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How Life Insurance Can Benefit Your Financial Plan

In the world of personal finance, we all know life insurance is an important tool that requires important consideration. If you have anyone that counts on you financially, then you owe it to yourself and them to have life insurance. Life insurance is a risk management tool in this context; it’s how most people relate to it. Now, what about obtaining life insurance like a Universal Life or Whole Life product to diversify your portfolio?

I believe everyone should be invested in various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real-estate, precious metals, and yes even life insurance. If you want to know about some advantages that permanent life insurance can provide to your financial plan, read more

Life insurance instantly increases your net estate value

(That’s just a fancy way of saying what you are worth when you pass away) goes up due to the death benefit. Let’s look at a simple case study to illustrate this point. We have John, he has $25,000 in a TFSA, he has $35,000 in an RSP, a home with a market value of $560,000 and a mortgage with a balance of $400,000.

Adding up all his assets John’s net estate value is $220,000 not taking into account any fees or taxes paid on the disposition of these assets($25,000 TFSA + $35,000 RSP + $160,000 in home equity). Now looking at the same example let’s add in Universal Life policy with a death benefit of $200,000. Automatically John’s Net estate value is $440,000 not taking into account any fees or taxes paid on disposition of these assets ($25,000 TFSA + $35,000 RSP + $160,000 in home equity + $200,000 death benefit.)

Life insurance is an amazing savings tool, at its worst. 

Life insurance products such as Universal Life or Whole Life provide you with savings and investments options. They are competitive to most GICS and traditional investments like mutual funds, segregated funds, or index funds. In the worst case scenario, the money you put will be equal to your “cash surrender value” after a certain period of time, depending on the policy’s configuration. Plus you know you have what again? That’s right – an increased net estate value. The bottom line is, if you can afford monthly contributions for at least 10-15 years that won’t strain you – permanent insurance can be used as a forced savings tool, with good returns all with a death benefit.

Life insurance is a well performing investment, at its best. 

Your investments in Universal Life insurance policies can be highly customizable – looking for actively managed funds? You have that option. Looking for lower cost funds that use ETF’s and are passively managed? Those options are available to you as well. The beautiful thing about Universal Life is that you have access to a variety of quality funds managed by highly sought out fund managers. Your investments in a whole life are not customizable – but they are stable and paid out as dividends. Dividends paying on a Whole Life pay anywhere from 4-6 percent and have proven to show stable reliable returns for many decades.

Life insurance can provide leverage for future investments and purchases.

 Companies of all magnitudes use leverage (in other words, borrowed money) to expand their operations and/or consolidate your debts. Did you know the cash value in your life insurance policy resembles the equity in a home? For example, if you have a cash value of let’s say, $50,000 because you’ve been contributing into the policy for quite some time you now have cash value. It is your cash value that resembles equity that people may have in their homes. This cash value can act as collateral if you decide to borrow from the cash value. In this instance, a loan will not reduce the cash value of the policy, it will however act as a credit against your death benefit. Cash value also dictates how much you can withdraw from your policy, this would be a cash withdrawal and it would reduce your cash value. On top of the obvious benefits of permanent life insurance, such as the death benefit and the cash value increase, the fact that you can leverage that money or spend portions of it is just another added feature.

In summary, I believe permanent insurance should be part of everybody’s portfolio as allowed. If you are just struggling to make ends meet month to month – permanent insurance may not be wise. However, if your financial house is in order and you’re diligent with your financial plan, there is no reason that a permanent life insurance policy should not be part of it. The benefits available to you if you’re patient and disciplined are far too attractive.

Life insurance and a Will: Can I Just Have One or the Other?

Planning for the future can be challenging, especially when the end can seem so far away. That’s probably why most people procrastinate or put it off altogether. In fact, the majority of Canadians are not prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances down the road. Over 90% of Canadians are under-insured. Add to that, three-quarters of Canadian adults don’t have a valid or up-to-date will, and the reality of just how unprepared we are as a country is evident.

The good news is, you don’t have to be part of those statistics, and you can start today! There’s no time like the present to plan for the future, so read on for a breakdown of why having both a will and life insurance is essential and the main differences between the two.

The importance of having a Will

A will (more formerly known as a Last Will and Testament) is the only way to legally document your wishes and protect your loves ones after you die. Most Canadians don’t understand just how important it is for every adult to have a will, regardless of your situation in life.

Perhaps the best way to stress the importance of having a will is to explain what happens if you die without a will (called dying intestate).

