MONEY MATTERS COLUMN – SPRING 2018

“Money Matters” by Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan’s finance column has now evolved into the “Money Matters” Column that will run alongside our new touring “Money Matters” Seminars that are provided free for Peer Support Mentors and Service Users. The column is now written for a syndication and print readership of approaching 20,000, which is an amazing response from our all of our charity and advocacy partners within the community. Thank you so much for your support!

The new “Money Matters” Tour opens with seminar dates this coming spring, hosted by Terrence Higgins Trust in London and George House Trust in Manchester. The content of the new seminars will be very different to the previous workshops that we delivered to HIV professionals throughout 2017, with more of a focus on consumer issues such as credit reports, credit scoring, buying a house, mortgages, along with useful relevant case examples.

To book tickets to these new events visit the Eventbrite links at www.unusual-risks.co.uk

Right to Buy

Over the last year I have met several clients who have delayed their “Right to Buy” on their local authority property due to their HIV status. The general consensus was that they didn’t think they could get a mortgage, or they thought Life Assurance would be a condition of the mortgage loan. Both of these are in fact untrue and people living with HIV have always been able to raise mortgage finance without taking Life Assurance.

In a recent case example, we arranged a mortgage for a couple who had first asked for their Right to Buy paperwork from the Local Authority four years ago and then decided not to proceed due to their HIV status. The latest figures they have received from their Local Authority mean they now have to pay an extra £25,000 for the property. If you think you have the “Right to Buy” your property, then don’t delay, as it may cost more if you decide to buy later.

Sign Posting

I’ve been encountering this word “Sign Posting” a great deal on my travels across the  country, whilst interacting with HIV professionals and also while reading a community report on HIV & Finance. There are many draw backs of sign posting service users and clients to “mainstream” brokers and online finance super markets, which I have witnessed  recently, particularly around Life Assurance and Life Insurance products that require detailed medical underwriting.

Currently, up to three times a week I’m speaking with people that have tried to arrange Life Cover themselves via either mainstream brokers without any experience of HIV or via online super markets, who are simply are not equipped to deal with complex medical situations associated with HIV. Many of these people are as a result applying to Life Assurance companies, who do not even offer Life Assurance to people living with HIV.

Surely it is better to “Sign Post” people to a financial adviser with almost 20 years’ experience of advising people living with HIV?

Free Financial Advice

The ongoing “Money Matters” theme is designed to encourage people living with HIV to look after their financial future and provide a way that people can connect with financial advisers that are highly experienced advising people living with HIV. The Seminars are free, so Peer Support Mentors, service users, their friends and families can gain access to financial information and ask questions without any obligation whatsoever.

Most financial advisers derive their income through fees and commissions when they arrange a financial product for a client. By providing free taster seminars Unusual Risks and Unusual Mortgages are offering the opportunity to the HIV Community to “Sign Post” clients and service users, to learn about finance and plan for the future, without any obligation whatsoever.

I look forward to meeting you all at one of my seminars soon!

Chris Morgan is the Lead Financial Adviser of Unusual Risks www.unusualrisks.co.uk and Unusual Mortgages www.unusualmortgages.co.uk He has been advising people living with HIV for 20 years and is a consultant to the Association of British Insurers HIV and Insurance Working Group. He may be contacted by phone 0845 474 3075 or by Email chris@unusualrisks.co.uk