Aging is a fear most of us have. When we think about it, we like to think we’ll be taken care of and more importantly won’t be alone. Being alone became very common during the pandemic. During this very isolating time, we had more time than ever to not only ponder our future, but watch the news to see what’s happening with others. This included seeing how the older population were being looked after and the results are in. We are not terrified of ending up in a long-term care (LTC) facility.
According to a survey by Angus Reid, the pandemic changed the way people view LTC homes and left 44% of people dreading the thought of ever being in one – even for one day. With 45% of Canadians showcasing their belief the industry requires massive change or a complete overhaul, it’s a day of reckoning for the Long-Term Care Industry. In another study, 70% of respondents said the country should invest more in healthcare, 39% supported an increase in staffing levels and 38% indicating a pay raise may make employment more attractive to qualified caregivers.
Ready to kick start your wellness journey, or take it to the next level? Take advantage of LifeWorks for free. Get personalized resources for improving your physical and mental health, access to assessments, coaches and more!
Need a little more motivation to watch your wellness? We’re giving two lucky winners an Apple Watch through our Watch Your Wellness & Win Giveaway! Plus, we’ll do bonus draws for a LifeWorks Swell water bottle or Yeti coffee mug!
Winners will be contacted July 29 and August 26. Good luck!
The conversation of estate planning might be one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have with your family and loved ones. However, with an estimated 90% of wealth transfers failing in Canada, we believe it is a conversation worth having.
Please join Mike Kat, Director of Wealth Distribution at Sun Life Global Investments for an in-depth conversation surrounding the complexities and challenges Canadians are facing when transitioning their wealth to their loved ones. Specifically, Mike will discuss some of the financial as well as emotional costs of settling an estate and how these can be minimized through proper estate planning.
March 9th, 2021 at 2:30 PM CST March 11th, 2021 at 7:00 PM CST
Our spending habits have changed this year. Some have taken advantage of special offers or spent the money they had saved for holidays on toys to use around home. Some have been holding on to all their money waiting to see how everything plays out.
Are you looking on how to grow your money? Now is the time to save and invest. Manulife currently has a special offer you’ll want to take advantage of sooner than later as the earlier you contribute, the more you’ll earn!
Clients with Tax-Free Advantage Account (TFSA) or Registered Advantage Account (RRSP) will earn 2.00% until April 30, 2021 on new deposits made between December 1, 2020 and March 12, 2021. Whether you’re trying to save for short or long-term goals, your money remains fully accessible, for better flexibility in a time of uncertainty.
If you’re ready to take advantage of this great opportunity to earn “free” money, contact us.
The holiday season is a time we normally spend time searching for the perfect gift for our loved ones. This year may make the gifts a more important part of the season as spending time may be limited due to the pandemic.
If your family members are elderly or have cognitive impairment, the restrictions may cause even more stress than usual during this time. One way to alleviate some of that concern is with the MyDignity Homecare Assistance Program, the perfect gift for peace of mind.
Learn more about this program and how it can help.
In the event of a loss of independence and/or cognitive impairment one will have the means to select the appropriate level of care and avoid placing physical and financial hardship on the family. Above all it preserves your dignity. It allows you to remain in your own home rather than being placed in a facility, while maintaining everybody’s standard of living and protecting the family’s financial security.
There are 2 ways one qualifies for benefits:
1) A monthly income or service becomes payable when the insured needs the help of another to accomplish at least two of the following activities of daily living (loss of independence): (Transferring, Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Continence and Eating)
Generally, one loses their broader mobility skills first, which affects transferring and bathing simultaneously, followed closely by the loss of finer motor skills which in turn affects one’s ability to dress and feed themselves. The loss of self-toileting skills can be either a function of loss of mobility and balance or a consequence of the normal aging process.
2) A monthly income or service is also payable if the insured becomes Cognitively Impaired i.e. has a loss of ability to reason, perceive, think, reflect or remember.
