Post-secondary education can be expensive, however having the opportunity to plan for it helps with making sure that you’re capable to meet the costs of education. In addition, when you have a plan, it’s easier to make financial decisions that align with your goals and provide peace of mind. In the infographic checklist, we outline 6 factors to consider when paying for education:
How much to save and when will your child start school?
Registered Education Savings Plan- have you a family RESP plan and received the Canadian Education Savings Grant? If your income is low enough, you could qualify for the Canada Learning Bond.
Savings- are you saving separately for your child’s education? Cash Value Life Insurance- have you considered using this as a savings vehicle for your child’s education. What happens if your child decides not to go to school? These alternative savings vehicles provide flexibility so that you can use the funds for something else such as a down payment for a future home.
Will the child be working part time and have their own savings for school?
Can the child apply for scholarships, bursaries or grants?
Will they need to apply for government student loan, personal loan or personal line of credit?
If you need help planning to save for your child’s post-secondary education, contact us!
You most likely do, but the more important question is, What kind? Whether you’re a young professional starting out, a devoted parent or a successful CEO, securing a life insurance policy is probably one of the most important decisions you will have to make in your adult life. Most people would agree that having financial safety nets in place is a good way to make sure that your loved ones will be taken care of when you pass away. Insurance can also help support your financial obligations and even take care of your estate liabilities. The tricky part, however, is figuring out what kind of life insurance best suits your goals and needs. This quick guide will help you decide what life insurance policy is best for you, depending on who needs to benefit from it and how long you’ll need it.
Permanent or Term?
Life insurance can be classified into two principal types: permanent or term. Both have different strengths and weaknesses, depending on what you aim to achieve with your life insurance policy.
Term life insurance provides death benefits for a limited amount of time, usually for a fixed number of years. Let’s say you get a 30-year term. This means you’ll only pay for each year of those 30 years. If you die before the 30-year period, then your beneficiaries shall receive the death benefits they are entitled to. After the period, the insurance shall expire. You will no longer need to pay premiums, and your beneficiaries will no longer be entitled to any benefits.
Term life insurance is right for you if you are:
The family breadwinner. Death benefits will replace your income for the years that you will have been working, in order to support your family’s needs.
A stay-at-home parent. You can set your insurance policy term to cover the years that your child will need financial support, especially for things that you would normally provide as a stay-at-home parent, such as childcare services.
A divorced parent. Insurance can cover the cost of child support, and the term can be set depending on how long you need to make support payments.
A mortgagor. If you are a homeowner with a mortgage, you can set up your term insurance to cover the years that you have to make payments. This way, your family won’t have to worry about losing their home.
A debtor with a co-signed debt. If you have credit card debt or student loans, a term life insurance policy can cover your debt payments. The term can be set to run for the duration of the payments.
A business owner. If you’re a business owner, you may need either a term or permanent life insurance, depending on your needs. If you’re primarily concerned with paying off business debts, then a term life insurance may be your best option.
Unlike term life insurance, a permanent life insurance does not expire. This means that your beneficiaries can receive death benefits no matter when you die. Aside from death benefits, a permanent life insurance policy can also double as a savings plan. A certain portion of your premiums can build cash value, which you may “withdraw” or borrow for future needs. You can do well with a permanent life insurance policy if you:
…Have a special needs child. As a special needs child will most likely need support for health care and other expenses even as they enter adulthood. Your permanent life insurance can provide them with death benefits any time within their lifetime.
…Want to leave something for your loved ones. Regardless of your net worth, permanent life insurance will make sure that your beneficiaries receive what they are entitled to. If you have a high net worth, permanent life insurance can take care of estate taxes. Otherwise, they will still get even a small inheritance through death benefits.
…Want to make sure that your funeral expenses are covered. Final expense insurance can provide coverage for funeral expenses for smaller premiums.
…Have maximized your retirement plans. As permanent life insurance may also come with a savings component, this can also be used to help you out during retirement.
…Own a business. As mentioned earlier, business owners may need either permanent or term, depending on their needs.
A permanent insurance policy can help pay off estate taxes, so that the successors can inherit the business worry-free. Different people have different financial needs, so there is no one-sized-fits-all approach to choosing the right insurance policy for you. Talk to us now, and find out how a permanent or term life insurance can best give you security and peace of mind.
“I already have life insurance from work, so why do I need to get it personally?” or “Work has got me covered, I don’t need it.”
While it’s great to have group coverage from your employer or association, in most cases, people don’t understand that there are important differences when it comes to group life insurance vs. self owned life insurance.
