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William Shung | Senior Insurance Advisor

December 22nd, 2014

 

William Shung
Senior Insurance Advisor | LSM Insurance

1.What type of Critical Illness insurance do you own?

I own a permanent level premium critical illness insurance policy.

2.What factors did you consider when determining the coverage amount?

The purpose of critical illness insurance is to provide for unforeseen expenses. Most importantly, the insured amount should be sufficient to finance any treatment required if diagnosed with a critical illness. When deciding on the coverage amount, I looked into any liabilities that needed to be protected and ensured that I am sufficiently covered. The amount of coverage should cover treatment costs so it would not penetrate my retirement savings.

3. Do you think people underestimate the importance of Critical Illness insurance and if so why?

In spite of the high incidence of being diagnosed with a critical illness during one's lifetime, the demand for critical illness insurance falls short of expectation. The reasons for this low demand can be attributed to high cost and strict underwriting requirements. With insurance, high cost means high risks and because of the high risk, we should really give more weight to critical illness insurance in our financial planning.

4. What are some limitations or exclusions should people watch out for?

There are usually 23 covered illnesses to a critical illness plan. In order to be eligible for claim, you need to survive a 30 day waiting period. We should distinguish between the 30 day waiting period and a 90 day exclusion period for certain illnesses such as life threatening cancer and a benign brain tumour.

5. If you had to choose between Critical Illness and Life Insurance which one would you choose and why?

Life insurance is for protecting our liabilities, assets and for taxation purpose. Critical Illness insurance is a living benefit to cover our illness treatment cost such that it will not affect our lifetime savings.

William Shung headshot

 William Shung was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. As former life insurance and long-term care advisor for the Knights of Columbus – the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization – he is well versed in the changing needs of Canada’s aging population. He holds both an Elder Planning Counselor and a Fraternal Insurance Counselor designation and is able to advise on a variety of insurance plans including life, long-term care, critical illness and disability. In a former life, he was a renowned marketing and advertising guru. He held directorial positions in several multi-national advertising agencies and visited Southeast Asian capitals such as, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on their behalf. William is fluent in both English and Chinese.

<Back to Critical Illness Insurance – What The Experts Own

Weekly Personal Finance Roundup

December 19th, 2014

Check out this week's round-up of Personal Finance articles and blogs:

couple budget life insurance

DividendMantra.com analyzes the pros and cons of seperate and combined budgets with your significant other

GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca breaks down the 5 things you should cover in your will

Jason Heath gives MoneySense.ca readers the lowdown on different types of living benefits policies

In the spirit of giving, ModestMoney.com shows us how to make a real impact on someone this holiday season

FreedomThirtyFiveBlog.com discusses drawbacks of the Debt to Income ratio, equipped with delightful memes ;)

Have a great weekend!

Can Your Tax-Free Savings Account Be Too Profitable?

December 18th, 2014
 
TFSA tax account cra
Maybe the TFSA isn’t the tax-shelter Canadians think it is.

The Harper government created Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to help shield our savings from tax, but now Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) auditors are targeting TFSA holders with large sums of money in their accounts.

According to a recent article in The National Post, if you've posted not only large gains in your account, but if you also trade too frequently, you could be audited. As a justification for this, the CRA argues that those who trade a lot on their TFSA and get big gains by doing that, are actually running a trading business and should be taxed on that income.

Obviously, the investment community has something to say about this. The Investment Industry Association of Canada charged that the CRA provides "insufficient guidelines" to the TFSA account holder as to whether they are truly breaking tax rules and sent them a letter to that effect.

The heat is on for the CRA from the legal system as well. A Calgary law firm is preparing to fight them when it comes to their interpretation of "business." It's also unknown what balance of activity in your TFSA will actually trigger an audit. The CRA would not comment when The National Post asked the question. Apparently, the CRA is hanging on a rule that prevents Canadians from using their TFSAs to "conduct a business," but the Calgary law firm that is taking them on is arguing that this rule is vague.