People prefer to be cared for in their own home rather than being relegated to a facility. The cost for homecare varies largely according to location and the type of care required. Today the cost for care can range from $400-$500 a week for minimal care such as assistance with bathing, light housekeeping, meal preparation and laundry to $1,200-$1,500 per week which might include skilled nursing care, specialized medication administration and wound management. The cost in the future is anticipated to increase in proportion to the demand. This brings us to a very sobering fact: The coming demographic with the avalanche of boomers will be unprecedented and will affect all levels of health care, both acute and long term.
Each one of us bears a responsibility to act as our own advocate and plan for our own care when the time comes. Many mistakenly believe the government will take care of their needs when the time comes. They could not be more wrong. Any government assistance covers only the most basic care in what are sometimes far less than desirable settings.
Why MyDignity Inc.?
Even though long term care insurance is the logical solution, this solution comes with its own set of issues. The conventional long term care products in the market place not only require full underwriting, they are difficult to obtain as over 50% of applicants are declined, and they are unfortunately much more costly and out of the reach for most Canadians.
MyDignity Inc. is pleased to provide a proprietary simplified issue (CARP endorsed) homecare assistance plan, underwritten through established Canadian insurers, that is easy to obtain and affordable. Underwriting consists of a short health declaration allowing for a 95% approval rate.
For more information on a specific issue or assistance related to the aging process and our homecare assistance plan, please refer to our website.
Watch the MyDignity (Your Care Your Way) Video to learn more:
Sometimes a little can do a lot to help keep a financial plan on track. Like having a bank account that does double duty – as a personal savings account and a versatile chequing account at the same time. The Manulife Bank Advantage Account does just that, and we’re really pleased to be able to ffer an introductory 4-month 2.15% interest rate offer* for our clients who open an Advantage Account by October 31, 2020.
You keep earning daily interest after the introductory offer ends (currently 0.15%) You can bank for free* when you keep just $1,000 in the account
Pay no monthly account fee
Make unlimited free transfers to and from your accounts at other Canadian banks
Get easy access to cash at thousands of bank machines across Canada
Bank anywhere, anytime, using online banking and their top-rated mobile banking app
If you’re ready to open an Advantage Account now, don’t hesitate. You can apply online in less than five minutes, using our personal link:
We’re also available to discuss how we can use and Advantage Account to help make your money work harder and reach some of your financial goals faster. Contact us!
*The 2.15% promotional rate is for a new personal, non-registered, Canadian-dollar Advantage Account. The promotional interest rate is made up of regular posted annual variable interest rate of 0.15% and the variable annual promotional rate of 2.00%. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly on net new deposits for the first 120 days (4 months) after account opening to a maximum of $250,000. Any change to the regular interest rate will result in a corresponding change to the promotional interest rate. The offer is limited to one account per client and cannot b combined with other offers. The offer and rates are as of September 17, 2020 and subject to change without notice. See full terms and conditions and visit manulifebank.ca/rates for current rates.
**Interest is calculated daily on the total daily balance and paid monthly. Rate is subject to change without notice.
***Everyday banking fees for ABM cash withdrawals, direct payments (debit), e-transfers and bill payments are waived when the account balance is $1,000 or more. All other everyday withdrawal and deposit transactions are free at any balance. Visit manulifebank.ca for additional details.
With all that is going on in the world right now, it makes you stop and think about the future and what would happen if something happened to you. Or your loved ones. This type of thinking should lead you towards thinking about life insurance. Scary thought, but a realistic and responsible one.
Would You Like Four Free Months if Premiums?
Now it’s easier than ever for you toget the longer duration term insurance you need. From Sept. 1 until Dec. 1, 2020, Canada Life ™ is making a special introductory offer of four free months premium*on qualifying, new Canada LifeTMterm 20, term 30 and term to age 65 policies. This includes additional benefits (riders). For a new policy to qualify, the application for the policy must be received between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1 inclusive. This offer extends to reissues, if the original policy qualified.
Do you want to know more? Contact us today to take advantage of this great offer.