Before counting on insurance from your group benefits plan, please take the time to understand the difference between group owned life insurance and personally owned life insurance. The key differences are ownership, premium, coverage, beneficiary and portability.
Self: You own and control the policy.
Group: The group owns and controls the policy.
Self: Your premiums are guaranteed at policy issue and discounts are available based on your health.
Group: Premiums are not guaranteed and there are no discounts available based on your health. The rates provided are blended depending on your group.
Self: You choose based on your needs.
Group: In a group plan, the coverage is typically a multiple of your salary. If your coverage is through an association, then it’s usually a flat basic amount.
Self: You choose who your beneficiary is and they can choose how they want to use the insurance benefit.
Group: You choose who your beneficiary is and they can choose how they want to use the insurance benefit.
Self: Your policy stays with you.
Group: Your policy is tied to your group and if you leave your employer or your association, you may need to reapply for insurance.
Talk to us, we can help you figure out what’s best for your situation.
As a business owner, one of your challenges is learning how to balance between reinvesting into the business and setting money aside for personal savings. Since there are no longer employer-sponsored pension plans and the knowledge that retirement will come eventually, it’s important to have a retirement plan in place.
We’ve put together an infographic checklist that can help you get started on this. We know this can be a difficult conversation so we’re here to help and provide guidance to help you achieve your retirement dreams.
Determine how much income you will need in retirement.
Make sure you account for inflation in your calculations.
You should try to pay off your debts as soon as you can; preferably before you retire.
As you age, your insurance needs change. Review your insurance needs, in particular your medical and dental insurance because a lot of plans do not provide health plans to retirees.
Review your life insurance coverage because you may not necessarily need as much life insurance as when you had dependents and a mortgage, but you may still need to review your estate and final expense needs.
Prepare for the unexpected such as a critical illness or a need for long-term care.
Check what benefits are available for you upon retirement.
Canada Pension Plan- decide when would be the ideal time to apply and receive CPP payments. Business owners are in a unique position to control how much can be contributed to CPP by deciding to pay salary or dividends. (Dividends don’t trigger CPP contributions.)
Old Age Security- check pension amounts and see if there’s a possibility of clawback.
Guaranteed Income Supplement- if your income is low enough, you could apply for GIS.
Are you a candidate for an individual pension plan (IPP)? IPPs can provide higher contributions than typically permitted to an RRSP and the ability to create a lifelong pension.
Check if your business is a candidate for a group RRSP or company pension plan. This is a great way for you to build retirement savings and provide benefits for your employees and business too.
Make sure you are saving on a regular basis towards retirement- in an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered. Since you can control how you get paid, salary or dividends, dividends are not considered eligible income to create RRSP room, therefore you should make sure you have the optimal mix of both to achieve your financial goals.
Ensure your investment mix makes sense for your situation.
Don’t forget to check if there are any other income sources. (ex. rental income, side hustle income, etc.)
The sale of your business can be part of your retirement nest egg. Therefore, you should make sure you know the valuation of your business and your plan to sell the business to your family, employees, partners or a third party. You should also know when you decide to sell your business too.
Are you planning to use the sale of your home or other assets to fund your retirement?
Will you be receiving an inheritance?
One other consideration that’s not included in the checklist is divorce. This can be an uncomfortable question, however divorce amongst adults ages 50 and over is on the rise and this can be financially devastating for both parties.
Contact Us about helping you get your retirement planning in order so your retirement dreams can be achieved.
For business owners, making sure your business is financially protected can be overwhelming. Business owners face a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing risk. Insurance can play an important role when it comes to reducing the financial impact on your business in the case of uncontrollable events such as disability, critical illness or loss of a key shareholder or employee.
This infographic addresses the importance of corporate insurance.
The 4 areas of insurance a business owner should take care of are:
Health: We are fortunate in Canada, where the healthcare system pays for basic healthcare services for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. However, not everything healthcare related is covered, in reality, 30% of our health costs* are paid for out of pocket or through private insurance such as prescription medication, dental, prescription glasses, physiotherapy, etc.
For business owners, offering employee health benefits make smart business sense because health benefits can form part of a compensation package and can help retain key employees and attract new talent.
For business owners that are looking to provide alternative health plans in a cost effective manner, you may want to consider a health spending account.
Consider the financial impact this would have on your business if you, a key employee or shareholder were to suffer from an injury or illness. Disability insurance can provide a monthly income to help keep your business running.
Business overhead expense insurance can provide monthly reimbursement of expenses during total disability such as rent for commercial space, utilities, employee salaries and benefits, equipment leasing costs, accounting fees, insurance premiums for property and liability, etc.