If you die without a will:

  • You give up all control when it comes to where your assets end up. And instead, put that control in the hands of the government and the intestacy laws of your province.
  • You don’t get to select who will care for your children should you and your partner pass away while they are still minors
  • You create a situation where your loved ones could spend a lot of time and money sorting out your affairs (adding to an aleady stressful situation since they will be grieving.)

Having a will prevents these things from happening. It allows you to decide on the distribution of your estate in advance and have conversations with your family while you’re still alive to avoid any unpleasant surprises after you’re gone.

A will let’s you choose the person you want to be guardian for your young children and raise them the way you want. 

And finally, a will allows you to appoint and executor, who you trust to wrap up your affairs like closing you bank accounts.

The importance of having life insurance

Life insurance helps you protect your loved ones by leaving them a tax-free lump sum of money at the time of your death. It becomes especially critical when you have anyone who depends on you financial (dependents.) For example, a spouse or minor children.

There are two main categories of life insurance:

  1. Term life insurance (a.k.a. term insurance)
  2. Permanent life insurance (a.k.a. whole life insurance)

Term life insurance covers you for a specific amount of time whereas whole life insurance (as the name would suggest) covers you until death. Term is often the more affordable route and suits many families with young kids since they only want the coverage while their kids are in school and still financially dependent on them (roughly 18-25 years.)

There are many policies to choose from and it’s a good idea to speak to a financial advisor or broker to find out which one is the best for you as it can change depending on your life stage.

How beneficiaries work

Both a will and life insurance protect your loved ones in the event something happens to you where you can no longer support them. And you name beneficiaries in each case.

It’s important to remember that, while both documents serve a similar purpose, they are also different in important ways. Firstly, your life insurance beneficiary is guaranteed to get their payout upon death. But your life insurance policy doesn’t control what happens to everything else you own. That’s where your will comes in.

Your will controls what happens to your assets like bank accounts, investments, real estate, and possessions. However, life insurance policies are not included as part of your will.

The life insurance payout is paid immediately and is not considered part of your estate. It can be used to cover expenses like the burial and funeral. The rest of your estate is distributed to the beneficiaries named in your will according to your wishes but this can take longer depending on the probate process.

In both circumstances, you should regularly review and update your beneficiaries in both your will AND life insurance policy if needed.

In summary: It’s important to have both a Will and life insurance to protect your loved ones

Every adult must have a will as it’s the only way to legally document your final wishes. Life insurance isn’t a legal requirement; however, it’s highly recommended if you have people in your life who depend on you financially.

It can be hard to plan far in advance when the ‘in advance’ is decades away. But if you want to ensure your loved ones are protected long after you’re gone, you’ll consider having both a will and life insurance. 

The Mark of a New Breed of Broker

Many brokers say they are different from the rest, but what’s the mark of someone who will truly go to bat for you? What kind of broker is the one that’s able to provide financial advice that serves you and your family to the highest degree?

The industry requires us to have a basic and fundamental understanding of how different products work and who they would be suitable for. Anyone that reads the textbook can surely wrap their head around that, get licensed, and start selling insurance products. That is the industry minimum, and oftentimes the benchmark.

At Longevity Achieved, we’ve redefined the minimum acceptable service and quality that we make available to our clients. We demand the highest level of commitment to providing full service from our brokers, as we’ve defined it. 

Full Service

It is not ‘quick service’ – and look, there’s nothing wrong with quick or efficient service, which is distinct from the burn and turn methods we’ve come to expect from some. Full service is also not service for service’s sake.

So, what is it? Therein lies the question! It is a BIG basket. Here’s two points that are fundamental to full service, the way we define it:

  • The clients’ true interests, rule. It’s not necessarily what’s said out-loud – that can be related to as, “the first layer of the onion.” Full service requires a keen listening for what’s of interest and importance to our client and serving that.
  • Deliver the expected and unexpected. This isn’t a matter of under-promise and over-deliver, that’s so yesteryear. This is over-promise and deliver and then deliver some more! We ask, “What would knock my clients socks off?” If we can’t find it, we’re not looking hard enough.

We place ourselves in our clients shoes. We take the time to get to know who they are, how they think, and what’s of core importance to them. We can provide answers to the questions they didn’t know they had, and certainly couldn’t articulate. Beyond full service, exceptional service. 

Exceptional Service

To most, it won’t come naturally to give such a high level of care in a field which is considered or sometimes labelled as “sales” – which there’s nothing wrong with, but sales has certainly gotten a bad rap, and rightfully so for the greed that inevitably surfaces in some. 