The new Manulife All-In Banking Package is designed to maximize your money. It’s a new, innovative mobile-based banking bundle that’s unlike any other banking experience in Canada.
Sign-up with one easy online application and five minutes of your time – and you’ll get an everyday banking and high-interest savings account along with a ManulifeMONEY+™ Visa Platinum card1 and travel disruption insurance.2
Get unlimited daily banking – including debit transactions, e-Transfers, and withdrawals.
Earn high interest on every dollar you save.
Have your $10 monthly fee waived when you save $100 or more each month.3
Maximize the interest you earn with Savings Sweep – which automatically moves excess money from your everyday banking into your savings account each night.
Get insights on your spending habits and learn about personal finance from MAI, your new AI-powered financial assistant.
Plus… for a limited time, new customers will get a one-year Amazon Prime membership and up to five-months of Amazon Audible4 just by making ten or more purchases in each of the first full two months following their Manulife All-In Banking Package opening date.5
Contact me today to get started and you’ll receive our special discounted banking fee of just $8 per month. And by saving $100 each month, you’ll get free banking!
1 Subject to credit card approval.
2 Underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) and First North American Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife. Manulife, P.O. Box 670, Stn Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 4B8.
3 At the end of every month, if the balance in your High Interest Savings Account is $100 higher than the balance on the last day of the previous month, we’ll waive the monthly fee.
4 If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member and you haven’t used an Audible free trial before, you’ll be eligible to receive 5 months of Audible as part of this offer. Amazon Prime now comes with a 3-month Audible free trial. If you’ve used an Audible free trial before, you’ll be eligible to receive 2 months of Audible as part of this offer.
Wondering how you can secure your financial security given your income or work realities? Doug Buss is the man to talk to if you desire to develop financial well-being. Listen to the show as he shares some tips and strategies.
A little win for me could mean a big win for you today! In appreciation of my business, Manulife Bank just offered me a special promotion on their combined personal savings and chequing account, called the Advantage Account. I’m excited to share it with you because there’s much more to this offer than the great 2.60%* interest rate.
We can use this account to enhance your current financial plan, make your money work harder, and help you reach your goals sooner. High daily interest is the first of many key benefits you’ll enjoy without having to lock in a single dollar:
Earn 2.60% interest for the first 5 months. After that, you continue earning high interest on all your money, currently 0.30%***
Bank for free** when you keep just $1,000 in the account
Pay no monthly account fee
Make unlimited free transfers to and from your accounts at other Canadian banks
Get easy access to cash at more than 3,500 bank machines across Canada
Bank anywhere, anytime using online banking and their top-rated mobile banking app
If you’re ready to start taking advantage of all the Advantage Account has to offer, you can apply online in less than five minutes, using my personal promotional link.
This special offer is now closed. Thank you for your interest!
* The 2.60% promotional rate is for new deposits to a new personal, non-registered, Canadian-dollar Advantage Account. The promotional interest rate is made up of the regular posted annual variable interest rate of 0.30% and the variable annual promotional rate of 2.30%. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly on net new deposits for the first 150 days (5 months) after account opening, to a maximum of $250,000. Any change to the regular interest rate will result in a corresponding change to the promotional interest rate. The offer is limited to one account per client and cannot be combined with other offers. The offer and rates are as of April 22, 2020 and subject to change without notice. See full terms and conditions and visit manulifebank.ca/rates for current rates.
**Everyday banking fees for ABM cash withdrawals, debit payments, e-transfers and bill payments are waived when the account balance is $1,000 or more. All other everyday withdrawal and deposit transactions are free at any balance. Visit manulifebank.ca for additional details.
***Interest is calculated daily on the total daily balance and paid monthly. Rate is subject to change without notice.
Advantage Account is offered through Manulife Bank of Canada.
Our commitment is to your safety and well-being, now and always. If you are directly impacted by the coronavirus and facing financial challenges, we are prepared to help you find a solution that meets your needs. Contact us today.
