The ability to provide meaningful support to someone when they are at their most vulnerable is a rare privilege.
And Invest Blue financial planner Adam Penman knows first-hand just how humbling the experience can be.
Adam is just one of Invest Blue’s staff members who volunteer their time assisting The Cancer Council in a unique program that aims to provide financial support to cancer patients.
Working closely with The Cancer Council, Invest Blue identifies cancer patients unable to afford assistance and provides pro-bono financial assistance accordingly.
Adam, who has been with Invest Blue’s Tamworth office for four years, said working with these clients, the majority of whom are terminally ill, is perhaps one of the most gratifying experiences of his life.
“It’s never easy talking to people when they know they don’t have a good outcome, but by providing reassurance that their family will be left in a better financial position, I feel like we can make a really positive contribution to their lives,” Adam said.
Adam, together with Invest Blue Relationship Manager Rebecca ONeill, take full control of the administrative tasks associated with The Cancer Council clients’ superannuation and insurance – often an overwhelming task and an added stress to people going through cancer treatment.
In some cases, delving deep within a person’s financial history can shift their family’s fortunes entirely.
Recently, Adam and Rebecca worked closely with a local lady who was sadly terminally ill – sifting through years of paperwork and trying to work out what she and her partner could claim.
“This couple didn’t know what super they had, or their insurance, so we tracked down their policies and, made a claim for them,” Adam explained.
The claim resulted in a $250, 000 payout, enough to alleviate all their financial stress and pay for an expensive infrared cancer treatment the woman had been wanting to try.
While the client sadly passed away, Adam said this financial win offered them genuine joy during some of their darkest days.
Clients such as these, Adam said, we’re always extremely grateful to be offered clarity surrounding their financial position, explained clearly, with a trusted professional doing the leg work for them.
In the majority of cases, people are surprised by what Invest Blue can access for them.
“We discover lost superfunds, insurance people didn’t realise they had, access to Centrelink payments – we do the grunt work to make sure these very special clients get exactly what they’re entitled to,” Adam said.
Once Adam determines a client’s position, Rebecca steps in, physically going through the paperwork and process with clients, step by step.
However, her role goes well beyond getting forms signed.
“Some days, when I make a phone call I can tell whether a client is at their lowest, and often feeling very alone,” she said. “Just having a conversation can make a big difference, and I make sure I make the time to be there for these special clients when they need someone to talk to,” Rebecca said.
And while there was no greater feeling than making that phone call confirming a client’s claim had been successful, she said it often took great effort maintaining composure during those highly emotive phone calls.
“I do generally need a few moments after I’ve made those calls,” Rebecca admitted, “but being able to break the news to these clients that we’ve helped secure their financial freedom is a feeling like no other.”
Both Adam and Rebecca feel extraordinarily fortunate to be able to provide this unique support and applauded Invest Blue on the generous initiative.
“Any employer who allows you to take time from the business to focus on local people in the community who are in need, is to be commended, and this program is reflective of Invest Blue’s core values and community spirit,” Adam said.
Rebecca agreed and said the small gesture from Invest Blue can make a huge impact on someone’s life.
“This is such an amazing program to be a part of – prioritising the needs of people who are unwell or not destined to be here much longer and helping ease their burden is extremely rewarding, and no matter how bad a day I’m having, this program puts everything in perspective.”
Invest Blue is here to help. If you or someone you know is going through a similar situation, read more about The Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program, and reach out to us.
What you need to know
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