What it really takes for a broker to be a new breed of broker is beyond a deep concern for another human’s life and loved ones. It’s a commitment to becoming masterful in what is undoubtedly the most difficult industry to be masterful in. Becoming masterful not to be masterful, but doing so because that’s how we can sit with a client, have tough conversations, make a bold promise, and ask the client to take action and implement what we know is the best pathway to achieve the life they want. It’s also having that client say “yes.”

There are books upon books, upon speakers upon courses – how to sell and how to get a “yes” from your client. A new breed of broker has certainly trained and developed themselves to be highly successful in this area. We’ve done this not because we want to “close” or, “get one,” but because the only way for a new breed of broker to truly serve our clients is to provide every opportunity for that client to say “yes” to taking the actions required to achieve the life they want. If we don’t, we stand in the way of our client’s lives, we become their obstacle, not the timing or the money, or anything else they may need to deal with to take action. 

The Mark

Being the highest “producer,” the broker with the most clients and the highest income, that’s the mark – if that broker is among the new breed of brokers. Because we are compensated by a commission, which is a calculation derived from how much protection the client purchased – in other words, the financial benefit the client will receive in the future – this makes being highly paid more than honorable, it’s celebrated. 

A new breed of broker having a client say “yes” to a future financial benefit of $1,000,000 would certainly be deserving of higher commission than a future financial benefit of $100,000 for their client. The more the client benefits, the more we are compensated – a simple and honourable model. The difference is that a new breed of broker wouldn’t sell a higher future benefit to a client who doesn’t have an interest in that higher future benefit. A new breed of broker doesn’t think about the commission, but they gracefully accept the pay check when it arrives. 

The new breed of broker thinks of the client, as if their own mother or child, as if themselves – but not as themselves. They think of themselves as the client and their advice is given from that perspective, knowing what the client doesn’t know and knowing what’s required for the client to have the life they want, be achieved. 

And that’s all I have to say about that. 

So, where do you find a new breed of broker? Of course, we are not the only brokers out there providing this level of service, but we may be the only team of brokers all in one place. If you’re looking for us, here’s where to find us: start a conversation. We’d love the opportunity to take you into our utmost care.  

What’s in Your Plan?

Employee benefits are non-wage compensation provided by an employer in addition to the employee’s wage or salary. While a number of Canadians receive benefits from their employer, many don’t know the specifics of their benefits plan/package. While having employee benefits are great, it’s important to know exactly what’s included in them. Knowing the specifics of your benefits package can help you when different things in life happen, such as needing medication, medical equipment, or requiring specialist treatments. In this article, we will go over a few different benefits that are most commonly used within employee packages.

Dental 

Dental benefits provide dental services and supplies for plan members and their eligible dependants. The type of services covered under each plan varies, but there are 3 main sections which include: Basic, Major Restorative, and Orthodontics. Basic covers the check-ups, cleaning, x-rays, and other small procedures. Things like dentures, crowns, and bridgework are classified under the Major Restorative category. With Orthodontics, coverage is provided for mechanical aids required to straighten teeth and other defects such as braces, wires, and spacers. There are certain limits with each of these sections so be sure to look at them carefully.

Extended Health Care (EHC)

Extended Health Care (EHC) benefits, also known as major medical benefits, supplements existing hospital and medical insurance plans. The benefit provides for reimbursement of expenses and services not covered by the government. You may be asking “What is covered in this section of benefits?” Well, they commonly include hospital/drug coverage, paramedical services such as a chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, psychologist, and physiotherapist. It may also include medical supplies and equipment, out-of-province/out-of-country assistance, ambulance services, and vision care. Just like dental benefits, there are also limits on these services, so it is very important to have a careful read over this section and consult with an advisor or broker if you have any questions.

Short-Term/Long-Term Disability (STD/LTD)

The Short-Term Disability benefit compensates an employee for income lost as a result of short-term absences from work from an accident or sickness. Having Long-Term Disability is more important in protecting the financial well-being of employees. Much like short-term, this portion compensates your income when you are on a longer absence from work. In the case that unfortunate events occur such as accidents or sickness, it’s important to check for this in your benefits package to be assured that you can receive income while taking time to get better.

Health Spending Account (HSA)

A Health Spending Account (HSA), is an individual employee account that provides reimbursement for health care expenses and other benefits that are not covered under provincial health insurance plans. With a Health Spending Account, employees can use a pool of money to pay for expenses that would normally represent an out-of-pocket expense. A HSA can offer more flexibility than traditional benefit plans. Here are some things it can provide reimbursement for: Non-covered surgeries, home renovations for medically required home care, and paying deductibles. Some plans may include regular benefits and a HSA to supplement it, while others just have a HSA on its own.  

