Six Important Reasons to have a Will

It has been said that a Will is the last message you will leave your family. Having a Will can provide clear direction as to what your wishes are and who will get what. Die without a Will (known as dying intestate) and chaos will likely be the result. Having a Will allows you to provide for certainty instead of chaos.

Basic Planning for Young Families

As a young family, you will be facing a lot of new challenges that you may or may not be prepared for along the way. Whether it’s children, a mortgage, or unexpected expenses that come up, now is the perfect time to start thinking about all the potential pitfalls that may arise.

Insurance for Businesses: What You Need to Know

As an entrepreneur, protecting your business is important. You’ve invested your time, energy, and money into creating your new enterprise, which is why it’s so imperative that you take all the necessary steps to protect it.

Do Retirees and Empty-Nesters need Life Insurance?

Now that the kids are out of the house, you should be shifting your focus on retirement. Since your money isn’t going towards feeding, clothing, and supporting your children (hopefully), you should be figuring out the best way to maintain your quality of life once you retire.

The Case for Life Insurance

When it comes to most forms of insurance, many people understand the importance of having coverage. Whether it’s your car, your home, or other valuable possessions, having insurance means that you’re financially protected should disaster strike. One of the first things you do when you buy a new car is to make sure it is protected before you drive it off the lot. Why? Because if you are involved in an accident chances are good you would suffer financially.

Protecting Estate Values When Your Investments Decline

The total net value of your estate represents what you will leave to your family when you die. After paying off any liabilities, taxes arising at death, last expenses etc., what is left over is what your family will use to maintain the lifestyle that you created for them.

Does your Business Qualify for the Small Business Gains Exemption?

As a business owner, you may be aware that when you dispose of shares in your business you could receive an exemption on all or a portion of the capital gains that ordinarily would be taxable. This is due to the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption which says that, for 2019, up to $866,9121 of capital gains is exempt from taxation.

The Need for Corporate Life Insurance

Life insurance is used for two general purposes in a private corporation – managing risk and creating opportunities. The risk management function is satisfied as life insurance provides the corporation with a tax-free payment in the event of the death of an owner or someone vital to the success of the business. As life insurance also allows for the tax-sheltered build up of cash value additional planning opportunities are additionally created.

If anything should happen to me...

Don and Kate were nervously anticipating Don’s upcoming life saving surgery. Don was also concerned that, should he not survive, Kate might not know everything that needed to be done upon his death. The night before his surgery he made this list for Kate of the things she should do if he didn’t make it through the operation

Steps to Avoid the OAS Clawback

According to the Canadian government website, Old Age Security is the largest pension program in Canada. OAS pays a monthly income to seniors who are age 65 and over. The amount of the payment is not based on past income but rather how long you resided in Canada after the age of 18. If you have turned 65 you are eligible for the maximum OAS income if you have resided in Canada for at least 40 years after turning 18 AND have resided in Canada for at least 10 years prior to receiving approval for your OAS pension. There are some exceptions for those who don’t fully qualify based on temporary absences during that requisite 10-year period.

Life Insurance – Do You Buy, Rent, or Borrow?

Without a doubt, life insurance is valuable protection provided by your employee benefit plan, but should it be the only life insurance coverage you have? Probably not, if you want to ensure you have sufficient long term protection to cover all your family’s financial needs should you die unexpectedly.

Private Health Spending Plans for the Owner/Operator Business

Individuals who have incorporated their business such as consultants, contractors and professionals often find that providing affordable health and dental care coverage for themselves and their families can be an expensive proposition.

Canada Pension Plan – Should You Take it Early?

New Rules governing the Canada Pension Plan took full effect in 2016. Under these rules, the earliest you can take your CPP Pension is age 60, the latest is 70. The standard question regarding CPP remains the same – should I take it early or wait?

Optimizing Wealth Through Asset Re-Allocation

If you are an active investor, your investment holdings probably include many different asset classes. For many investors, diversification is a very important part of the wealth accumulation process to help manage risk and reduce volatility. Your investment portfolio might include stocks, bonds, equity funds, real estate and commodities. All these investment assets share a common characteristic – their yield is exposed to tax. From a taxation standpoint, investment assets fall into the following categories...

Get Your Corporate Dollars Doing Double Duty

Owners of very successful private corporations are well aware of the importance of cash flow. Many are protective of how they allocate corporate capital so that business ventures are adequately funded and investment opportunities are not missed.

Recover Your Long Term Care Costs

Statistics Canada states that over 350,000 Canadians 65 or older and 30% of those older than 85 will reside in long term care facilities. With increasing poor health and decreased return on investments, the fear of facing financial instability in your declining years is real.

