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If you have ever purchased a home or applied for a loan, you may be familiar with Mortgage Insurance. This is the insurance the bank is obligated to encourage you to take in the event you die or become disabled. It is intended to protect your loved ones from being stuck with the mortgage in the event life takes a wrong turn ie. death.   Sounds like a no brainer right? Wrong! There are MANY pitfalls with Mortgage Insurance that put the bank’s best interest ahead of yours for a price that’s not worth it. Read more

Would you be surprised to learn that the stock market has out performed real estate in Vancouver over the last decade? According to the MLS Home Price Index , which began collecting data 11 years ago, real estate prices throughout the greater Vancouver area have grown on average from 100bps in January 2005 to 187.75bps in January 2016. This growth represents a 5.89% annualized rate of return and a total return of 87.75%.

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How to safeguard your retirement…

Have you ever been scuba diving? With scuba diving, you need to plan your dive, how long, what depth, do you have the right gear, etc. If you make a big mistake there are no do overs, it could cost you your life. Retirement planning is similar, you only get one shot at it and the difficulty is, people will only do it once in their lifetime. Fortunately, as a planner we get to experience retirement many times over as we walk alongside our clients.

For people that are in the building phase (ages 30-55) and those that are in their final approach to retirement (ages 55-65), it is crucial to make sure that certain key elements have been looked at. Read more

Unfortunately, unlike many of our childhood heroes, we aren’t invincible… we can’t all be Superman or Batman, yet we still pretend like we are. The thought of an injury is the last thing that’s on our mind; yet we still have no problem helping a friend move, playing sports on the weekend, or doing chores around the house from the never ending “Honey Do- List”.

But what if we were to become injured off the job? Read more

The Latte Factor…
No matter how much money one makes you can always find a way to spend it. Does your income keep going up but yet there is no extra money at the end of the month? Do you know where your money has gone? What happens in retirement once your income is fixed? Read more

Planning On Selling Your Business…

Are you approaching retirement and planning on selling your business?
As an entrepreneur, you dreamed of building your own successful business. After all those years of hard work, you plan to reap the rewards in the form of a successful business sale. Sounds like a great plan! But, making the sale is not as easy as it may appear. Read more

How technology has made a difference…
Remember that great invention, the magic eight ball? You ask it a question, shake it and then turn it over to reveal the answer. If only all of life’s difficult questions could be answered so easily!

When it comes to retirement planning, people have a lot of questions but often times they do not know how to address them. Our goal is to help our clients have a clear understanding of where they are at financially, where they want to be in the future and how to get there. Sounds simple and yet so many Canadians are not prepared for retirement. Read more

The Most Overlooked Risk
What is your biggest asset? Most people might answer your house, boat, car, or investments. When in fact it is your income and your ability to earn a living.

When I review a person’s financial situation, one of the most common areas that is overlooked is to protect their ability to earn a living. Disability insurance is a critical part of a person’s risk management plan. When you think about all of the things that people have insurance for, cars, houses, electronics, death, etc. Unfortunately if you do not have an income all of these other areas fall apart.

When it comes to managing risk, a financial planner looks at two main factors:
1. Risk – what is the chance of this happening?
2. Impact – If it does happen, what is the potential damage?

As an example, the risk of a house fire is low but the damage it can cause financially is extreme. Hence why people buy home insurance.

The Risk Is High:
Did you know that 1 in 3 people, on average, will be disabled for 90 days or more at least once before they reach age 65?*

The Impact Can Be Severe:
How long could you survive for without your income? Most families could last maybe 4 to 6 months before they would have to start selling other assets such as investments or their home. How would you survive till age 65 and then into retirement?

The main way to manage this risk is to have long term disability insurance to protect yourself in case of an illness or injury.

Possible Options:
1. Canada Pension Plan – This will only pay for the most severe disabilities and the amount is small.
2. Worker Compensation – This only covers you if it is a work related injury.
3. Group Plan – This is how most Canadians are covered. IMPORTANT! You should have your coverage reviewed to make sure you are properly protected.
4. Individual Plan – You can purchase this through the major insurance carriers.

Key Facts:
• If you are an executive or earn over $80,000 per year and you have group coverage you should have it reviewed, as you may not be fully protected.
• If you have group coverage your plan definition typically will change after 2 years of being disabled. This can allow the insurance company to decline your coverage if your disability is not severe enough. This is done to keep your rates lower for your group plan. You can get individual insurance to protect against this.
• The definition of a disability policy is critical.
• Most disability insurance is designed to cover you till age 65; some may have only a 5-year benefit period.

As with any financial strategy we would recommend ensuring that you have your personal situation reviewed by a professional to make sure that is done in the best way possible. If you have any questions or would like your plan reviewed feel free to contact us.

 

Questions?

*Source – “A guide to disability insurance”. Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association

 

That Is The Question
Should we downsize our house? If so, when? Maybe never? I think that downsizing too early or without planning can be one of the most costly retirement mistakes. I have seen couples that have downsized, found that they have not liked it, and then purchased a house similar to what they originally owned. The cost to do so was thousands of dollars. Read more