Group Life Insurance/Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Benefit plans typically provide basic life insurance that pays a pre-specified amount, defined in the contract, in the event of the death of an employee from any cause. There are other options that can include additional life coverage, as well as dependent coverage. The Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit provides a lump sum amount, set by the employer, in the event that an employee incurs a personal loss such as: life, limb, sight, hearing, and/or speech due to an accidental injury. 

The different sections in this article really just scratch the surface on the intricacies in one’s benefit plan. We always recommend reading up on them yourself and looking into it all further. If there is still any confusion, it is always best to speak with your HR department. Our independent advisors can also shed light on your benefits, and we’re also able to fill in any gaps within your plan to ensure that if anything medically happens to you in your life, we have you covered!

The Value of Return of Premium

A premium is the monthly payment required to pay for your policy. Let’s use Critical Illness insurance as an example. When purchasing an insurance product with a term – say ten, twenty, or thirty years – you usually have an option to select what’s called a “Return of Premium” rider.

A rider, simply put, is small add-on, or provision, that can be added to your policy to provide a variety of different benefits and options for an additional charge. Return of Premium (ROP) is an example of a rider.

Alternatively, a “Return of Premium” policy is another way that an insurance provider can offer this option. Regardless, both options accomplish the same task: to return the sum of your premiums back to you at the end of the term should the policy end with no illness.

Sounds like a no brainer…

Well, that truly depends on a few factors. At the surface, it’s easy to justify the additional cost when there is little risk to health or death since you would receive all of the premiums back, essentially providing you with free coverage with no tax liability right? Well, not exactly… There are a few things to consider when deciding to opt in or out of the rider.

Consider a scenario where you wanted to cancel your coverage, or convert it to a permanent life insurance plan: your insurance providers are not obliged return the premium depending on how the policy is terminated, modified or structured, thus leading you to incurring additional losses.

Another key component to consider is the opportunity cost of adding this rider to your policy. The additional principal that is put towards the ROP rider goes directly to the insurance company and gains zero interest. If you’re someone who is less tolerant of risk from a financial standpoint, the rider might be a viable option for you since an ROP guarantees a payout if the policy’s benefits aren’t claimed. Opportunity costs also raises the question of discipline. Instead of purchasing the ROP rider, you might think you can invest the equivalent amount…but the question stands: will that extra amount actually end up in an investment? It’s easy to speculate that every month the difference in savings will go to an investment, yet this is rarely the case in reality, especially over a long term. Having an ROP almost doubles as a forced savings mechanism. 

Now, if you’re someone who is more tolerant in terms of risk, you might want to invest that rider difference over the term of your policy into a low risk investment, such as a bond to help keep up with inflation. It’s important to note that the return of premium is guaranteed, so it isn’t really feasible to compare ROP to a higher risk investment that provides higher potential returns due to potential losses (among other factors), however this is dependent on your risk tolerance.

What about taxes?

As mentioned earlier, should you decide to invest this difference, there is a chance of having a larger tax liability when you’re ready to pull out your gains. Over a longer term, say twenty or thirty years, this might end up costing you more than just opting for the ROP which has no tax liability, since it’s considered a return of your principal.

Can I have an example?

Absolutely!

Let’s take a 30-year-old single male, non-smoker who is looking for Critical Illness coverage until they are the age of 75 for $100,000 of coverage. Let’s also assume that he can afford both options, one with ROP and one without.

His monthly premium would be $73.17 without opting for the ROP rider. We’ll call this Scenario A

With the ROP rider the monthly premium is $97.65. No other differences. This will be Scenario B

The difference between the two scenarios is $24.48 which is about a 25% difference

In Scenario A, the client would pay ~$39,500 over the next 45 years. Assuming that he lives to the end of the term with no illness, he receives no money back from the insurance company. 

However, there is that extra $293.76 ($24.48 x 12 months) that hasn’t been committed to the ROP. 

What if that was invested into a low risk bond yielding 2% a year for 45 years? The total value of the investment would be ~$21,500 at the end of the term! The advantage of having an investment like this is that your investment is liquid, you can pull a portion of this out at almost any time. 

Depending on the tax bracket and what type of investment the funds are in, the total realized gains could vary from 0% to 50% or more! 

