increases and property switches. 

*** Includes mortgage, loan and deposit assets under management (AUM). Average bank AUM must be obtained over the 12 months in the previous calendar year or the last three months in the current calendar year. 

Providing flexible, connected solutions, especially when they include streamlined digital support, can help build client loyalty and strengthen your practice.

[1] www.investmentexecutive.com/news/research-and-markets/majority-of-canadians-living-paycheque-to-paycheque-survey

[2] www.manulifebank.ca/content/dam/manulife-bank/en_ca/images/blog/personal-finance/how-covid-19-is-impacting-canadians-wallets-and-mental-health/2020-Fall-Debt-Survey-Infographic_E_Web-only.pdf

[3] Trademark of Visa Int., used under licence.

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