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Occasional Marijuana Users Get a Break

With the federal government heading towards the legalization of personal marijuana use some life insurance companies have announced that occasional marijuana smokers would now be considered as non-smokers on new applications for life insurance and in some cases critical illness insurance.

How significant is this change?  Substantial!

As an example, for a male age 35, the standard smoker premium for $500,000 of 20 year renewable term is $1,070*.  Now a recreational marijuana user can purchase that same coverage for 410 per year. *

Sun Life, BMO and Empire Life were the first three companies to make this change with Sun and Empire extending the offer to Critical Illness coverage as well.  Most insurance companies are expected to make similar announcements.  For some companies, medicinal marijuana users are excluded from the new offering but may be considered on a case by case basis. Read more

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Boomer + Sandwich Generation + Club Sandwich + Boomerang = Financial Instability

The Sandwich Generation was a term coined by Dorothy Miller in 1981 to describe adult children who were “sandwiched” between their aging parents and their own maturing children.  There is even a term for those of us who are in our 50’s or 60’s with elderly parents, adult children and grandchildren – the Club Sandwich.   More recently, the Boomerang Generation (the estimated 29% of adults ranging in ages 25 to 34, who live with their parents), are adding to the financial pressures as Boomers head into retirement.It is estimated that by 2026, 1 in 5 Canadians will be older than 65. This means fewer adults to both fund and provide for elder care.  Today, it is likely that the average married couple will have more living parents than they do children.

What are the challenges? Read more

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Family Business Planning Strategies

67% are at Risk of Succession Failure

If you are an owner in a family enterprise, the chances of your business transitioning successfully to the next generations is not very good.  This has not changed over the years. Statistics show a failure rate of:

  • 67% of businesses fail to succeed into the second generation
  • 90% fail by the third generation

With 80% to 90% of all enterprises in North America being family owned, it is important to address the reasons why transition is difficult. Read more

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The Clock is Ticking!

Don’t Put Off Your Decision to Buy Life Insurance

2016 is an opportune year to buy life insurance.  New laws affecting the taxation of life insurance come into effect on January 1, 2017. After this date new policies will not perform as well as they do currently.

The good news is that the proceeds of life insurance policies paid at death still remain tax free.  What has been affected is the amount of cash value that may accrue in a policy and the tax-free distribution of death proceeds from a life insurance policy owned in a corporation.

How will this impact your existing and future policies?

Adjustment to the Maximum Tax Actuarial Reserve

Whole Life and Universal Life policies are valuable vehicles in which to accumulate cash value. The limit of how much can be invested is governed by the Maximum Tax Actuarial Reserve (MTAR).  If the cash value ever exceeds the MTAR limit, the policy is deemed to be “offside” and will be subject to accrual taxation. Read more

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Retirement – Are you Prepared?

Whether you are decades away from retirement or if it is just around the corner, being aware of the planning opportunities will take the fear and uncertainty out of this major life event.

Blue sky your retirement plans to get clarity

As you approach retirement, preparation and planning become extremely important to help ensure that this period of your life will be as comfortable as possible.   If you are like most, you have spent considerable time contemplating the type of retirement you wish for yourself.

  • Is extensive travel your dream?
  • Do you have an expensive hobby or two you want to take up?
  • Will you stop working totally or continue to do some work on your own terms using your life experience and skills to supplement your income.
  • Will you remain in your house or will you downsize to smaller, easier to care for premises? Or perhaps housing that will be more compatible with the challenges of aging?

Read more

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

8
Sep
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Budgeting for University Life

If you  have a son or daughter, perhaps a niece or nephew heading off to university this month, here’s a great article to share with them from Practical Money Skills.

Making the transition from living at home where someone else buys groceries and pays essential bills to living on your own is a big step. How much can you afford to spend on groceries in a week? Are you going to need to work extra hours to pay for all of your books?

Create a Budget

This first step in financial planning will help you answer these questions and is absolutely essential in managing your personal finances. Read more »

22
Aug
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The Huge Opportunity of Millennial Home Buyers

Property sellers, builders and managers are set to cash in as members of Generation Y finally find the money for a mortgage down payment

Amid predictions for a modest 2016, home prices in many Canadian markets continue to soar, and much of the growth is coming from an unlikely source: millennials. Canadians ages 16 to 36 are over nine million strong; they’re now the largest cohort in our workforce, and they’re entering their prime home-buying years.

Frank Magliocco, Canadian real estate lead at PwC, does not expect high demand—and related house price increases—to ease up any time soon in hot urban markets like Vancouver and Toronto. He points to growth in condos, rental apartments and mixed-use urban developments as proof that young buyers don’t fear big mortgages (or big leases): “In large part, [growth] is driven by millennials wanting to go to where the action is.”

Here’s why young buyers are able to get into the market—and who stands to gain from it.

79% of millennials still believe owning a home is attainable according to a 2016 poll, despite mushrooming prices raising barriers for first-time buyers

Read more on ProfitGuide.com

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17
Jul
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Protect your valuables

By Neal Muschett

When it comes to protecting your home and ensuring you’ve got the right insurance coverage, there are a number of areas that are easily overlooked in high-value homes.

Unique Upgrades

Many high-end homes include unique upgrades—there is a big difference between marble tiles that you can find at the big-box retailers and custom-made marble tiles that are chosen for their colour and thickness from a quarry in Italy and flown overseas. The same goes for hardwood floors—if you have a rare or exotic hardwood that has to be imported, you will want to make sure that your insurance broker knows and includes that in your insurance policy. If you have a unique or expensive chandelier, you’ll want to let your broker know that as well, so that it is specifically included in your insurance policy.

Read more

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