In Scenario B, the client would pay ~$52,700 amount over 45 years. Once again, assuming that he lives to the end of the term with no illness, he’d receive a lump sum back from the insurer. Note that this amount returns to the client tax free. In this scenario, the only way to receive the funds back is to either terminate the policy, therefore having an adjusted lump sum returned. 

So, is it worth it?

There is inherent value in opting for an ROP depending on the length of time, your investment risk and your individual tax situation. Scenario A becomes much more favourable if you have a higher risk tolerance. The objective is to analyze each metric prior to making a decision. Speak with your advisor to ensure that you are selecting the most appropriate riders for your individual situation! 

5 Things You Can Cut Out in 2021 to Save Money

The pandemic has been tough for most of us, and there is no sugar coating that. When COVID-19 took us by storm, we had no choice but to adjust. We had to change the way we work, the way we shop, the way we interact, and the way we do life in general. Globally, we have been through a lot, and we’ve all been doing a pretty good job handling it while adapting to a new normal.

We collectively and quickly changed our usual way of doing things so we can keep our loved ones and strangers protected. We have had to learn how to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. As hard as this past year has been for so many of us, there have also been numerous lessons and silver-linings that have come out of it. Our priorities have shifted- and suddenly, we’re starting to realize that changing the way we do certain things has actually worked out for the better!

One thing that has become evident for many of us is that it’s pretty simple to cut costs that aren’t so necessary. Before the pandemic, many of us were going out to eat on the regular, attending pricey events, shopping at the mall weekly, and constantly finding new ways to spend our hard earned money. Now, we have had no choice but to live without some of these things, and in doing so, realizing that they aren’t all that essential. 

With that being said, I want to share 5 quick and easy switches I have implemented in my life to save more money this year, so you can too! 

  1. SWITCHING A GYM MEMBERSHIP FOR YOUTUBE FITNESS VIDEOS

There is absolutely no doubt that the gym is an excellent place to get your sweat on! For many, the gym is more than just a place to gain muscle, it provides us with a mental escape and safe space to work on ourselves. Unfortunately, between lockdowns, closures, and growing COVID-19 cases, the gym hasn’t been readily available to us all. For the past 6 months I have decided to try working out from home and honestly, it’s been great! The best part about working out from home is that there are so many “no equipment” and “low impact” YouTube videos that exist to help you get an optimal workout in. With all the virtual options available, there’s no reason you can’t get your sweat on from home!

2. SWITCHING EXPENSIVE BEAUTY PRODUCTS TO DIY TREATMENTS

Let’s be real, prior to the pandemic, it was a challenge to find the time for self-care. Many of us resorted to buying overly expensive face masks or moisturizers that we could just slather on at the end of the day. Nowadays, that has changed. Many of us are working from home, and suddenly we have more time to show ourselves a little extra love by being more consistent with face masks, hair masks, and overall skin care. With a quick Google search, you can find plenty of do it yourself beauty hacks that you can throw together with products you most likely have at home. Sometimes simple treatments will do the same job, if not better, than our 150 dollar products.

3. REACHING FOR A SWEATER INSTEAD OF THE THERMOSTAT

It’s wintertime, and in Canada, mother nature does not mess around. It can get pretty frigid out there! Now that we’re spending more time at home than ever before, our energy bill could easily reach new heights. Now is the time to ask yourself, “is it cold enough that I need to put the thermostat on? Or, can I put on some layers, grab a comfy blanket, and feel warm?” Most of the time, a sweater will do the trick. Be mindful of how much you’re turning the heat on, especially during the day. If you can, try using it only when it’s absolutely necessary. Besides, being wrapped up in a comfy blanket with your laptop just feels so much better.

4. SWITCHING YOUR DAILY STARBUCKS FOR AT HOME LATTES

Ah, the daily Starbucks latte… something that once felt like a necessity and now, a luxury. Before COVID-19, many of us were rushing out the door to get to our office jobs with little to no time for making coffee at home. This would usually result in ordering an extra large latte, or coffee, at our nearest Starbucks drive through. This year, I challenge you to make your coffee and lattes at home, saving just one day a week for Starbucks or your favourite coffee shop. Since working from home during the pandemic, I have found so many easy coffee and tea latte recipes to make that have been absolutely delicious! You will see just how much money you can save by making this simple switch!

