Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A financial plan is … yours

The term ‘financial plan’ is pretty generic – but yours shouldn’t be. Your plan should be as good a fit for your life in the future as it is today, be easily adaptable to the constant changes you’re bound to encounter in the future, and be focused on achieving your long-term life and retirement goals.
To get you started, here’s what you need to know when starting your financial plan.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all financial plan: Your plan must be a personalized and precise road map of the things you need to do to achieve your current and future goals.
  • The starting point is a discussion of your financial goals:  Your goals may include educating your children, paying off debt, protecting your family, buying a house, planning a holiday or a major purchase, leaving money to your family or a favorite charity, and, of course, funding your retirement.
  • Get specific: Once you’ve zeroed in on your financial goals, get specific about how much they will cost and how you will meet those goals.
  • Financial inventory: Then, take an inventory of all that you own and owe including the value of your home, investments and other assets, pensions and the amount of debt you carry (e.g., mortgages, personal loans, credit cards).
With all the right personal information on hand, a financial plan can be developed that gives you:
  • A snapshot of your current net worth – and a blueprint for increasing your net worth over time by increasing the value of what you own and decreasing the amount that you owe.
  • A framework for a workable budget that includes your income, expenses, taxes and savings. You want to aim for a budget that gives you a cash flow surplus (meaning you’re spending less than you earn) and not a cash flow deficit (meaning you’re spending more than you earn).
  • The knowledge about whether you can achieve your goals based on your current assets and savings patterns or what you need to do to meet your goals by increasing savings, changing your investments or delaying the timeline for some of your goals.
  • Advice on what types of accounts to put your investments in; e.g., RRSPs, TFSAs, or non-registered accounts.
You need a comprehensive and personal financial plan. Talk to a professional advisor with the qualifications, tools and track record of developing financial plans.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Survival is Paramount - but the hit to retirement savings can be insurmountable

We all know that we should do what we can to protect our assets ... and for the vast majority of us, our largest asset is our ability to earn. If we lose that, we risk losing everything. Employer's group plans can help if you have one, but frequently they have caps, which mean patients have to come up with the funds for their treatment. Private Disability and Critical Illness coverage may not be the answer for everyone, but it is certainly worth investigating.

Your professional advisor can help you decide how Disability and Critical Illness insurance fit with your existing insurance coverage and your overall financial plan.

The Globe and Mail. - Preparing for the cost of catastrophic illnesses-before-retirement

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Active insurance – a must for active kids

Your kids are active and that’s a good thing – it’s healthy, engaging and fun. But with their active lifestyle comes the possibility of injury. Usually it’s just a matter of getting out the disinfectant, a dressing and a hug – but there’s always the chance your child could have a more significant accident. That’s why your active kids may need active insurance.
Student accident insurance is active insurance. It provides 24-hour coverage for medical, dental, disability and accidental dismemberment/death for students participating in any school activities. Plans can also be expanded to include 24-hour coverage wherever your child is – at home, at play, or even on vacation. Coverage for expenses such as private tutoring, eye glasses and much more can also be included.
Student accident insurance is usually available for any child over six months of age who is enrolled full-time in kindergarten, elementary or secondary school, college or university or is registered in daycare, play-school or pre-school. Children who are home-schooled in a provincially approved curriculum are also eligible for this type of insurance.
Your school may offer student accident insurance. It is also available from many insurance companies.
Student accident insurance is typically inexpensive, yet it can provide your family with some protection against those unexpected accidents. In addition, you may want to consider children’s critical illness insurance for those far more serious concerns.
Your professional advisor can help you decide how student accident insurance – and children’s critical illness insurance – fit with your existing insurance coverage and your overall financial plan.