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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


The Single Premium Insured Annuity

Available until January 1, 2017

A New Approach

 A new method of structuring an insured annuity has restored its favourable results.  The new approach involves combining the prescribed annuity with a Universal Life policy.

  • The UL policy is funded with a single deposit to provide lifetime coverage.
  • The remaining capital is then used to purchase the prescribed life annuity.
  • On the death of the insured/annuitant, the annuity income ceases
  • The Universal Life policy now returns the full amount of the capital to the intended beneficiaries.

Read more


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


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 Read more


Do You Need Individual Life Insurance?

Canadians may need to rethink their risk management

In a recent study conducted by the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), it was reported that 61% of Canadians hold some form of life insurance.  Surprisingly, it also revealed that only 38% of Canadians own an individual life insurance contract.

In another study of middle class Canadians, Manulife reported that 79% had no individual disability insurance and 87% had no individual critical illness coverage.

What both of these studies conclude is that most Canadians rely heavily on their group benefits for their family’s insurance protection.  Read more



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 »


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