5. SWITCHING YOUR EXPENSIVE CELL PHONE DATA PLAN TO SOMETHING CHEAPER

The days of commuting have been long gone for many of us since the pandemic hit. We have shifted to working from home, and might be continuing to do that for quite a while. At one point, our cell phone plans may have needed to be bigger to account for all the data we were using while on the go. I think it’s safe to say that many of us have been sticking to WIFI lately, meaning there is no longer a need for those large cell phone data plans and add-ons. If you have the opportunity to make the switch to a cheaper plan, it’s a great idea to do so! You might just be able to save quite a bit on a monthly basis, and that always makes a difference.

These are just a few simple switches you can start implementing in your life and daily routine! By looking at your finances and creating some goals about where you want to be in a year from now, you can get an idea of what is worth cutting out. Some of these switches may seem challenging at first, but if you stick to it, you’ll adjust and start saving in no time!

So, How Do You Keep Wealth in Your Family?

Have you ever wondered what happens to your hard-earned assets when you become an angel?

The average person spends 40 years of their life working hard to build a legacy for themselves and their family. In those 40 years many plan for a dream home, kids’ education, retirement & vacations.

What often goes unplanned for is one’s estate.

Have you ever stopped to consider what will happen to all of your wealth? If you have any desire to keep the wealth within your family (most of us do), estate planning is essential. 

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the process of planning for the transfer of your assets (your stuff) upon death. All of the assets that you own make up your estate. This includes your property, savings account, investments, cars, tennis racket and Pokémon cards (just kidding – not really).

The main objective of estate planning is to ensure all of your assets are successfully transferred to your family and beneficiaries when you pass away – all the while, planning for and managing the taxes that will be owed. Without adequate planning you run the risk of owing more tax than available cash and your assets being owned by the government with your family possibly receiving nothing.

When you pass away, all of your assets are frozen and become your estate. 

Before your estate can be distributed to your family there are several taxes and fees that must be paid. If your estate is unable to pay the taxes and fees, the government has the ability to seize and sell your assets to obtain what is owed. Uh… excuse me? Yes, it’s true. 

If you want control over what happens to your assets or you desire your wealth to be kept within your family, proper estate planning is key and it’s never too early to start. 

What do I need in my estate plan?

Your estate plan will have various components, but one key element is a will. Your will includes your wishes (instructions) of how you want your assets to be distributed. If you have minor children, you should also assign guardians to ensure their proper care. You can also set up a trust to further protect your assets and their distribution (more on that in future posts).

You’ll name an executor of your estate – this person will oversee the entire process when you pass away.

Your plan should include adequate life insurance to cover the taxes and fees associated with your estate. This could be separate from the other policies you have (designed for this specific use). This ensures all fees are paid and allows your assets to be transferred intact, to your family and beneficiaries in accordance with your will. 

How much does the estate process cost?

This varies based upon professional fees, the length of time the process takes to finalize in court and the amount of your total assets. Your estate is also subject to Estate Administration Tax or probate fees.

To calculate your probate fee cost, you want to first get the total value of your estate. Next, you will pay $5 per $1,000 of the estate’s asset up to the first $50,000, plus $15 per $1,000 of the estate’s asset over $50,000. For example, if your total estate is $1,000,000, you would owe $14,500 in Estate Administration Tax (insert eye roll here).

How do I or my family pay the probate fees? 

Upon death, your assets are frozen until an estate executor is appointed. At that point probate fees are paid with assets at your executor’s discretion. One way to leave more to your family is by designating beneficiaries, whenever possible. You can designate beneficiaries on RRSPs, TFSAs, segregated fund accounts and a life insurance policy.

Seriously, one of the best strategies to transfer wealth is through life insurance.

The proceeds of life insurance policy bypass the probate process and your beneficiary inherits the proceeds tax free. Then they can use the inheritance to cover the Estate Administration Tax, taxes upon death, any final expenses (medical, funeral, etc.), legal fees and professional fees, etc. 

How much life insurance do I need?

Well, what’s important to you? This needs a deeper conversation. You should also weigh the value of your current assets and those you wish to attain in the future. The earlier you plan this process, the more cost effective it is.

If you take the time to create an estate plan early, you’ll leave a larger inheritance to your loved ones and minimize the tax collected by the government.  

Here’s One Real Way to Ensure You Do Something Great During Your Lifetime.

Insurance & investments go hand-in-hand. One creates wealth and one keeps it around (and makes sure it’s there if you happen to leave the earth, earlier than you expected) …

It’s unfortunate however, that almost one-third of Canadians do not have any life insurance. Many families will be left financially vulnerable, should their loved ones (and income-earner) pass away.

There are a wide range of reasons why you may not have life insurance. Maybe you think the work policy you have is adequate? Maybe you think you’re too young and therefore, don’t need it? Or maybe you think it’s too expensive?

