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The Stability of the Life Insurance Industry in Canada

Given the problems encountered by some large financial institutions in the United States, how concerned should we be about the state of the life insurance industry in Canada?  It is a fact that over the past decade the number of life insurance companies operating in Canada has decreased dramatically.  This decrease is mainly due to the mergers and acquisitions of the existing companies.  For example, those individuals who maintained policies issued by Maritime Life, Commercial Union, North American Life, or Aetna Life, now find themselves insured by Manulife Financial.  Today, insurance is one of the most closely regulated industries in Canada.  Unlike the United States, in Canada, there is a government organization that supervises all of the federally incorporated and foreign insurers to ensure that these companies operate in a prudent manner.  This organization is the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).  For those companies that are provincially chartered their oversight is provided by the province in which they do business.  The major life insurance companies are federally regulated by OSFI.

 

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Protecting Your Business

While most business owners realize the benefits of corporate-owned insurance, many do not realize that flexible life insurance products such as universal life can provide them with the protection they need as well as a source of cash for business purposes.

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Five Financial Products You Should Own

By Brenda Spiering, Editor, BrighterLife.ca

You don’t need to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to build wealth. With the right products, you can grow and protect a healthy nest egg.

Here are five key financial products that should be part of your plan:

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Family Business Succession, Estate Equalization and Wills Variation Act

 

When dealing with the estate planning of a family business it is particularly important to consider the issue of estate equalization.  One of the common objectives in a family business succession plan is to treat the children fairly and/or equally.  This can be problematic in that many family business owners see up to 80% or more of their wealth tied up in the family business.  The question arises, how to deal with the children who are not involved in the business when those children that are will receive the family company shares as their inheritance?  Aside from the issue of maintaining family harmony another risk of not dealing with this issue in an effective manner is the risk of court action under provincial legislation such as the Wills Variation Act.

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Your Health is in Your Hands

By now all the enthusiastic New Year’s Resolutions have fallen by the way-side, collecting dust bunnies beside the gym bag in the back of the closet.

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Graduation is the Perfect Time to Consider Disability Insurance

As this year’s graduates cross the stage they’re filled with dreams of their bright futures.   Rightly so – they’ve worked hard to get to where they are.  They’re thinking of their careers, their earning potential and getting started on this business of life.

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What about Your health

We often hear about the need to provide for our families, and protect their financial security through the use of various insurance products.  We’re always preparing for what happens when we die, or become ill.  It’s important to plan for the inevitable, or the unfortunate, but let’s take a step back for a moment.

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Preserving an Estate

You’ve done a good job accumulating assets and establishing your financial security.  These assets will funnel down to the next generation, but at what value? What will the tax consequences be?  Will these assets pass directly to your intended beneficiaries, or will they be stuck in probate?  What impact will it have if your spouse dies first?

Life insurance can be a very effective tax and estate solution to ensure that the value of your estate is maximised.  You’ve worked hard to create this asset – take the steps to protect it.  Let’s discuss options to preserve your estate.

 

©iStockphoto.com/Catherine Yeulet

 

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Are You Ready To Deal With A Critical Illness?

Consider the following facts:

  • 40% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetime
  • In 2005, cardiovascular disease (heart disease, diseases of the blood vessels and stroke) accounted for 31% of all deaths in Canada

Advances in medical science means that you have a better chance of surviving a critical illness. However, a critical illness often is accompanied by a huge financial burden to you and your family.

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Protect Your Children’s Standard of Living

Raising a family means taking on a lot of responsibility.  You need to think about protecting your financial futures as well as those of your children. That means insuring your lives, protecting your income and covering your debt so that your children can continue the standard of living that you have established for them.
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