Tim Clarke of Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP told The Financial Post that the CRA seems to be equating hobbyist day traders, that maybe make 10 to 15 trades a day, to carrying on a business. In the past, the CRA went after TFSA account holders who were undervaluing shares in their account and few people argued, but going after account holders who just happen to be active and successful investors is a new and, some say, overzealous approach. 

In their detailed letter to the CRA's financial director, the Investment Industry Association of Canada not only asked for clear-cut rules around this issue, but also that TFSA trustees found to have been using their TFSA to "carry on a business" would not be held liable if they withdraw their TFSA funds before their tax bill arrives.

Those TFSA holders found to be too profitable by the CRA have been told that they will not face further penalty if they agree to pay tax on the income within the account. One such person, speaking anonymously to The Financial Post said if he did not pay the higher tax, he would face wage garnishment and interest penalties. He has since paid the tax and taken the $180,000 he acquired through 200 trades out of his TFSA.

He was able to make those trades only because of what he says is some familiarity with resource stocks and although he is a financial advisor, he is not authorized to make trades for clients and has never taken courses on trading. "You know what? I think they're jealous," he told the paper after mentioning that the first thing that flagged the auditor's attention was the amount in the account.

For his part, Tim Clarke believes, "If you put a qualified investment into a TFSA, as long as it’s within the categories of qualified investment, it shouldn’t matter how you earn or lose money. The income should not be taxable and the losses not deducted."

LSM Insurance asked some of our friends in the financial industry what they thought about some TFSA being audited by the CRA on Twitter and below is just as a sample of what they came back to us with:

Chad Larmond | Principal at LRM Insurance

December 17th, 2014

Chad Larmond 

PrincipalLRM Insurance

1. What type of Critical Illness insurance do you own?

The type of critical illness insurance that I own is a level premium to age 65. It has a 100% return of premium at age 65 if no claims are made.

2. What factors did you consider when determining the coverage amount?

A good range to consider is one or two years worth of your gross or net income. I purchased my plan early in my career so I secured an amount that I am able to grow into as my income increases. This strategy ensured that I did not have to go through additional medical testing in the future to qualify for more coverage.

3. Do you think people underestimate the importance of critical illness insurance and if so why?

Yes, most people cannot see themselves being diagnosed with cancer or a heart condition so they will tend to avoid the topic. My experience has proven that once someone close to them goes through a diagnosis and survives they are more likely to consider the merits of this product. Some clients will buy Life Insurance because they can see themselves passing away prematurely but won’t buy Critical Illness Insurance because they cannot see themselves becoming sick. Not the proper way to think in my opinion as benefits provided when you are living are the most likely to pay and most important.

4. What are some limitations or exclusions should people watch out for?

Be aware of the exclusions in your contract (like any contract this is the first section you should read). Standard exclusions in a critical illness insurance contract include, self inflicted injuries, injuries occurring while impaired by alcohol or drugs, acts of war, etc. All CI contracts include a 3 month moratorium period whereby no benefits are payable for cancer or benign brain tumour during the first 3 months that your policy in effect. Limitations for cancer also exist and usually pay out only a fraction of the benefit for an early stage diagnosis of skin, breast, and prostate cancer – this category also includes angioplasty.

5. If you had to choose between Critical Illness and Life Insurance which one would you choose and why?

In my opinion, you should own both unless your net worth is extremely high (over $5M). If budget is an issue you should consider purchasing a 10 year term policy that will keep the premiums lower during the initial 10 year period and arguably the most important time for you to have the coverage as your maintain and build your wealth.

Chad Larmond headshot
 

Chad Larmond, Chad specializes in helping Business Owners and Professionals replace income in the event of injury, sickness & death. Chad is an expert in the areas of Disability Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance and Life Insurance. Chad began his insurance career in 2003 with the largest Disability Insurance carrier in North America (UnumProvident). He spent 8 years there specializing in Group and Individual Living Benefits. He worked as a top consultant to help Insurance and Investment Advisors when their clients required Living Benefit Insurance Solutions.

<Back to Critical Illness Insurance – What The Experts Own

What is the Best Way to Teach Young People About Money?