The fact of the matter is, if anybody is counting on your income or, if you have anyone that you want to leave in a better financial position, you need life insurance.

Tax Free, Generational Wealth 

Life insurance remains the best, most tax efficient way to create (or transfer) wealth. It’s a great way to pass down money and create generational wealth.

The majority of wealthy people were the beneficiary of a life insurance policy1 (source). Someone died and left them a lump sum of money. This lump sum of cash money catapulted them into a more favourable financial position.

Did I mention that the Death Benefit is paid TAX FREE?! (yea, I did…)

The Power Of Planning

By providing the proceeds of a life insurance policy, you are setting your loved ones up to build wealth for generations.

GoFundMe is not insurance. It shouldn’t be used to take care of your funeral expenses. Nor should your family have start over, from scratch, once you’ve passed.

Remember rapper Master P?! In the 1990’s, he was a famous southern hip-hop artist.

His grandfather was tragically killed in a work accident. That left Master P with a $10,000 insurance cheque… (can you see where I’m going?) He put that $10,000 to work, real work, and ultimately built a business empire worth $250,000,000

What a way to have your name live on forever.

Make ‘Em Say Ugh!

Leaving money to our loved ones can allow them the opportunity to pursue their dreams – to pay for education, open a business, whatever they want.

Many of us are not in the position to do something great during our lifetime… purchasing an insurance policy is one way to make lasting difference for your family. And create a powerful legacy.

No one knows exactly when they’ll die. But we know death is inevitable.

So, the question is, “if we all know we are going to die someday, why aren’t we doing all we can while we’re alive to create a family legacy?”

Be a benefit to the next generation. For the cost of your daily coffee, you can change the trajectory of generations to come.

Longevity & Love: In With The New

It takes a different kind of broker to achieve the life you want; being insatiably curious, courageous and committed to full service are prerequisites. The new breed of broker also has industry designations, on-the-court experience and access to cutting-edge training. And, Longevity Achieved is filled with them.

Out with the old

The old model is simple – get in and get out. Burn and turn, as they say in the restaurant industry. Gone are the days of a simple financial needs analysis coupled with insurance and investment product recommendations. That method of “service” is at best, antiquated.

Here’s the thing, it may be appropriate to create a simple solution. Burn and turn, if you will. But that became the norm! That’s where we’ve failed our clients. We (the industry) sold out. Here’s why – it is EASY to have THAT conversation.

The concept of temporary insurance is straightforward, easy to explain and easy to understand (that’s not a bad thing, and it’s our job to make any solution be that way), but better (read worse) still – it’s almost always within budget. We started to celebrate the “close” and as a consequence, missed the mark.

In with the new

If we aren’t going to have the HARD conversations, who will? If we miss that unique moment in time, when client meets advisor and there’s a perfect storm of need and willingness, there’s no better time to create vision and plan or better said, the life our clients want and a clear path to achieve it. If we don’t, the client doesn’t get what they actually came for and we haven’t done our job.

That’s not an easy conversation though. It takes something – because you’re putting yourself on the line for something, for someone else’s benefit. You make a bold promise to another human being and say – “look, you have something you want to achieve and I’m the one to help you get it”. You’d have to do something about it, wouldn’t you? And, who wants more to do?

The new breed of broker does. And, Longevity Achieved is filled with them.

For our clients

What moves you into action? Is it inspiration? Is it integrity? Or, perhaps it’s love? Maybe it’s something else.

We’re inspired by the notion of being the new breed of broker and everything that means for us and for you. The integrity with which we operate means we train and develop ourselves in all areas of life (personal and professional) all the time – in service of the questions, “how do I get better at this thing?” and “how do I create the fullest opportunity to make a difference for you?”.

Excited for every conversation and the opportunities that present themselves, we are leaders, for you. Our client relationships are like love affairs and that has us do these crazy things we’re talking about. It’s about being happy, together.

Are you interested in getting started? Or perhaps, you’ve already started and want to experience what you could achieve with a partner that’s really committed to you? If so, meeting with one of our team members is a natural opportunity, click the button below and start a conversation.


For the new breed of broker

Longevity Achieved is a Managing General Agency in Mississauga, Ontario committed to client and broker success. We are of the opinion that in order to deliver for our clients – our brokers must achieve the life they want.

We created a brokerage and MGA that will deliver on that promise. We train high-quality brokers like the good old career agent days – inside of a model that had access to the entire industry, and its products.

