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Category Archive for: ‘Financial Planning’

‘Tis the Season for Charitable Gifting

charitable gifting

 As the Christmas season fast approaches, many of us are considering charitable gifting. Giving to charity can be a great way to support the wider community and feel good. You can give through the gift of time (volunteering at a local food bank or soup kitchen) or the gift of money. Cash donations not only allow you to give back …

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Retirement Strategies for Seniors

retirement strategies

As we approach the end of 2017 it seems timely to review some insurance, investment and income options for seniors, their children and their grandchildren.  There are a number of different retirement strategies to implement depending on your individual needs. For people approaching or in retirement and concerned about income, an often overlooked asset is their home which may represent …

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Looking for Returns in today’s Low Yield World?

returns

At an Investment Forum I attended in October, several speakers commented on the need for people to temper their expectations as to the investment returns we will receive in the near future. My job is not to sugar-coat but to advise on realistic expectations. Today’s global economy is impacted by 3 themes: 1) on-going low interest rates, 2) slow global …

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Are you up to the task of being an executor?

executor

From time to time clients ask me if I would be willing to act as the executor of their estate, but when they do so, I politely point out that as their financial advisor it would be a serious conflict of interest, so I have to decline.  An executor’s responsibility can be enormous, so I thought I would list some …

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Will I run out of my Savings?

savings

The 4% withdrawal rate has long been the recommended withdrawal rate from investment savings for people in retirement. Based on today’s lower investment returns, it may be time to reconsider this rate. The 4% rate was determined by financial planners in 1994. This was based on historical returns from a typical balanced portfolio at that time with 60% exposure to …

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Will You Need to Work Past 65?

work past 65

Will You Need to Work Past 65? Imagine working into retirement because you thought you had to because you didn’t have enough money to retire with. That would be very unfortunate. But what if you were still working in retirement because you didn’t know that you were financially able to stop? This would be even more unfortunate. A recent retirement …

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My Thoughts on the Liberal’s Proposed Tax Changes

tax changes

I have spent considerable time reading through the draconian proposed tax changes and can only reach one conclusion; the current Liberal government is spending us down the river and are desperate for revenue. Our Prime Minister’s quote that “Budgets will balance themselves” rings rather hollow now. Where better to make a tax grab but from all the “rich” middle class …

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Now’s the Time to Have the Courageous Conversations

courageous conversations

Every year I go to a life insurance school in Banff to listen to speakers from our industry that have experienced the illness, disability or loss of a loved one and the negative impact that it had on their family, their lives and their finances. One such speaker was Jane Blaufus.  She became a widow in sixty seconds when her …

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Are Outlooks on Retirement Changing?

outlooks on retirement

Do you believe that the outlooks on retirement for future generations will be significantly different than for that of current retirees? If your answer is “yes”, you’re not alone. Most clients that I talk to anticipate significant differences. Thoughts, expectations, confidence and planning will differ as well with age and gender. 83% of retirees believe future generations’ retirement experience will …

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The Challenges that Face Financial Regulators

financial regulators

Financial regulators have an impossible task. When someone decides that the method of determining the suitability of a product or service to an investor is no longer of adequate standard, they have to search for something more precise. Unfortunately there is no simple or practical way to define suitability. Consider the following: Few of us know what our own best …

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Review Your Life Insurance Policies

review your life insurance

If you’ve owned the same life insurance policies for a while, chances are that your coverage needs have drastically changed. Whether you’ve gotten married, had kids or your children have left the nest, it’s important that your life insurance coverage reflect your situation as it is now. So, it’s prudent to review your life insurance regularly. When and why should …

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Managing Risk with Today’s Farm Values

managing risk

I covered this topic 10 years ago and since then, farm land in central Alberta has tripled in value and our farming population is aging. This has created a pressing need to consider the financial risks now involved with farming on top of the input costs, the weather, pests, disease, low returns, etc. Managing risk down on the farm: Due …

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Time to Review Life Insurance

review your life insurance

If you’ve owned the same life insurance policy for a while, chances are that your needs have radically changed. Whether you’ve gotten married, had kids or your kids have left the nest, it’s important that your life insurance coverage reflect your current needs. So, it’s prudent to review  life insurance regularly and if you aren’t sure what your next steps are, …

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You need Critical Illness Insurance

critical illness insurance

Eight years ago a client bought a critical illness insurance policy due to her family’s history of breast cancer, only to claim on it six years later for an entirely different and unexpected reason. She was diagnosed with a very aggressive version of multiple sclerosis. Today, she credits her critical illness payout for allowing her and her husband to take …

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An Insured Annuity Offers Financial Security & Safety

insured annuity

Today we Canadian’s are living longer.  One of the biggest concerns that aging Canadians have is outliving their retirement savings. On top of this, many of us would like to leave a legacy of some sort to our families and other beneficiaries. Low interest rates are the ‘new normal’ while the stock market continues to enjoy a gravity-defying ride (so …

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The Value of a Team Approach to Financial Planning!

team approach

It seems that today many families, farms and small businesses deal with a wide range of professionals for advice on their accounting, legal, banking, financial and any other needs. The issue here is often a lack of communication between all the parties involved when it comes to your sale, succession, retirement or estate planning needs. My intent is not to …

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CRA’s Tax Changes for Incorporated Businesses

tax changes

The 2017 Federal Budget alluded to certain tax changes for small business owners, including incorporated professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and others. In fact, these proposals will both negatively impact many of the owner-manager businesses in Canada and also deter many new business owners form wanting to incorporate.  These changes will also make Canada look less attractive for new …

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Why You Need Personally Owned Disability Coverage

disability coverage

Often when meeting with clients and we touch on the importance of disability coverage, the usual response is “Thanks, but I don’t need it as I’m covered at work.” This leads into some tough questions that we ask: Have you read and understood what’s covered in your policy? How long do you plan to stay with your current employer? How …

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Understanding Investment Risk – Part 2

investment risk

Managing Risk: While risk awareness can lead investors to make prudent decisions, it is also possible to be overly cautious. “Safe,” low-interest cash investments, like money market funds for example, are an excellent choice for preserving assets once one approaches or achieves their goal. But over the long-term, they generally cannot provide the capital appreciation needed to meet a significant …

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Understanding Investment Risk – Part 1

investment risk

We all take risks in the hope of gaining something.  It may be buying a home, changing careers or going back to school. Investing, like many other things in life, involves risk in order to achieve return. While it’s normal to be concerned about the security of your money, a narrow perception of risk can be limiting. In fact, by …

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