December 15th, 2014
teach kids about money

Here Is Some Advice From The Experts:

Robin Taub, chartered accountant and author of A Parent's Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids, says it's important to teach kids about money because "having good financial management is an important life skill." Not only that, but all parents want to raise fiscally-responsible and financially independent children.

With that in mind, we asked some of Canada's leading financial personalities the best way to teach kids about money and here's what they contributed:

Gail Vaz-Oxlade

In her column printed in the Toronto Sun, author and TV personality Gail Vaz-Oxlade explains why she is an advocate of an allowance over just doling out money whenever your kids need it.

"I define an allowance as the money you normally spend on your kid put in your child's hands so he or she can learn to manage it," she writes.

"Given regularly, an allowance not only provides kids with the bucks they need to experiment with saving and spending, it also gives them the responsibility for keeping their money safe and using it wisely. Over time, even a modest allowance will get kids thinking about the value of money and how to make their dollars go further."

The Money Smart Kids author makes the point that a child will never learn about money unless you give them some, but she cautions against a mistake many parents make.

"The alternative to an allowance, and a trap for most parents, is the dole system. That's when your kid asks for some cash and you dole it out. Since the dole system has no limit, there is no reason for a child to set priorities or make a decision on relative value," she warns.

If your kids are currently on the dole system, Gail challenges you to keep track of the money you're giving them every month and assures you'll be surprised by just how big their allowance is in that case.

Ellen Roseman

The Toronto Star's personal finance columnist Ellen Roseman says you can introduce your kids to investing by buying them stock shares as gifts. She recommends picking companies they know and like, such as Disney, Tim Hortons, Dollarama and Canadian Tire.

After that, she suggests finding an online broker that doesn't charge fees for inactivity on small accounts. Alternatively, if you don't want them to learn on real stocks, she recommends playing the stock market using a fantasy account. Roseman points to the stock simulator at Investopedia as a good starting point. There, your kids can practice trading with $100,000 in fantasy cash.

Big Cajun Man

Personal finance blogger Big Cajun Man actually tried to set up his kids with an allowance, but he hit an unexpected snag.

"Inevitably, we’d forget for a couple of weeks, try to catch up and eventually just gave up (much to the kids chagrin)," he writes on Wallnut.com.

For a while the allowance plan lay dormant, but then he went to his bank and asked about bank accounts for kids.

"The poor woman whose life I was ruining for the day, said the accounts could be opened then (since the kids had SIN numbers), and the accounts would show up 'under' my account on my online banking."

The best thing about this was that transfers were free from Cajun Man's account to his kids' account so he could make as many as he wanted automatically.

"I asked her to set up weekly transfers from my account to my kids accounts, thus assuring that the money was paid every week (whether I remembered or not)," he writes.

The automatic transfers actually worked. The kids bought things that they needed, such as clothes they wanted and gifts for their friends' birthdays. Plus, it increased their understanding of money quite a lot. 

Personal Finance Blog Weekly Round-up

December 12th, 2014

We've started a new tradition on the LSM blog! Starting this week, we will be compiling a weekly list of personal finance articles and resources that we think our readers will find useful.  

Every week on Friday, we will scour the web and social media for the top articles being read and shared on all things related to Canadian personal finance.

shutterstock 136997168
 

Michael James on Money breaks down the different between Term and Permanent Life Insurance and gets input from Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Huffington Post discusses the controversial discrimination of life insurance applicants by Canadian life insurance carriers based on results of genetic testing

ETF expert Mark Seed gives us his monthly Dividend Income Update on his blog MyOwnAdvisor.ca

Author of RetirementRedux.com, Sheryl Smolkin, lets us have a peek into her personal Travel Medical Insurance plans 

Vancouver-based life insurance broker Brian So delves deep into some interesting Critical Illness Insurance scenarios

Sarah Milton at RetireHappy.ca writes a nice piece with 40 lessons about money and life

MillionDollarJourney.com's Frugal Trader pulled his popular Year-End Tax Tips out of the vault to give readers a fresh update

Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Top 50 Canadian Personal Finance Websites

December 10th, 2014
personal finance blog top 50 websites thumbnail
 

There are a lot of Top Personal Finance blog lists out there so we have taken it one step further by collecting some key performance data and ranking these websites by the numbers. 