Key person disability insurance can be used to provide monthly funds for the key employee while they’re disabled and protect the business from lost revenue while your business finds and trains an appropriate replacement.
Buy sell disability insurance can provide you with a lump sum payment if your business partner were to become totally disabled. These funds can be used to purchase the shares of the disabled partner, fund a buy sell agreement and reassure creditors and suppliers.
Key person critical illness insurance can be used to provide funds to the company so it can supplement income during time away, cover debt repayment, salary for key employees or fixed overhead expenses.
Buy sell critical illness insurance can provide you with a lump sum payment if your business partner or shareholder were to suffer from a critical illness. These funds can be used to purchase the shares of the partner, fund a buy sell agreement and reassure creditors and suppliers.
Life: For a business owner, not only do your employees depend on you for financial support but your loved ones do too. Life insurance is important because it can protect your business and also be another form of investment for excess company funds.
Key person life insurance can be used to provide a lump sum payment to the company on death of the insured so it can keep the business going until you an appropriate replacement is found. It can also be used to retain loyal employees by supplying a retirement fund inside the insurance policy.
Buy sell life insurance can provide you with a lump sum payment if your business partner or shareholder were to pass away. These funds can be used to purchase the shares of the deceased partner, fund a buy sell agreement and reassure creditors and suppliers.
Loan coverage life insurance can help cover off any outstanding business loans and debts.
Reduce taxes & diversify your portfolio, often life insurance is viewed only as protection, however with permanent life insurance, there is an option to deposit excess company funds not needed for operations to provide for tax-free growth (within government limits) to diversify your portfolio and reduce taxes on passive investments.
Talk to us about helping making sure you and your business are protected.
One of the financial planning issues that business owners face is how to access their corporate earnings in a tax efficient way.
There are 5 standard methods:
Transfer Personal Assets
There are also unique ways utilizing life insurance and critical illness insurance to access your retained earnings. Please contact us to learn how we can get more money in your pocket than in the government’s.
For young families, making sure your family is financially protected can be overwhelming, especially since there’s so much information floating online. This infographic addresses the importance of insurance- personal insurance.
The 4 areas of personal insurance a young family should take care of are:
Health: We are so fortunate to live in Canada, where the healthcare system pays for basic healthcare services for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. However, not everything healthcare related is covered, in reality, 30% of our health costs* are paid for out of pocket or through private insurance such as prescription medication, dental, prescription glasses, physiotherapy, etc.. Moreover, if you travel outside of Canada, medical emergencies can be extremely expensive.
Life: For young families, if your loved ones depend on you for financial support, then life insurance is absolutely necessary, because it replaces your income, pay off your debts and provides peace of mind.
Talk to us about helping making sure you and your family are protected.
The intention for our “Guide to Covid-19: Government Relief Programs in Canada” is to help businesses and individuals to cut through the noise and make sure they’re getting all the help they can receive from the federal and provincial programs.
Business owners deal with a unique set of challenges. One of these challenges includes succession planning. A succession plan is the process of the transfer of ownership, management and interest of a business. When should a business owner have a succession plan? A succession plan is required through the survival, growth and maturity stage of a business. All business owners, partners and shareholders should have a plan in place during these business stages.
We created this infographic checklist to be used as a guideline highlighting main points to be addressed when starting to succession plan.
Determine your objectives- what do you want? For you, your family and your business. (Business’ financial needs)
What are your shares of the business worth? (Business value)
What are your personal financial needs- ongoing income needs, need for capital (ex. pay off debts, capital gains, equitable estate etc.)
There are 2 sets of events that can trigger a succession plan: controllable and uncontrollable.
Sale: Who do you sell the business to?
There are advantages and disadvantages for each- it’s important to examine all channels.
Retirement: When do you want to retire?
What are the financial and psychological needs of the business owner?
Is there enough? Is there a need for capital to provide for retirement income, redeem or freeze shares?
Does this fit into personal/retirement plan? Check tax, timing, corporate structures, finances and family dynamics. (if applicable)
Divorce: A disgruntled spouse can obtain a significant interest in the business.
What portion of business shares are held by the spouse?
Will the divorced spouse consider selling their shares?
What if the divorced spouse continues to hold interest in the business without understanding or contributing to the business?
If you have other partners/shareholders- would they consider working with your divorced spouse?
Illness/Disability: If you were disabled or critically ill, would your business survive?
Determine your ongoing income needs for you, your spouse and family. Is there enough? If there is a shortfall, is there an insurance or savings program in place to make up for the shortfall amount?
