If I did a straw poll, I’m sure I’d find that the majority of those asked have some form of life insurance. The reasoning behind taking out this cover is usually centered around the desire to provide protection and security to their family and loved ones in the event of their death, which is clearly an admirable objective. But, if I asked the same group of people who of them had critical illness insurance – essentially, a policy that pays out if you become too ill to work – in all likelihood the number would be much smaller.
Why is this? It makes sense on paper that people would want to sustain their level of income in the event that they become disabled or too ill to work, yet some of the most common objections include the price, a preference to save themselves for such an event (often known as being self-insured) or simply a sense of denial that this could ever happen to them.
Critical illness insurance varies from policy to policy but typical conditions that it covers in Canada includes heart attack, stroke and cancer. Unlike other types of insurance that provide income replacement, if you are seriously ill, critical illness insurance provides a lump sum benefit that can be used in any way you choose.
The benefits of critical illness insurance
Whilst taking out any kind of insurance policy comes down to personal choice and one’s own individual circumstances, many independent financial experts recognize the benefits that critical illness insurance can offer. Here are some of them:
- Whilst saving and self-insuring can seem like an attractive alternative, it simply isn’t an option for many. Even if you are fortunate enough to have the means to save for such an eventuality, you would need to be able to guarantee a solid and consistent return on your investment for it to outweigh the financial benefit of critical illness insurance – some estimates put this at a rate of around 10% return for 20 years.
- Whilst some employers do offer company disability plans, they typically do not pay out the full amount of your pay cheque on an ongoing basis, which can have the potential to have a serious impact on your personal finances, just when you need such a worry the least. What’s more, one of the major advantages of a critical illness policy is that, if you are able to return to work and therefore begin earning again, you still have the benefit of the lump sum that has been paid out under the policy – offering you an incomparable measure of financial freedom to potentially pay off your mortgage or put your kids through university. Essentially, offering you much more financial freedom.
In short, there are no perfect answers in the area of your personal finances, but if you are looking for an option that has the potential to offer you a real sense of peace of mind to secure the financial future of you and your family, critical illness insurance is certainly an interesting avenue to explore.
Working with us to create your financial plan helps you identify your long and short term life goals. When you have a plan, it’s easier to make decisions that align with your goals. We outline 8 key areas of financial planning:
- Income: learn to manage your income effectively through planning
- Cash Flow: monitoring your cash flow, will help you keep more of your cash
- Understanding: understanding provides you an effective way to make financial decisions that align with your goals
- Family Security: having proper coverage will provide peace of mind for your family
- Investment: proper planning guides you in choosing the investments that fit your goals
- Assets: learn the true value of your assets. (Assets – Liabilities)
- Savings: life happens, it’s important to have access to an emergency fund
- Review: reviewing on a regular basis is important to make sure your plan continues to meet your goal
Financial Planning for business owners is often two-sided: personal financial planning and planning for the business.
Business owners have access to a lot of financial tools that employees don’t have access to; this is a great advantage, however it can be overwhelming too. A financial plan can relieve this.
A financial plan looks at where you are today and where you want to go. It determines your short, medium and long term financial goals and how you can reach them. For you, personally and for your business.
Why do you need a Financial Plan?
- Worry less about money and gain control.
- Organize your finances.
- Prioritize your goals.
- Focus on the big picture.
- Save money to reach your goals.
For a business owner, personal and business finances are connected. Therefore both sides should be addressed: Personal and Business.
What does a Financial Plan for a Business include?
There are 2 main sides your business financial plan should address: Growth and Preservation
- Cash Management- Managing Cash & Debt
- Tax Planning- Finding tax efficiencies
- Retaining & Attracting Key Talent
- Investment- either back into the business or outside of the business
- Insurance Planning/Risk Management
- Succession/Exit Planning
What does a Personal Financial Plan include?
There are 2 main sides your financial plan should address: Accumulation and Protection
- Cash Management – Savings and Debt
- Tax Planning
- Insurance Planning
- Health Insurance
- Estate Planning
What’s the Financial Planning Process?
- Establish and define the financial planner-client relationship.
- Gather information about current financial situation and goals including lifestyle goals.
- Analyze and evaluate current financial status.
- Develop and present strategies and solutions to achieve goals.
- Implement recommendations.
- Monitor and review recommendations. Adjust if necessary.
- Talk to us about helping you get your finances in order so you can achieve your lifestyle and financial goals.
- Feel confident in knowing you have a plan to get to your goals.
Working with a professional to help you to make sense of your finances can be a wise move, but for this relationship to work effectively it is important that you understand what to expect from your financial advisor.
What can your financial advisor help you with?
- Defining your financial goals and creating a step by step plan or strategy to achieve them.
- Planning for the future, including for retirement, future education or housing needs.
- Choosing the mix of investments and assets that suit your goals, lifestyle, time horizon and appetite for risk.
- Building a solid estate for your family to inherit in the future.
- Choosing the most tax-efficient methods of saving and investing.
What should your financial advisor inform you of?
- The range of services that they offer and how much and by which method you will compensate them.
- Your mutual responsibilities and obligations towards each other.
- What the planning process will look like and the documents that they will provide you with.
What will your financial advisor need from you or need to ask you about?
- What your financial goals are.
- What your personal circumstances – such as your marital status, any dependents, your job, earnings and tax situation.
- Any investments or assets that you currently have – such as registered accounts, workplace pensions, property etc.
- Your appetite for risk and investment preferences.
- Information on your income and also your outgoings, including debts such as mortgages, loans or credit cards.
- Whether or not you have a will, and its contents.
- Your estate and inheritance planning situation.
If you’re looking to achieve your financial goals, talk to us. We can help.
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Our work is written in customized reports that are tailor made for you. We review the reports together and answer any questions that arise. Often, we end up re-writing parts of the report based on further feedback from you. Finally, a checklist is presented with priorities noted to enable sure implementation of the desired results. But our job doesn’t end there. With scheduled follow-up meetings, by phone and in person, we keep the plan current to keep you on your path.