We've decided to rank the websites by Alexa Score (Canada) but by no means is that an end-all metric to determine a site's popularity. The list includes other benchmarks such as the Moz.com Domain Authority and social metrics such as the content author's Klout Score, Twitter follower count, Facebook Page Likes and Google+ views. We have also mentioned the website's most shared piece of content (as listed on Buzzsumo).

Please note this list is not conclusive of all personal finance websites in Canada. We did our best to compile a thorough list but we have undoubtedly missed sites that deserve to be on here. If you think we may have missed a site that could be added please let us know on social media or leave a comment below so we can include it for the next release of the list.

1. The Greater Fool

The Greater Fool Logo

Alexa Canada: 1,673

Alexa World: 82,384

Twitter (@garthturner): 7,608 Followers

Klout Score: 48

Most Shared Content: Surprise 8 (146 Shares)

 2. MoneySense

Money Sense Logo

Alexa Canada: 2,156

Alexa World: 60,169

Twitter (@MoneySenseMag): 21.5K Followers

Facebook: 9,068 Likes

Google+: 37,687 Views

Klout Score: 61

Most Shared Content: Canada’s Best Places to Live 2014: Time to Think Small (9,058 Shares)

3. Morning Star

Morning Star Logo 

Alexa Canada: 3,163

Alexa World: 112,398

Twitter (@MorningstarCDN): 4,788 Followers

Facebook: 1,212 Likes

Google+: 52,972 Views

Klout Score: 64

Most Shared Content: Award-Winning Program Promotes Financial Literacy For Youth (416 Shares)

4. Freedom Thirty Five

Freedom thirty five blog

Alexa Canada: 3,389

Alexa World: 112,224

Twitter (@Liquid_f35): 2,050Followers

Facebook: 1,611 Likes

Google+: 3,362 Views

Most Shared Content: Savings Are Future Income (40 Shares)

5. How To Save Money

How To Save Money Logo e1418836644894

Alexa Canada: 4,270

Alexa World: 199,326

Twitter (@HowToSave): 1,461 Followers

Facebook: 2,082 Likes

Most Shared Content: $1000 Cash HUGE Christmas Giveaway! (484 Shares)

6. Million Dollar Journey

Million Dollar Journey Logo 

Alexa Canada: 6,627

Alexa World: 158,972

Twitter (@frugaltrader): 233 Followers

Facebook: 1,237 Likes

Klout Score: 48

Most Shared Content: How Come I'm Not Rich (204 Shares)

7. Common Cents Mom

Common Cents Mom 

Alexa Canada: 7,280

Alexa World: 314,668

Twitter (@commoncentsmom): 11.9K Followers

Facebook: 1,066 Likes

Google+: 6,082 Views

Klout Score: 66

Most Shared Content:The Staples Valentines Day Giveaway (1,147 Shares)

8. Canajun Finances

Canajun Finances Logo

Alexa Canada: 8,482

Alexa World: 217,534

Twitter (@bigcajunman): 2,264 Followers

Facebook: 129 Likes

Google+ : 156,442 Views

Most Shared Content: RESP From Start to Spend (60 Shares)

9. Get Smarter About Money

Get Smarter About Money e1418085701182

Alexa Canada: 9,220

Alexa World: 194,332

Twitter (@smarter_money): 4,000 Followers

Facebook: 1,828 Likes

Klout Score: 51

Most Shared Content: Should You Put Your Tax Refund Into a TFSA? (169 Shares)

10. Canadian Finance Blog

canadian finance blog
 

Alexa Canada: 10,256

Alexa World: 217,473

Twitter (@CanadianFinance): 12.3K Followers

Facebook: 1,065

Google+: 32,389

Klout Score: 62

Most Shared Content: Avoid These 3 Financial Death Spirals (86 Shares)

