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Boomer + Sandwich Generation + Club Sandwich + Boomerang = Financial Instability

The Sandwich Generation was a term coined by Dorothy Miller in 1981 to describe adult children who were “sandwiched” between their aging parents and their own maturing children.  There is even a term for those of us who are in our 50’s or 60’s with elderly parents, adult children and grandchildren – the Club Sandwich.   More recently, the Boomerang Generation (the estimated 29% of adults ranging in ages 25 to 34, who live with their parents), are adding to the financial pressures as Boomers head into retirement. It is estimated that by 2026, 1 in 5 Canadians will be older than 65. This means fewer adults to both fund and provide for elder care.  Today, it is likely that the average married couple will have more living parents than they do children.

What are the challenges? Read more


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


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


Long Term Care Insurance – Not Just for the Elderly

Whenever the topic of Long Term Care Insurance (LTC) is brought up, most people’s reaction is to automatically assume the discussion is about caring for the elderly.   While it is true that LTC coverage is a valuable tool to provide the necessary funds for when we are no longer able to care for ourselves, it should not be overlooked for younger people who are in the prime of their earning years but are unable to purchase the amount of disability insurance that they desire.

LTC insurance pays a monthly benefit to an insured who is unable to perform at least two of the six activities of daily living without assistance.  The activities of daily living are bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (bed to chair or vice-versa), continence and eating.  It also pays a benefit in the case of cognitive impairment.  Anyone who has been in a serious accident, took a bad fall on the ski slopes, or suffered a debilitating illness or condition could probably have received a benefit from a LTC insurance policy if the condition lasted longer than the waiting period of the contract. 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



Tackling the challenges of benefits provision for employees over age 65

by Kim Siddall

Increasing longevity, better health and the elimination of mandatory retirement means many Canadians are delaying their retirement past age 65, presenting employers with both advantages and challenges for managing benefits for this unexpected segment of their workforce.

Statistics Canada’s last census indicated that one in four Canadian seniors were still working in some capacity past the traditional age of retirement, whether driven by choice or economic necessity. This finding was echoed by Sun Life’s last Unretirement index last year, which pointed to a growing number of Canadians who fully expect to still be working full time at age 66. In fact, 2015 marked the first year in the seven years of the study that more respondents expected to be working full time at 66 than those who expected to be fully retired. 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 »