The Importance of Critical Illness Insurance in Retirement Planning

There are a number of obstacles that could potentially de-rail a comfortable retirement. These include marriage breakdown, a stock market crash, and being sued. Another huge obstacle would be the diagnosis of a life threatening critical illness affecting you or your spouse. While it might be difficult to insulate yourself against some of the threats to retirement security, Critical Illness insurance goes a long way to mitigate the financial disaster that could result from a change in health as we approach retirement.

SIX IMPORTANT REASONS TO HAVE A WILL

It has been said that a Will is the last message you will leave your family. Having a Will can provide clear direction as to what your wishes are and who will get what. Die without a Will (known as dying intestate) and chaos will likely be the result. Having a Will allows you to provide for certainty instead of chaos.

The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act and its Impact on Life Insurance

One of the many advancements in medicine has been the use of…

Insurance Audit for the Business Owner

Many business owners know the important role that life insurance plays in effective corporate planning. Whether it be the funding of a shareholder’s agreement, life insuring corporate debt, or protecting against loss from the death of a key employee, life insurance is of great value in underpinning the financial success of a corporation.

What the Wealthy Know about Life Insurance

If you have ever thought that life insurance was something you wouldn’t need after you reached a certain level of financial security, you might be interested in knowing why many wealthy individuals still carry large amounts of insurance.

Alberta Budget 2018

The 2018 budget for Alberta focuses on the diversification of its post-recession economy, with the aim of creating more stability and less vulnerability to future fluctuations in oil prices. Read for some of the highlights

Ontario Budget 2018

The 2018 Ontario budget features a number of new measures and billions of dollars of enhanced spending across the spectrum, as announced by the province’s Finance Minister, Charles Sousa. Read on for some of the key proposals.

Charitable Gifting with Shared Ownership Universal Life Insurance

Many individuals have realized their charitable aspirations by donating a life insurance policy to the charity of their choice. In situations where that donation is a Universal Life policy, the use of a Shared Ownership strategy could prove to be a viable investment for the donor.

2018 Federal Budget Highlights for Families

Several key changes relating to personal financial arrangements are covered in the Canadian government’s 2018 federal budget, which could affect the finances of you and your family.

2018 Federal Budget Highlights for Business

The government’s 2018 federal budget focuses on a number of tax tightening measures for business owners. It introduces a new regime for holding passive investments inside a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC). (Previously proposed in July 2017.)

BC Budget Highlights 2018

BC Finance Minister Carole James delivered the province's 2018 budget update on February 20, 2018. The budget anticipates a surplus of $219 million for the current year, $281 million for 2019 and $284 million in 2020.

RRSP Deadline is March 1, 2018. How much tax can you save?

The deadline for contributing to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the 2017 tax filing year is March 1, 2018. You generally have 60 days within the new calendar year to make RRSP contributions that can be applied to lowering your taxes for the previous year.

Comparing TFSAs and RRSPs

If you are seeking ways to save in the most tax-efficient manner available, TFSAs and RRSPs can both be effective options for you to achieve your savings goals more quickly. However, each plan does have distinct differences and advantages / disadvantages. Let’s take a look at their key features

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.

Life Insurance and the Capital Dividend Account

Many business owners are unaware that corporate owned life insurance combined with the Capital Dividend Account (CDA) provides an opportunity to distribute corporate surplus on the death of a shareholder to the surviving shareholders or family members tax-free.

Updated Small Business Tax Reforms

It has certainly been a busy week in terms of announcements regarding financial policies for small businesses. Following the series of proposed tax reforms that the government announced back in July, various tweaks and changes have subsequently been made, owing, perhaps in part, to confusion and frustration expressed among the small business community. We have provided a brief summary of the changes in this article and infographic.

Preparing your heirs for wealth

If you think your heirs are not quite old enough or prepared enough to discuss the wealth they will inherit on your death, you’re not alone. Unfortunately though, this way of thinking can leave your beneficiaries in a decision-making vacuum: an unnecessary predicament which can be avoided by facing your own mortality and making a plan.

BC Budget Update

BC Finance Minister Carole James delivered the province's 2017 budget update on Sept. 11, 2017. The budget anticipates a surplus of $46 million for the current year, $228 million in 2018-2019 and $257 million in 2019-2020. As a result of the provincial election on April 11, 2017, the measures previously announced were not fully enacted.

A Summary of Proposed Tax Changes in 2017

The month of July saw a set of proposed tax changes announced by the Federal Minister of Canada which are potentially the most impactful and significant amendments since the large-scale tax reform of 1972.

Index Funds vs Actively Managed Funds: what are the main differences?