Yesterday it was announced Canada’s big banks to allow mortgage payment deferrals and opportunity for relief on other credit products. We encourage you to be proactive and contact your financial institution TODAY to make a plan. If you are experiencing financial strain, take advantage of these extraordinary offerings and ensure you do NOT let payments go NSF. This virus may affect your health and well-being, but it doesn’t have to affect your credit. Learn more about the temporary banking changes:
You’ve all heard the old adage: Out of sight, out of mind? Well, we recently decided to try the opposite with our fruit in the fridge. Doug and I are working with Shauna Muldrew, Owner and Health Coach of Infinity Health and Nutrition Coaching, to spruce up our eating and work outs and she suggested that we get the fruit OUT of the crispers and on a shelf in the fridge – RIGHT AT EYE LEVEL. I have also been placing apples, plums, peaches and oranges in a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. Lo and behold, because all these healthy goodies are now visible, the whole family is eating more fruit rather than reaching for processed snacks. You’re all familiar with those hangry times when you get home from a busy, stressful day and you just want to rip open a bag of chips? I’m not saying that fruit cuts it over chips, but at least at our house, fruit is now the first thing you see when entering the kitchen or opening the fridge. This makes it soooooo much easier to grab a healthy snack. Anyone who knows us knows we love to chill in our living room and watch sports or movies. We call our reclining seats Row 1 Seats 1 &2 for Jets games! However, those food commercials on TV can be sooooo enticing. You can practically smell the aromas coming from the TV! I now pre-wash and prepare strawberries and grapes. They are ready to go! All we have to do is grab a bowlful and crunch down on some grapes. The sweet crunchiness also satisfies the chocolate cravings. Making small, visible changes keeps us moving in the right direction. The same can be said for having a financial plan and meeting regularly with a financial planner. We now have a plan to increase our healthy snacks and it’s working. Having a financial plan with visible goals and objectives works the same way by keeping your finances In Sight and Top of Mind.
Provided that the earnings that you make from investments are not withdrawn from the RESP, you will not pay any tax on them, giving you the opportunity to grow your savings quicker.
Take advantage of government grants
The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), established by the federal government, will add to your RESP every year. It provides an additional 20% on contributions up to a maximum of $2,500- that’s up to $500 each year. If it isn’t used, the CESG top up can be carried forward and applied to future contributions to a lifetime maximum of $7,200. What’s more, families on lower incomes might also receive money via the Canada Learning Bond. The Government of Canada contributes up to $2,000 to a RESP for an eligible child. This includes $500 for the first year of eligibility and $100 each year the child continues to be eligible (up to and including the benefit year in which they turn 15.)
You can choose your investment options
Take full control of your finances by deciding which investments are best matched to your financial goals, appetite for risk and short / long term objectives. You can choose from a variety of options including GICs, segregated and mutual funds.
Others can contribute towards a RESP
A friend or family member is able to set up a RESP for your child and they can contribute towards it too to help it to grow faster.
Your children are liable for the tax of educational assistant payments (EAP)
Educational assistance payments can be drawn by your child if they take post-secondary education but they are liable for the tax on the payments. This can be beneficial as your child, while studying, is likely to have little or no income and therefore the tax burden is likely to be lower than if you were liable for it yourself.
Benefit from your RESP account for up to 36 years
There are a few rules to be aware of relating to the time periods that apply to RESPs. For example, if you are eligible for disability tax credit, your RESP account can stay open for a maximum of 40 years. And if your child wants to take a break from studying before returning to education later, they may still be able to use the money invested in the RESP. Contact us to learn how we can help.
The last year of high school is filled with schooling, parties and the pressure of deciding what you want to be when you grow up. For most teens, this is a time overflowing with excitement to start their new identity and future. Unfortunately, some of you have already experienced what real-life can be like and have dealt with the loss of a parent or guardian. You have survived that, or are still surviving, and you’ve made the choice to take the next steps in your future and go to post-secondary school. The challenge of paying for this choice is now your primary concern. Manulife is proud to announce the Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program for Post-secondary Students for those who have lost a parent or guardian and are left with little to no life insurance. The Scholarship Program helps combat the financial burden of paying for post-secondary education during an emotional time and recognizes the perseverance that so many youth show in such adversity. The Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program is committed to student success and helps support students financially, making the decision to attend and finish a college, university or trade school program a little easier. This is a great opportunity for those who have gone through so much already and provides a chance at a new beginning. If you’re wondering if you qualify, click here for some additional information or contact us and we’ll be happy to walk through the process with you.