11. Retire Happy

Retire Happy 1

Alexa Canada: 10,306

Alexa World: 259,055

Twitter (@jimyih): 9,066 Followers

Facebook: 1,026 Likes

Google+: 16,356 Views

Klout Score: 54

Most Shared Content: A Simple Way to Track Your Spending (213 Shares)

12. Financial Diffraction

Financial Diffraction Logo e1418326613653

Alexa Canada: 10,642

Alexa: 223,997

Twitter (@FinDiffraction): 702 Followers

Most Shared Content: Gaming the Demise of the Penny (129 Shares)

13. Gail Vaz-Oxlade

gail vaz oxlade

Alexa Canada: 10,685

Alexa World: 152,915

Twitter (@GailVazOxlade): 29.7K Followers

Facebook: 28,562

Google+: 13,734 Views

Klout Score: 81

Most Shared Content: 8 Ways to Become Your Accountant’s Fav Client (140 Shares)

14. Dividend Mantra

Dividend Mantra Logo  

Alexa Canada: 10,995

Alexa World: 69,636

Twitter (@jasonfieber): 988

Google+: 3,319,491 Views

Most Shared Content: What’s The Bigger Sacrifice: Living Below Your Means Or Working For Most Of Your Life? (86 Shares)

15. Canadian Couch Potato

Canadian Couch Potato Logo

Alexa Canada: 11,205

Alexa World: 243,687

Twitter (@cdncouchpotato): 4,488 Followers

Facebook: 51 Likes

Klout Score: 49

Most Shared Content: What Young Investors Need to Know (52 Shares)

16. My Own Advisor

my own advisor

Alexa Canada: 11,289

Alexa World: 234,864

Twitter (@myownadvisor): 2,821 Followers

Facebook: 520 Likes

Google+: 36,363 Views

Klout Score: 53

Most Shared Content: How to Kill Retirement in 3 Easy Steps (144 Shares)

17. Boomer & Echo

Boomer And Echo Logo

Alexa Canada: 11,782

Alexa World: 235,394

Twitter (@BoomerandEcho): 4,828 Followers

Facebook: 645 Likes

Google+: 18,201 Views

Klout Score: 53

Most Shared Content: Sensible RRSP vs TFSA Comparison (236 Shares)

18. Golden Girl Finance


  golden girl finance

Alexa Canada: 12,062

Alexa World: 257,333

Twitter (@goldengirlfinan): 2,759 Followers

Facebook: 645 Likes

Google+: 38,097 Views

Klout Score: 53

Most Shared Content: How to House-Hunt With Your Head, Not Your Heart (346 Shares)

19. Insurance Hunter


Insurance Hunter Logo

Alexa Canada: 12,301

Alexa World: 373,275

Twitter (@insurehunter): 804

Facebook: 5,595 Likes

Google+: 54,080 Views

Klout Score: 48

Most Shared Content: The Straight Up Facts About Texting And Driving (83 Shares)

20. Canadian Budget Binder 

Canadian Budget Binder Logo e1418138826206

Alexa Canada: 12,712

Alexa World: 136,700

Twitter (@CanadianBudgetB): 3,648 Followers

Facebook: 6,345 Likes

Google+: 34,209 Vews

Klout Score: 55

Most Shared Content: Young Adult Teaches Us About Being House Poor in 15 Minutes (200 Shares)

21. Canadian Direct

Candian Direct Insurance Logo e1418138795907

Alexa Canada: 13,495

Alexa World: 746,054

Twitter (@canadiandirect): 63 Followers

Facebook: 26 Likes

Klout Score: 34

Most Shared Content: Wet Weather (32 Shares)

22. Tackling Our Debt

Tackling Our Debt Logo e1418138753225

Alexa Canada: 13,634

Alexa World: 248,069

Twitter (): 9,294 Followers

Facebook: 2,019 Likes

Klout Score: 51

Most Shared Content: Valentine’s Day #Giveaway: You Choose Your Prize - Enter Today! (510 Shares)

23. Young And Thrifty

young and thrifty logo

Alexa Canada: 14,295

Alexa World: 236,757

Twitter (@youngandthrifty): 5,939 Followers

Facebook: 343 Likes

Klout Score: 46

Most Shared Content: Understanding How Home Equity Actually Works (116 Shares)