There are significant differences when it comes to Index Funds and Actively Managed Funds. Deciding between the two will depend on various factors including your risk appetite, the ROI you are looking to achieve and the timeframe in which you are looking to achieve this.

Donating to Charity Using Life Insurance

If you are interested in creating a legacy at your death by making a charitable donation, you may wish to investigate using life insurance for that purpose.  There are different ways you can structure life insurance for use in philanthropy. 

The Duties Of An Executor

An executor is an individual or institution that is named in a will whose duty is to distribute estate assets according to the testator’s wishes. Acting as an executor can be stressful and time consuming so it is a good idea for a testator to make his or her choice wisely, and for someone who is asked to be an executor to investigate and review exactly what the job entails.

Debt is a four-letter word

Debt today is so common, you might say it can’t be avoided. Most people are not in a position to purchase a house or car for cash, while those who can buy such things outright may prefer to finance and keep control of their capital.

Ontario Budget 2017

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered the province’s 2017 budget on April 27, 2017. Learn what the budget means for small business owners and individuals.

What the Wealthy Know About Life Insurance

If you have ever thought that life insurance was something you wouldn’t need after you reached a certain level of financial security, you might be interested in knowing why many wealthy individuals still carry large amounts of insurance. Consider the following:

Charitable Gifting with Shared Ownership Universal Life Insurance

Many individuals have realized their charitable aspirations by donating a life insurance policy to the charity of their choice.

Federal Budget 2017: Business

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the government’s 2017 federal budget on March 22, 2017. The budget expects a deficit of $23 billion for fiscal 2016-2017 and forecasts a deficit of $28.5 billion for 2017-2018. Learn what the budget means for small business owners.

Federal Budget 2017 Families

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the government’s 2017 federal budget on March 22, 2017. The budget expects a deficit of $23 billion for fiscal 2016-2017 and forecasts a deficit of $28.5 billion for 2017-2018. Learn what the budget means for families.

Alberta Budget 2017

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci delivered the province's budget on March 16, 2017. Learn what the budget means for small business owners and individuals.

New Tax for 2016 Tax Year

With the tax filing due April 30, we've included new tax highlights for the 2016 taxation year.

Family Tax Deductions to Notice

With the tax filing due April 30, we've included some tax deductions for families to notice for the 2016 taxation year.

Protecting Your Family

Let’s face it, raising a family today can be financially challenging. …

BC Budget 2017

BC Finance Minister, Michael de Jong delivered the province's 2017 budget on Feb. 21, 2017. Learn what the budget means for small business owners and individuals.

Shared Ownership Critical Illness

Shared Ownership Critical Illness offers business owners and incorporated business professionals a way to access the retained earnings in their corporation or provide benefits to a key employee. Talk to us to see how we can help you.

Thinking of Cancelling Your Life Insurance?

Have you found yourself wondering if you really need that life…

TFSA or RRSP: What's the difference?

RRSP or TFSA? What’s the difference? With the RRSP deadline around the corner, we’re here to help you figure out where you should invest.

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

The Sandwich Generation was a term coined by Dorothy Miller in…
Are You On The Right Track?

Are You on the Right Track

In bull markets some investors develop unhealthy expectations…
Recover Your Long Term Care Costs

Recover Your Long Term Care Costs

Will your family be affected by the costs of caring for an aging…
Canada Pension Plan – Should You Take it Early?

Canada Pension Plan – Should You Take it Early?

The new rules governing CPP were introduced in 2012 and they…
taxes

There is Nothing so Certain as Death and Taxes

Or so the saying goes.  This certainly is true in Canada where…
probate

Can Probate be Avoided?

Executors often find that the probate process can be both time…

The Clock is Ticking

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2016 is an opportune year to buy life insurance. New laws affecting the taxation of life insurance come into effect on January 1, 2017. After this date new policies will not perform as well as they do currently.
retirement

Retirement – Are Your Prepared?

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Whether you are decades away from retirement or if it is just…
Shared Ownership Critical Illness

Shared Ownership Critical Illness

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Shared Ownership refers to a concept where more than one party…

Federal Budget 2016

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The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, recently…

Tax Deductions to Notice

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Tax Season is upon us and we've put together an infographic…
business

Does Your Business Qualify for the Small Business Capital Gains Exemption

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Does your Business Qualify for the Small Business Gains Exemption? As…
Family Business Planning Strategies

Family Business Planning Strategies

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67% are at Risk of Succession Failure If you are an owner…
corporate estate

The Corporate Estate Transfer

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If you are the owner of a successful company it is likely that…

Life Insurance Valuation

We take a close look at how you can extract retained earnings from your corporation in a tax efficient manner.
taxation

Taxation of Life Insurance – New Rules Offer a Window of Opportunity

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Permanent life insurance, such as Whole Life or Universal Life,…

Changes to the Taxation of Estates

Estate, trust and tax planners have long favoured testamentary…

Juvenile Critical Illness with Return of Premium

Protection if you need it.  A refund if you don’t. Critical…

The Best Way to Insure Your Mortgage

If you have a mortgage it makes good sense to insure it.  Owning…

Estate Planning

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Estate planning is essential at any stage of life.