With all the societal changes in the last few decades, the one that seems to have staying power is the fitness trend. It started with Aerobics in the 80s which was taken over by Billy Banks with Tae Bo. Then came Spinning in the 90s, Zumba in the 2000s and most recently calisthenics’ and CrossFit. Some trends such as yoga and Tai Chi have survived the mania showing their true longevity. Then there are all the dietary trends such as being vegetarian, vegan, Atkin and now Keto. Regardless of how you chose to manage your health and lifestyle, ensuring you have proper insurance coverage should be one of your choices. With the GMS plan options available, our Individual Health plans can will provide another layer of health insurance. These plans have coverage for emergency services, routine medical, paramedical, and so much more to offset coverage not offered through standard Provincial coverage. If you’ve made the choice to be self-employed, on contract or work at a company which doesn’t offer coverage, a Personal Health Plan may be the right choice for you to gain some peace of mind. While you might be looking after your eating and physical well-being, life likes to throw us curve balls and we can’t also predict when illnesses or injuries occur. We’d love to discuss what’s important to you and help you choose the right option.
Spring is upon us (though the weather sure doesn’t feel like it) and real estate is just about to boom. That means home sales and purchases will be on the rise. In the mix will be a number of first-time home buyers. Buying a home for the first time is one of the most exciting and completely terrifying life moments. It’s thrilling to experience looking at homes, horrifying to see the inside of some homes and inspiring to see others. When you find the right home for you, you want to make sure you have everything in place to make it yours – and still do it right. There have been recent changes to the down payment requirements in Canada and this can make it challenging. This is where the government actually offers some assistance in the form of the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). Using this plan, you can use up to $35,000 from your RRSP for purchase of your home. If you’re buying with a second first time buyer, they can also withdraw the same amount giving you up to $70,000. That can make for a pretty nice house! Using the HBP may allow you to avoid paying CMHC fees. Mortgage default insurance is required for any home buyer who has a down payment equal to less than 20% of the purchase price. This is meant to protect the lender but it also opens up the purchasing option for those who don’t have the funds. The Home Buyers’ Plan is a great program, especially if you understand the parameters. You have 15 years to pay the funds back into your RRSP and this is an important number as any amounts not paid back are considered income and taxable. Now the question of paying it back should you come into some money. There are a couple of ways of looking at it. Say you’re required to pay back $500/year but you find yourself with $1000. You could put $1000 on your HBP and it will decrease the length of time for complete payback. This will improve your returns as you will start earning on those amounts. The other way to look at it is to take the $500 and put it towards your HBP and take the other $500 and claim it as a RRSP contribution which will benefit your tax return. Both are good options, it depends on your goals. Sometimes it helps to discuss these options with an independent party to get a better understanding of what this all means. As a Financial Planner, we can help clarify the best way to approach this exhilarating moment in time. Not to mention we can also help with setting up your mortgage based on our years of experience and contacts.
Graduating school, whether it’s high school, College or University should be one of the most exciting times in your life. Post-secondary education is a milestone which should open doors to your new future. You spent years putting in hard work with late night study session, writing papers and finishing assignments and you should be proud. Now, as you’re walking up to accept your diploma to the applause of your friends and family, instead of celebrating, all you can think about is the task of paying off your student loans. According to the National Student Loan Centre, it takes an average of nine years for Canadian students to pay off their student loans. With the average student debt around $25,000, it is becoming more important to create a plan for repayment. It can be overwhelming to think about what you owe, to whom and how you’ll repay it while still having a life. We’ve put together some suggestions for your plan:
Determine Who You Owe You may not even know what you owe and when it is due. The first step in the process is to determine who you owe money to.