Will the ownership interest be retained, liquidated or sold?
How will the business be affected? Does the business need capital to continue operating or hire a consultant or executive? Will debts be recalled? Does the business have a savings or insurance program in place to address this?
Death: In the case of your premature death, what would happen to your business?
Determine your ongoing income needs for your dependents. Is there enough? If there is a shortfall, is there an insurance or savings program in place to make up for the shortfall amount?
Will the ownership interest be retained, liquidated or sold by your estate? Does your will address this? Is your will consistent with your wishes? What about taxes?
How will the business be affected? Does the business need capital to continue operating or hire a consultant or executive? Will debts be recalled? How will this affect your employees? Does the business have a savings or insurance program in place to address this?
Execution: It’s good to go through this with but you need to get a succession plan done. Besides having a succession plan, make sure you have an estate plan and buy-sell/shareholders’ agreement.
Because a succession plan is complex, we suggest that a business owner has a professional team to help. The team should include:
Financial Planner/Advisor (CFP)
Succession Planning Specialist
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
Contact us about helping you get your succession planning in order so you can gain peace of mind that your business is taken care of.
What happens when the children grow up and they are no longer dependent on their parents? What happens to your other “baby”- the business? Estate planning for business owners deals with the personal and business assets. Business succession planning is different because it deals with your business assets only and can also take place while you’re alive. You need to have an estate plan regardless if you have a succession plan or not. Estate planning for business owners is typically more complicated because the estate plan needs to deal with:
Complex business and personal relationships
Bigger and more intricate estates
When putting an estate plan for a business owner together, one of the most difficult conversations is around fair or equal distribution of assets. What if one of the children are working in the business how do you treat them? Before you begin putting a plan in place, we always encourage open conversation and a family meeting between the parents and children to provide context behind decisions and therefore it minimizes the surprises and provides an opportunity for children to express their concerns.
We’ve put together an infographic checklist that can help you get started on this. We know this can be a difficult conversation so we’re here to help and provide guidance.
Fair vs Equal (also known as Equitable vs Equal) – like what’s considered to be fair may not necessarily be equal. ex. Should the daughter that’s been working in the family business for 10 years receive the same shares as the son who hasn’t worked in the family business at all?
Are the adult children responsible enough to handle the inheritance? Or would they spend it all?
Who works in the family business? Is it all the kids or just one of them?
Encourage open conversation with parents and kids so context can be provided behind the decisions, there are no surprises and allows the kids to express their interests and concerns.
Facilitate a family meeting with both generations, this will help promote ongoing family unity after death and decrease the chances of resentment later.
Start looking at considerations for a succession plan for the business. (This needs to be documented separately.)
What are your assets? Create a detailed list of your assets such as:
Home, Real Estate, Investments- Non registered, TFSA, RRSP, RDSP, RESP, Company Pension Plan, Insurance Policy, Property, Additional revenue sources, etc..
What about shares in your business? How does this need to be addressed?
What are your liabilities? Create a detailed list of your liabilities such as:
Mortgage, Loans (personal, student, car), Line of Credit, Credit card, Other loans (payday, store credit card, utility etc.)
Did you personally guarantee any business loans and how does this need to be addressed?
Understand your assets-the ownership type (joint, tenants in common, sole etc.), list who are the beneficiaries are for your assets
Understand your liabilities- are there any co-signors?
Make sure you have a will that:
Assigns an executor.
Provide specific instructions for distribution of all assets.
Consider a power of attorney for use when you’re incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle your affairs.
Always choose 2 qualified people for each position and communicate with them.
Taxes and Probate
How much are probate and taxes? (Income tax earned from Jan 1 to date of death + Taxes on Non Registered Assets + Taxes on Registered Assets, Taxes on Business Shares)
Are there any outstanding debts to be paid?
You’ve worked your whole life- how much of your hard earned money do you want to give to CRA?
How much money do you want to to give to your kids while you’re living?
Consider the following:
The use of trusts.
The use of an estate freeze if you wish to gift while you’re living.
The use of a holdco for effective tax planning.
Once you determine the amount of taxes, probate, debt, final expenses and gifts required, review your life insurance coverage to see if it meets your needs or if there’s a shortfall.
Execution:It’s good to go through this but you need to do this. Besides doing it yourself, here’s a list of the individuals that can help:
Financial Planner/Advisor (CFP)
Estate Planning Specialist
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
Chartered Executor Advisor (CEA)
Contact us about helping you get your estate planning in order so you can gain peace of mind that your family is taken care of.