YourStyle Financial
Spring 2022

Spring 2022

Life Insurance

Nobody needs Life Insurance, they need CA$H

For many, the last two years have made a lot of people more attentive to two things; money and mortality – both of which are the pinnacle of adulting. They’re also both the two things no one likes to think about. For most, there’s not enough of either money or time. But when the time comes, will there be enough money?

If you’re evaluating your accounts and expenditures and deciding where you can cut costs, are you wondering if your life insurance policy is worth the monthly premiums? Is it a necessary expense? Is it something you need and why? Let’s explore those questions.

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Group Benefits Planning

When Should Your Business Add Group Benefits?

Today’s environment has changed the employment market significantly. While Manitoba has one of the highest unemployment rates of recent history, it is still the employees market. Government subsidies have made it easier for some to opt to stay home leaving many open positions and therefore choices for those who are continuing to work. With that it falls back on the employer to be competitive and offer incentives to work at their company and stay working there. One of those offerings are Group Benefit Plans. If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably wondered “is now the right time to add group benefits?”. Here are a few points to help guide your decision:

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‘Tis the Season… To be Penny-Wise

No, not the creepy clown from IT, more like Uncle Pennybags. As we head into the holiday season, it’s easy to fall into a spending spree with no regard for your financial state. In a time when wish lists are pervasive and the urge to impress is rampant, it’s more important than ever keep an eye on your bank balance. There are many ways to manage your holiday spending. The first step seems an obvious one – set a budget. Write down the list of people you need to buy for, those you like to buy for, your last minute “oh I got you something too” gifts and don’t forget all the incidentals such as food and decorations. Once you know how many gifts you need, set a reasonable amount of money you can afford without incurring unmanageable debt. Now you know how much you have to spend and how many gifts you need to buy. Set a number beside each person and item. Bring this with you when you go shopping and be sure to check it twice. The aforementioned plan is a great way to address holiday spending, however, an added step to this would be to start saving ahead of time. Start a holiday fund at the beginning of the year to help reduce the financial strain at the end of the year. It’s surprising how fast $20 per cheque can add up and how little you would miss it. If you put $20 per cheque in your stocking, by December you would have approximately $440 of disposable income. That’s a lot of cash with very little effort. Another area to be attentive to is holiday socializing. It’s surprising how these events can add a lot of cost to those who are hosting. Why not create an environment that is more in line with the spirit of the season and have everyone bring something? That helps distribute the cost and makes it more enjoyable for all those attending. While it is the season for giving, it’s important to remember to give to yourself. Your gift should be the gift of financial freedom. If you would like a little help on this, contact us.

Dividing Assets During Divorce

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how to financially prepare for divorce. Facing the topic head-on, while it’s a tough row to hoe, knowing you’re not alone can help. According to Stats Canada, 43% of marriages end in divorce before the 50th anniversary. Reading that, you may think “Who would divorce after being married that long?”. The answer is anyone. Life affects everyone and when you share your life with someone, it affects them too. While knowing this doesn’t make preparing for the emotional impact of divorce any easier, planning your financial decisions ahead of time can put you in a better position to move forward. In life, moving on is the key to moving forward.

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How To Shrink Your Interest Payments

Currently, there’s a lot of talk about what may happen if interest rates rise. So, chances are, you’re looking for tips on how to protect your income and balance your portfolio.

However, capturing money that’s wasted on inefficient interest payments should always be a priority. When it comes to cash flow planning, that’s one of the main ways people are able to save money and free up income. Paying more interest on debts than you need to can significantly affect your finances. So consider whether you’re falling into the following traps.

  • Mortgage myopia. You may assume your interest rates and mortgage payments will remain the same over a long period of time, or you may not know how to plan for fluctuating rates. As a result, you could fail to build interest rate-movement assumptions into your financial plans and projections.
  • Amortization risk. It’s easy to compare interest rates, so you may focus on doing only that when choosing mortgages and structuring your debts. Yet, amortization is one of the main variables you should consider, given it impacts the total repayment cost of your debts.
  • Lower rates aren’t always better. Paying 3% versus 4% interest may seem better, but there’s more to calculating the total costs of debts than comparing rates. Along with looking at amortization risks, you need to review all of your repayment options, as well as the total cost of debts over your lifetime.
  • Other debts. What matters is the total average rate that you pay over all debts. So, you can consider whether combining all of your debts is more cost-effective.

Just as you can save money through tax planning and insurance solutions, you can protect your income through cutting down on inefficient interest payments. Through cash flow planning, you’ll better understand the importance of paying down debt principals quickly, as well as how to reduce exposure to fluctuating interest rates. As published in Advisor.ca December 22, 2015

Women need to take an active role in financial planning

When it comes to money, women’s main concern is working on a budget to lower debt and save more money. The second concern is to develop better skills in investing, and third is to create a financial plan and investment strategy. It’s imperative for women to take an active role in financial planning.  There is a very high probability of women being solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lifetime due to divorce or outliving a spouse. Nearly one-quarter of women say they don’t partake in financial decision making. “Women can make changes to their finances such as lower debt, save money and become good investors.  Making changes to your financial plan doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is perceived to be,” says Doug Buss, President, YourStyle Financial.

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