We are creating a new breed of broker. In concert, we provide a new business model, high touch coaching, industry designations and performance metrics – along with many other deliverables to facilitate that.

Can you see yourself doing business with a high level of integrity? If so, producing ever-expanding results in a high-performance setting is a natural fit, inquire below and see if you’ve got what it takes.

Millennials: Investing Too Early – Yes, I Said It

Is it possible to invest too early? Contrary to popular belief, the answer is – yes, sort of. Ask yourself, “what’s more important – protecting my ability to save or saving what I already have?”. What did you answer?

You may be someone who already takes zero (or very little) risks in life. You never drive without a seatbelt or ride a bike without a helmet, or spend the money you make with little planning for the future. If that’s you – this conversation will come easy. And, you may be the opposite and this concept may give you pause. All’s well! The fact is, we mostly make decisions around finances the same way, emotionally.

Investing too early is detrimental.

When it comes to the question of when to invest, we often think of lost opportunity and stories of friends who have made gains in the stock market and then the sense of eagerness consumes – as the time for potential earning burns away.

This is emotion at play. Thinking rationally (easy, when there is no money to win or lose) provides a new context. When asked if it is worse to invest too early or too late, many will vote “too late” – because the earlier you invest, the higher your returns will be since you have a longer investing horizon. But, investing too early can be detrimental. Yes, I said it.

How can investing too early even be possible?

Every investment has a horizon (or a timeline) – think, “what am I investing for?”. This timeline may not be exact, although, it’s projected. If you just finished university, for example, and you’re working full time and saving, you may be ready to invest. So, how can it be too early? Well, don’t count your chickens before they hatch! Have you built-up your emergency fund? Do you have income protection in place? If you had $200 per month to save, you’d be in a better position using that to build an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of your current income so that you don’t have to dip into your savings for that next emergency, which as we all know, is not a matter of if but when.

Build a solid foundation, not a house of cards.

Look, the fact is, you’ve got a 33% chance of being disabled for more than 90 days during your working years, and a 50% chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness, like cancer, in your lifetime. The statistics are staggering.

So, why does this matter? Well, if you’re not working, you’re not making money. Are you saving? Probably not. So, what you’ve saved is at risk (since you’ll have to dip in to deal with your day-to-day life) and what you’re saving for will be at risk (since you won’t be contributing while you’re not working).

See? It’s off. You’ve got to back up your investments before (or while) you start investing by creating an income protection plan and an emergency fund.

There are many things that can affect your ability to save (and invest). Unexpected repairs for your car, losing your job and still needing to pay for expenses, you or someone in your family becoming sick or injured and needing care, etcetera, etcetera. All of these events can be hard to predict and will almost certainly drain your investments.

“I’m ready to invest, learn about the markets and make some returns on my money”, you say? You’re excited! Good! Keep that excitement up and take this advice – create an emergency fund and implement an income protection strategy. You may hesitate. If creating wealth is your goal and you make your income from one active source that requires your input (called a J.O.B), then protect that source of income and ask yourself “what happens if that flow of income stops?”.

Share the wealth.

This too applies if, for instance, you’re planning on buying a house in the next year. It would not make sense to put the money you’ve saved for a down payment in a risky investment – chasing quick gains. Unless you required the growth to meet your downpayment needs, you’d be better to be in a guaranteed investment, holding for the right time to purchase that home.

If you have $200 a month to save, start by protecting your income (it doesn’t cost very much to offset your risk) and use the rest to build your emergency fund. As soon as that’s done – you’ll know the $200 you’re intent on saving every month will actually have a chance at sticking.

Underestimating the importance of planning for and protecting your investment is rolling the dice. Build your financial foundation and infrastructure then the house you designed won’t collapse. Before multiplying what you already, plan and then get ready, because your bases are covered.

For related topics, check out the posts below.


What you need to know:

  • The concepts offered are based on information available at the time of writing, it is subject to change.
  • Coverage is not guaranteed for everyone – this coverage is underwritten and based on an applicant’s age, sex, smoking status, family history, medical history and a slew of other pertinent information.
  • As always, seek advice from your financial professional, accountant and tax lawyer.
  • For more information regarding the income protection strategies, reach out to our office – we are elated at the opportunity to offer a no-obligation consultation.

The information in this article is derived from various sources. We do our best to ensure the sources are both accurate and reliable and – information changes. As such, we make no guarantee or warranty to the completeness of the information presented here or it’s application to your personal circumstances. Before acting on any of the above concepts, reach out and get a personalized look at the applicability of this and other insurance strategies for your unique personal or corporate circumstances.