Read the Fine Print Some people are aware of the grace period when it comes to student loan repayment however the interest on the federal portion starts on day one of graduation.
Compare Interest Rates and Rank Loans Each student loan has a different interest rate and payment schedule. Be sure to compare all the loans and the fine details to determine which loan to start with. Obviously start with the one with the highest interest rate.
Create a Budget It’s easier than you think; it’s not as scary as it sounds. Go through all your accounts and look for regular expenses. Go six months back at a minimum to ensure you capture quarterly payments. From there you can map out monthly, quarterly and annual bills to give you a clear indication of what you have left to spend and what you can put towards your debts.
Pay Yourself First Once you have secured employment, review your budget again and slide that debt payment up. Most students don’t make adjustments to their repayment plan in relation to their income. For bonuses and tax returns, as tempting as it is to spend it, you are better off making a lump sum repayment.
Long story short, repaying debt takes sacrifice and compromise. In order to retain your sanity and life quality, decide what you can and can’t live with and be reasonable with yourself. Chip away at it and celebrate your successes instead of wallowing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, from your family or reach out to us. We’d love to help.
A recent article by Joel Schlesinger at the Winnipeg Free Press presented the challenges being faced by a generation known to dance to their own tune. According to the study, there may have been too much dancing and not enough planning highlighted by the stat of 1 in six indicating they will be working until they die. Our own Doug Buss was showcased in the article and shared his experience that this is not a surprise for those involved in the financial discussions with this demographic. “Growing up in an era of affluence bred complacency among some boomers.” says Doug. It’s a great article that shows foresight can prevent the chance of getting to your golden years without a parachute. Take a read here.
In our last blog we discussed the results from the USB survey indicating the deferral of financial planning by women to their partners. If you recall, the highest demographic for this was millennial women. Millennials are famous for being an easy target for mockery but perhaps it’s time for the prior generations to help them pull up their bootstraps when it comes to financial planning. Millennials are the fastest growing group in the workforce and are dealing with the challenges of graduating during a recession and the continued wage gap. Combine these factors with the likelihood of taking time away to have children and a longer lifespan, it’s more important than ever to master finances and long-term planning. Another layer of complexity is that most millennials are raised by parents who live with high debt-ratios. Baby-boomers were raised with a fear of owing money and made a concentrated effort to avoid it and to pay it back as quickly as possible. The next generations were handed credit like candy and indulged. Learning by example may not be the best course of action, so we’ve compiled some advice for the up-and-coming.
Spend Carefully. Along the same lines as “think before you speak”, think before you buy. Evaluate what long-term benefit that item is going to bring to you. When it comes to the nickel and dime type expenses such as your daily dose of fancy coffee, invest in a fancy espresso machine at home.
Build an Escape Plan. Life often throws challenges our way and true power comes from being able to choose your own path. Having some cash squirrelled away allows you to make the choices which are right for you and prevent you from returning back to what was keeping you in debt.
Set up an automatic deposit from your paycheck to an account which you are not able to easily access. That way you never had the money, so you can’t miss it.
Funnel your wins. Instead of “treating” yourself with your birthday gifts, tax return or bonus, treat your future self by putting it into your savings account.
Manage Your Debt. You’ve grown up in an era of credit and debts from student loans to car loans to credit cards. Make a list of all you owe and the corresponding interest rates. This will enable you to prioritize which debts you want to pay off the quickest. High-interest debts should be the first target to stop the cycle of handing your money to an institution.
Save for Your Future. It’s hard to look that far forward when you’re in your 20’s, but imagine the freedom of being able to live your life your way when you’re older. With a few sacrifices, you can save now and play later.
The millennial generation espouses the importance of equality, empowerment and independence. As a millennial, it is your responsibility to implement changes in your life which align with your values. If you want to be in control of your destiny, you need to control your money. Money brings freedom and freedom brings independence. If you’d like some help taking your first steps towards your financial future, we’d love to meet with you.]]>