Thinking about life insurance might not be the most cheery of subjects, but it’s hard to overestimate the importance of finding the right life insurance policy to fit your needs. Death is a part of life, but the financial strain that a loss of life can leave for family and friends will carry on long after you’re gone. By planning ahead and choosing the right life insurance policy, you can ensure that those you love are taken care of in the future.
What is life insurance?
Life insurances provides protection from loss of income due to death. In the case of your demise, a life insurance policy will help your family financially, paying out a specified amount of money to your beneficiaries. While life insurance is a vital part of financial planning, many people are unfamiliar with its workings. Continue reading
Purchasing life insurance can impact your finances just as much as taking out a mortgage. It’s with that in mind that you should focus on fully understanding your options when it comes to buying life insurance. While thinking about your mortality might not be the most enjoyable activity, proper preparation can ensure you get the best deal along with the peace of mind that your economic affairs are in order.
Decide your needs
The first step in buying life insurance is figuring out exactly what you need. An easy way to calculate your approximate costs is to add up your debt, funeral costs and a year of income replacement. There are also online calculators you can use to get an idea of how much money it would take to support your family after you’re gone. Just remember that there’s no need to waste money on an unnecessarily large policy while you’re still alive. Continue reading
Not many people actually like to think about life insurance. The whole concept forces us to come to terms with our own mortality, having to make practical monetary decisions in regard to our limited time on Earth.
But at the end of the day, making sure our affairs are in order is important. For people who want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of after they pass, life insurance is a vital part of the process.
Unfortunately for consumers interested in universal life insurance plans, the process has gotten that much harder.
According to The Insurance and Investment Journal, insurance companies have raised prices on universal life plans yet again, marking the third price increase in just two years.
Limited pay plans – which ensure coverage for life while also guaranteeing an end to cost of insurance (COI) charges after a certain number of years – are seeing the biggest price hikes among universal life insurance plans.
The Insurance and Investment Journal reported that at Sun Life, rates for limited pay plans are increasing by 5 percent. Meanwhile, Canada Life is raising limited pay rates by an average of 11.5 percent. Continue reading
Nobody wants to think about tragedy striking an otherwise charmed life, especially if it entails a family member getting sick, injured or even passing away. Life's unforeseen circumstances add an element of risk to just about everything, but they're not reason enough to avoid getting a mortgage. In fact, changes in any family dynamic – adding someone, losing a member and anything else you can think of – have the potential to throw a wrench in mortgage plans. The most serious, however, is dealing with a mortgage when tragedy strikes.
Is it scary to think about? Sure. Is it sad to even consider? Of course. Here are ways Canadians can prepare their mortgages and finances in the case that tragedy strikes:
When something happens to the breadwinner
It's archaic to say that most Canadian households are indeed provided for primarily from one person's income – the breadwinner. Having financial security like life insurance, medical coverage and emergency savings accounts can certainly help ease the pain and distress a family may feel if medical problems or death affect a mortgage-holding household, but such protection is not always in place when it's needed. Continue reading
Young, first-time homebuyers who are saving up for their dream home and brushing up on mortgage terminology may be easily sidetracked by the latest and greatest home projects Pinterest has to offer. Sure, images of lush, budget-friendly gardens and $50 room renovation before-and-after pictures can be lovely to gawk at, but there are more important matters at hand.
Like actually securing a mortgage. And creating a budget. Then getting sufficient life insurance.
"But I'm young and healthy with plenty of home renovations in my future! Why do I need life insurance right now?" first-time buyers may ask.
Actually, the reason is quite simple. Life insurance can offer a cushion of protection for people who aren't lucky enough to die of natural causes at a very old age, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Regardless of medical advances and disease prevention tips experts constantly promote, the unfortunate fact is that not everyone has their finances in order when they die – ripe old age or otherwise. Continue reading
Canada's healthcare system is losing ground on a number of key quality indicators despite an influx of nearly $100 billion over the last several years, according to a new report from the Fraser Group.
Since 1997, Ottawa has transferred an additional $97.6 billion to provinces to help pay for healthcare costs on top of the amount needed to maintain the system and adjust for population increases and inflation, according to the report. The federal government plans to continue making these cash transfers at a rate increase of 6 percent per year until 2017, at which point the transfers will be tied to economic growth.
For its report, the Fraser Group looked at 12 different metrics for healthcare quality and discovered that, even with large amounts of money coming from Ottawa, the system slipped in eight of the categories.
The average Canadian will now wait 19 weeks for treatment, the report shows. This is up from 11.9 weeks in 1997. Wait times to see a specialist after a referral from a general practitioner were also up over the last decade-and-a-half. The average waiting period increased from 5.1 weeks to 9.5 weeks. Access to nurses and ultrasounds also declined. Continue reading
A recent study conducted by the Canada Life Assurance Company shows that nearly a third of employees do not have time for a proper lunch break and therefore eat at their desks while working.
In addition, Canada Life's research found that 27 percent of respondents said they tend to eat at odd times as the result of sress from work and 21 percent said they plan to eat a healthy lunch originally but end up skipping it, turning to snacks instead.
"It is extremely important that they look after their health and make choices that will help them to perform effectively, however demands upon their time mean that many have lapsed into bad habits, such as snacking on junk food rather than taking the time to plan healthy meals," said Paul Avis, sales and marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance. “Providing no support for a healthier lifestyle may be a missed opportunity for employers to motivate their workforce and help them to work at their full potential." Continue reading
BMO Financial Group recently released a report advising Canadians on retirement and downsizing and if they should make their move.
With the first wave of Canada's 9 million baby boomers becoming eligible for retirement last year alone, many are having to make the decision on what to do in terms of their finances.
The report found 54 percent of respondents citing financial reasons as why they will relocate after they retire.
"Even if downsizing may be years away, it's important not only to think about all of the factors that can affect your decision, but to maintain an open dialogue with your loved ones," said Dr. Amy D'Aprix, BMO Life Transition Expert. "Being proactive will help you remain in control, rather than having to deal with an unexpected move when you're not prepared." Continue reading
The Canadian life insurance company, RBC Life, has been affirmed with the financial strength rating of A for "Excellent" and issuer credit rating of "A" from A.M. Best Company.
The positive rating received by RBC Life is in part due to its satisfactory risk-adjusted capitalization, strong brand name recognition in the Canadian market and overall increased growth in new premiums.
RBC Life remains a significant contributor to Canadian life insurance coverage by providing not only traditional life coverage but also individual living benefits and group long term disability insurance as well. Continue reading
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, the subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, recently announced it plans to issue $500 million principal amount of 4.165 percent fixed/floating subordinated debentures by June 1.
The debentures will carry interest at a 4.165 percent fixed rate for five years and afterward a rate of 2.45 percent over the three month Canadian Dealer Offered Rate. The debentures are scheduled to mature on June 1, 2022.
"Our capital raising activity takes into account our expected refinancing requirements and recognizes that, while our capital position remains strong, there could be pressure on our common share price and bond spreads if our capital ratios decline," said Donald Guloien, president and CEO of Manulife. "We see this action as prudent when faced with uncertain market and economic conditions." Continue reading