Estate Planning

Your Estate Plan: Creating a Legacy, While Preserving Your Wealth

By | FAQ, Group Retirement Programs, Group Services, Retirement Income Solutions | No Comments

Many of our clients are reaching a new phase in their lives where they are thinking about their own estate plans. The reality is that many of us will live as long in retirement as we’ve spent in our working lives. Even for those considering semi-retirement, this can have a direct impact on your retirement income and lifestyle, and what you leave as a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

Based on recent statistics, living to age 100 is more likely than you might have expected.

Is 100 the new 85?
Probably at 65 of living to the following ages:

80 Yrs Old

91%

85 Yrs Old

77%

90 Yrs Old

53%

95 Yrs Old

24%

Retirement today is different from the traditional ideas of retirement in the past. There has been a shift away from Defined Benefit Pension Plans, and reductions to Government Programs. The burden has shifted back to individuals to generate their own income in retirement. Even if you are prudent enough to have saved over the years, traditional investing does not allow you the certainty that your money will last, and there will be something left for future generations.

How would you like to spend all of your assets in retirement and still leave a legacy to the next generation?

An ideal retirement plan is one that allows you to maximize your retirement income and still provide the legacy that you hope to leave for your loved ones. A simple strategy that is often overlooked is the use of permanent life insurance. Life insurance can act as ‘Retirement Insurance’, allowing you the flexibility to maximize your retirement income during the living years, with the comfort of knowing that a guaranteed benefit is always there to complete your estate plan.

Consider this: A healthy couple aged 60 could allocate less than $14,000 per year from their estate or other assets in order to guarantee a legacy of $1,000,000 tax-free to their heirs. You can also allocate a larger amount over a fixed period of 10 or 20 years, with a guaranteed benefit locked in and assured to be there for your family.

What is your tolerance for outliving your money?

To secure your plan even further, many people are allocating a portion of their retirement assets into an Annuity, or an investment fund that provides a guaranteed income for life. These solutions can provide a tax-efficient, guaranteed lifetime income, with the potential for growth if the investment markets perform well. Combined with life insurance, this combination allows you to enjoy your retirement knowing that you will never outlive your money, and there will always be a significant estate for your loved ones.

Contact us to find out how we can help you to create an estate plan that is designed to meet the needs of your family, your heirs, your business interests as well as any philanthropic considerations.

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Losing Group Benefits

By | Employee Benefit Plans, Group Retirement Programs, Group Services, Individual Health Plans | No Comments
Important information for employees and employers to know whenever someone is leaving a group plan.

Whether it is due to leaving for a new venture, taking contract work, retirement, or other reasons, more and more people are going through changes that result in a loss of group benefits coverage. However, leaving an employer does not mean one has to leave this valuable coverage behind. The following is an explanation of some of the things that employees and employers should all understand in order to properly identify the options that are available at this critical point in time.

Health and Dental Coverage

There are 2 types of Health & Dental Plan options – Conversion Plans and Traditional Plans

The easiest solution to deal with the loss of health and dental coverage is to extend coverage using a Conversion Plan. Acceptance is guaranteed, and coverage is uninterrupted, as long as an application is made within 60 days of losing group coverage. These plans are available from several carriers, and each company offers different levels of coverage to choose from. There are no medical questions, and coverage can be provided for the same items that were provided on the group plan, and for anyone who was covered on the group plan.

The other type of Health Plan is referred to as a Traditional Plan. These plans require a medical questionnaire in order to be eligible, and they offer flexible and comprehensive coverage. In many cases, these plans will offer higher coverage limits than a Conversion Plan. Once a Conversion Plan has been secured, it may be worth investigating to see if a Traditional Plan is an option.

Conversion Plans
  • Guaranteed Coverage if you apply within 60 days of your group coverage terminating
  • No medical requirements
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered
  • Most plans include Prescription Drugs, Hospital Benefits, Vision Care, Paramedical Specialists, Dental Care, and more
  • Emergency Medical Travel Insurance may be available on some plans
Traditional Plans
  • A Medical Questionnaire is required in order to be eligible
  • Typically provides higher coverage limits
  • Flexible coverage to meet your needs
  • No restrictions based on employment status or prior coverage
  • Most plans include Prescription Drugs, Hospital Benefits, Vision Care, Paramedical Specialists, Dental Care, Travel Insurance and more

Group Retirement Plans

  • There are several options available at this point in time
  • A Group RRSP plan will offer an individual account that looks to mirror the existing investments where possible
  • You can transfer to an individual plan with another financial institution
  • You can transfer to another group plan if available
  • These transfers can be done between institutions, and without any tax implications
  • If you are leaving a Defined Benefit Pension Plan, you may require additional analysis in order to take advantage of your available options

Long Term Disability Insurance

  • There may be an option to extend coverage without a medical
  • Coverage would be extended for a period equal to any severance period
  • Financial underwriting and coverage limits based on former salary
  • There are specific terms and conditions which apply to these policies

Life Insurance & Critical Illness Insurance

If your plan included this coverage, it may be wise to investigate whether there is an option to convert any of this coverage

Application typically required within 30 days of losing coverage

Understanding your options is the first step to making a wise decision.

Identifying and selecting the right coverage for you and your family is a process that is based on many factors. By taking advantage of the conversion options available within your policy, you are in a stronger position to assess your situation, obtain the advice that you need in order to make the right decisions to protect yourself and your family.