While we don’t know what the future will hold – it certainly helps to know there are people out there who can help you prepare for it, and prepare well.
That’s where Nathan Disenhouse comes in – with sharp and developed financial acumen, he can tell you where one should direct their finances, what one will need to invest in,and how one can best prepare for the unexpected challenges that might occur in one’s life.
He has accumulated more than three decades of financial service experience, practicing as a financial consultant since 1992.Prior to that, Nathan worked for CIBC and Bank Leumi, and later went on to work at Counsel Trust as Manager of Commercial Real Estate Lending.
Nathan studied economics at York University and completed the Canadian Securities and Conduct, and Practices Courses, and has Life Insurance qualifications from the Life Underwriters Association of Canada. He is also an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers(ICB).
Over the past few decades, Nathan has committed to providing complete and comprehensive financial advisory services to clients,which encompasses Life insurance, Critical illness, Disability, Health Insurance group benefits, annuities, segregated funds, GIC’s, Group retirement savings plans, Individual Pension Plans, and Retirement savings plans for employee groups Nathan not only serves his clients well, but is also well known in his serving of community.
He is the JNF Toronto past President and current Chairman of the Board, a 16-year member of the board for Camp Ramah, and recently joined the board of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University.He was a Bone Marrow donor back in 2011, the event co-chair of Chabad @ Flamingo’s 2013 gala, and was among the distinguished company being on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s delegation to Israel in 2014.
My Business Magazine asked Nathan how he began in his chosen field, what most people don’t realize in planning for the future, and the secret to keeping clients.
MBM: Let’s start with what services you offer, and what people might not understand about them.
ND: The services I offer cover Estate Planning which involves: Life insurance, Disability insurance,Critical Illness insurance, and Long Term Care. On the investment side: Segregated funds, Annuities and G.I.C’s.
Often the topic of Estate Planning and protection for one’s family is not one’s top priority, especially among the millennial demographic. They don’t think of their own mortality when they’re young and the potential loss of income. Middle aged people are concerned with their retirement goals, but forget about the importance of protecting their assets should a life altering event occur.There are a lot of people out there who are not prepared for retirement. I don’t just mean financially. They don’t have their families properly protected, lack proper Attorney, or don’t have a simple Will. People tend to procrastinate when having to think of finality, guardianship for minors, and how to deal with family members. More importantly, they don’t recognize the necessity to have a plan set in place when first starting a family. Some people think they don’t have enough assets to warrant POAs and a Will. It’s an integral part of ones planning, however.
Many clients don’t realize that if they have a medical event, it can lead to an interruption in one’s income. When you lose your source of income, it potentially disrupts one’s lifestyle-current and future.
So I’ll always tell clients to buy insurance for three reasons:
One is for income protection, one is for tax planning, and the other is to take care of your children’s well being. That’s the basis of Estate Planning.
I focus on the risk management side of the business.Where people tend to focus on accumulation, (the investment side), I’m there to protect what they’ve already accumulated.
MBM: How did you start in this career?
ND: During my banking career I was looking for something different within the Financial Services arena, and by mere fluke, one of my first clients approached me saying that they needed some help with financial planning.
As I had all the required licensing in place, I called a friend to assist me in putting together an Investment plan in order to assist my client. It was the following week that I put up a sign on my door and started in the Investment and Insurance business.
I’m in the business because I love helping people. You learn a lot about people and what’s important to them. I get great satisfaction once a plan is put in place, seeing the satisfaction on clients’ faces knowing that they and their family will be taken care of in the event something happens which is beyond their control.
It’s all about relationships, trust, and understanding what individuals’ needs are.
MBM: What do you tell people who have no idea where to start in terms of future planning?
ND: I explain to them how imperative planning is,and give them ‘what if?’ scenarios. However, before we go tothe ‘what if?’ scenarios I ask a simple question. Do you havea Will and Power of Attorneys? That’s the starting point.
Next, I have people try and imagine what if God forbid they get into a serious car accident and can’t work? What if the doctor told you you were very ill? What if something unforeseen happened to you today, and there was no more income coming in for your family? What would they do? Would they have to sell the house? Would they have a relative who could provide for them? Would there be enough money for their kids to go to university? Yeah, you may have some investments, but unless you have a substantial amount of investment, it’s not going to last.
"I lost my father at a young age. I know the tough times people go through. I have had many people who approach me when it’s too late and they or family members can’t get coverage any longer, or it becomes unaffordable because of their medical history."
Everybody that you speak to has had a friend or family member who’s had a medical or life-altering setback,and I think that’s what resonates with people.
I present in detail what type of insurance products are out there, what those products cover, and what might best suit their needs.
We also talk tax strategy, and how to work within the rules of the CRA and the insurance industry.
The next area I like to address is: what kind of Life,Critical illness or Disability protection do you have, if any?
I like to outline the difference between what people think are similar products. Disability, for instance, implies that you can’t work at your occupation. However,when diagnosed with a critical illness such as a heart attack or cancer, you are still able to work. You may slow down initially, but people going through treatments are able to work. Did you know that the average age today of claims on a critical illness policy is 39?
So there’s a lot of thought, a lot of ground work you have to cover in discussions. It’s an ongoing relationship. After that one should really review their needs every two years on the risk management side, because things do change.
MBM: What if someone already has insurance?
ND: Many people I speak to do have some sort of insurance coverage. The challenge is that they never know what they have exactly. They don’t necessarily know how much they have, or what type of product. I’m always told, “Some guy sold it to me ages ago”.
So I say ‘Allow me to review it, I’ll give you my opinion’. I will make a recommendation with what you have. No obligation.
MBM: What’s different about how you do business?
ND: At the end of the day, it’s all about trust and client satisfaction. I’m in contact with my clients on a regular basis, and it’s not necessarily to talk business. It’s just about how they’re doing, if they have any questions. Sometimes they’re looking for a product or service that I don’t offer,in which case I put them in touch with somebody, be it a mortgage broker or alternative investment specialists.
What sets me apart is my style. I’m not pushy. It’s about making people feel comfortable. I don’t like pressuring people into things they don’t want to do. If it isn’t important to them, all I can do is provide them with the information - the decision is theirs to make.
And because my main priority is maintaining relationships, I’d rather put more focus into fewer, quality clients, than seem like a production house and deal with thousands of clients.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly.
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