Pension Plans

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Understanding what your company pension plan offers can help you determine how to make the most of all your retirement savings options.

Permanent Life Insurance

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All life insurance is designed to provide your loved ones with financial security when you die. When you buy a permanent life insurance policy, both the premium and benefit are typically guaranteed for the rest of your life.

Asset Allocation

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Find out how you can manage risk in your portfolio by selecting a mix of investments to suit your risk tolerance, time horizon and financial goals.

Long Term Care Insurance

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Long-term care insurance provides financial protection for you and your family to help cover the cost of care, if you are unable to care for yourself.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan

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RRSPs are a great way to save for your retirement. A registered retirement savings plan can help you achieve financial stability for later life.

Consolidating your Savings Plan

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Consolidating your savings can make managing your investments simpler and less stressful, and may mean more money for your retirement.

Registered Education Savings Plan

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Saving for education isn't as difficult as you might think with a registered education savings plan. Starting an RESP early is a great way to plan for your child's education.

The Estate Bond

Growing your estate without undue market risk and taxes Often…

Pay Attention to Your Beneficiary Designation

It’s more important than you think Naming a beneficiary…

Estate Planning for Blended Families

 Avoid Disinheriting Your Children In today’s family it is…

Budget 2015 Highlights

On April 21, 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled his first…

5 Recent Tax Changes for the 2015 Tax Season

Tax time is almost upon us and there are some recent changes…

Group Insurance - Only Part of the Solution

Ownership of individual life insurance at its lowest level in…

What to do after selling your business

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By James Dolan The contract is signed. The cheque is cashed.…

TFSA or RRSP?

One of the most common investment questions Canadians ask themselves…

Is it Time for your Insurance Audit?

Has it been awhile since you last looked at your insurance portfolio?…

Segregated Funds: Investing With A Safety Net

Investing today is not for the faint of heart.  Fortunately…

Don't Wait Too Long to Convert Your Term Insurance

If you require permanent life insurance coverage for family,…

1 in 3 Canadians Will Become Disabled Before the Age of 65

What You Need to Know About Your Group Long Term Disability Having…

Keys to Becoming a Prudent Investor

As the equity markets rebound and more stable returns reappear,…

How Much Risk Can You Tolerate? Part 3 of 3

Over the past two months we have examined some of the risks that…

How Much Risk Can You Tolerate? Part 2 of 3

 Last month we discussed how much risk you could tolerate depending…

How to Prevent Family Cottage Feuds

By Brenda Spiering, Editor, BrighterLife.ca We’ve all heard…

How Much Risk Can You Tolerate? Part 1 of 3

Will Rogers, the American humorist, when talking about the investment…

The Cascading Life Insurance Strategy

A Lifetime Gift for your Grandchildren If you are a grandparent…

Co-ordinate Your Health-Care Plans and Save

by Susan Yellin, BrighterLife.ca Do you and your spouse or…

Critical Illness: Are You Protected?

We all face many risks - contracting a critical Illness is one…

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

By J. Denise Castonguay Most successful business people feel…

Guaranteed Level Cost of Insurance – Get it While You Still Can!

The equity markets of the past four years plus the prevailing…

Taxation of Life Insurance New Rules Create Opportunities

In August the Department of Finance published their changes to…

A New Year’s Resolution You Shouldn’t Break – Saving For Retirement!

Many of us set New Year’s resolutions for ourselves and often…

What you may not know about supplemental health insurance

By Anne Levy-Ward, for BrighterLife.ca It’s easy to understand…

Whole Life: A Whole New Investment Class

The recent developments in investment markets and the volatile…

The Stability of the Life Insurance Industry in Canada

Given the problems encountered by some large financial institutions…

Family Business Succession, Estate Equalization and Wills Variation Act

Most parents feel strongly about ensuring that their children…

Preserving an Estate

You've done a good job accumulating assets and establishing…

Graduation is the Perfect Time to Consider Disability Insurance

As this year’s graduates cross the stage they’re filled with…

Protecting Your Business

While most business owners realize the benefits of corporate-owned…

Protect Your Children's Standard of Living

Raising a family means taking on a lot of responsibility.…