Women with a plan

By Joyce Wayne

Rachel Corbett and her partner Martha Hunt know their own minds and have set out to create lives that suit their sensibilities, interests and commitment to environmental sustainability, community welfare and their adult children.

About Rachel and Martha

In 1992 Rachel founded the Centre for Sport and Law. Not an athlete herself, Rachel recognized the power of sport as a positive force in communities across Canada and continues to work as a mediator and arbitrator in sports although she retired four years ago. Corbett also taught part-time at Brock University in the department of sport management. Martha is a teacher who continues to do part time work at a children’s camp.

Seven years ago, Rachel and Martha decided to take retirement for a test drive. “You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, or put an offer on a house without inspecting it, would you?” Rachel asks. So, the women embarked on a journey of “Not Working,” while travelling for 95 days across America.

It worked out so well that four years ago Martha and Rachel decided to retire —while in their late fifties. “We spend all of our time together and our marriage has never been stronger or more satisfying,” says Rachel. Together they pulled up stakes from St. Catharines and invested modestly in a mid-century bungalow with a beautiful sunroom in Marmora, a village in Eastern Ontario’s Hastings County. Since re-locating to Marmora, they’ve done some improvements in their new home while watching its value double. Rachel confirms: “The last four years have been amazing.” Lately, Rachel and Martha started thinking about making environmentally conscious upgrades to their bungalow.

“We want to live sustainably –and independently. Our next car is going to be electric. We’re going to go solar and install an electric charging station at our Marmora home,” Martha says.

How they managed to renovate their home after retirement

To install solar panels on their Marmora home, Rachel and Martha arranged for a CHIP Reverse Mortgage. They both see the loan as a good investment in their home and a smart way to live the life they love, while communicating with their three grown children about their financial plans.

“We sat down with our kids to discuss our legacy. Our kids don’t want cash. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage was a family decision that made sense for all of us.” Rachel and Martha own two cottages of substantial value on Stoney Lake, one of the most sought-after lake properties in the Kawarthas. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage allows them to renovate their Marmora home, spend May to August at Stoney Lake — while arranging for a substantial legacy of cottage property to their adult children.

I can’t imagine a better solution for this family. It’s a sterling example of how a CHIP Reverse Mortgage can facilitate plans during retirement while creating the optimum situation for adult children. “We have invisible debt with our reverse mortgage,” says Rachel. “It works for us.”

When I spoke to Rachel, she and Martha were on a road trip visiting family, driving across Ontario. The weather was cold and snowy, but the women were enjoying their time after spending much of the holidays at home.

Rachel and Martha are trailblazers in more ways than one. I admire the determination, the independent spirit, the community mindedness and the thought and consideration that’s been invested in their financial and legacy planning. I wish that more of us had their gumption.

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