24. Add Vodka

Add Vodka Logo e1418138922638

Alexa Canada: 16,805

Alexa World: 162,785

Twitter (@add_vodka): 1,839 Followers

Facebook: 1,459 Likes

Google+: 476 Views

Klout Score: 45

Most Shared Content: Applying the “Less is More” Philosophy to Your Finances (39 Shares)

25. Thirty Six Months

Thirty Six Months Logo e1418138618585


 Alexa Canada: 17,338

Alexa World: 165,874

Twitter (@thirtysixmonths): 5,877 Followers

Facebook: 1,646 Likes

Google+: 53,406 views

Klout Score: 47

Most Shared Content: What is a Credit Union? Uncovering The Financial Institution Alternative (144 Shares)

26. Squawk Fox

squawk fox logo

Alexa Canada: 18,272

Alexa World: 170,892

Twitter (@squawkfox): 6,709 Followers

Facebook: 7,253 Likes

Google+: 30,058 Views

Klout Score: 52

Most Shared Content: Use Zinio And Your Library Card to Read Digital Magazines For Free (239 Shares)

27. Nickel By Nickel

Nickel By Nickel

Alexa Canada: 19,769

Alexa World: 987,719

Twitter (@nickelbynickel): 1,248 Followers

Klout Score: 41

Most Shared Content: Why Blogging And Many Blogs Piss Me Off, Why Your Blog Does or Doesn’t Suck (And Mine Does Too) And Why You Should’t Email Me (8 Shares)

 28. Money After Graduation

Money After Graduation Logo

Alexa Canada: 20,979

Alexa World: 171,840

Twitter (@moneyaftergrad): 1,976 Followers

Facebook: 373 Likes

Google+: 1,295 Views

Klout Score: 52

Most Shared Content: 30 Financial Milestones You Need To Hit By Age 30 (7,809 Shares)

29. Money Smarts Blog
   money smarts logo e1418138529121

Alexa Canada: 21,519

Alexa World: 457,149

Twitter (@moneysmartsblog): 1125 Followers

Facebook: 31 Likes

Most Shared Content: Under Promise, Over Deliver (37 Shares)

30. Where Does All My Money Go


   Where Does All My Money Go Logo e1418138468502

Alexa Canada: 22,030

Alexa World: 553,475

Twitter (@preetbanerjee): 8,697 Followers

Facebook: 720 Likes 

Google+: 11,175 Views

Klout Score: 66

Most Shared Content: Your Lifetime Investing Fees Could Easily Top $100,000 (77 Shares)

31. Blond on a Budget

blonde on a budget logo

Alexa Canada: 22,354

Alexa World: 203,704

Twitter (@blondeonabudget): 3,673 Followers

Facebook: 603 Likes

Google+: 9,263 Views

Klout Score: 57

Most Shared Content: Post-Declutter: How Does My Condo Look Now? (331 Shares)

32. Financial Uproar

Financial Uproar Logo e1418139013590

Alexa Canada: 24,520

Alexa World: 256,287

Twitter (@financialuproar): 1,142 Followers

Facebook: 96 Likes

Google+: 1,738 views

Klout Score: 47

Most Shared Content: Your House Isn’t An Investment. Stop Treating It As One. (129 Shares)

33. Canadian Dream Free At 35

Canadian Dream Free at 45 Logo e1418138394661

Alexa Canada: 25,997

Alexa World: 480,133

Twitter (@canadiandream): 633 Followers

Klout Score: 20

Most Shared Content: I Don’t Want to Be Rich (21 Shares)

34. Simply Frugal

Simply Frugal Lgo e1418139080135

Alexa Canada: 26,691

Alexa World: 407,776

Twitter (@simplyfrugal): 4,996 Followers

Facebook: 10,553 Likes

Google+: 12,889 Views

Klout Score: 60

Most Shared Content: The Ultimate Frugal Okanagan Summer Activity Guide (2242 Shares)

35. The Passive Income Earner

passive income earner logo

Alexa Canada: 27,601

Alexa World: 507,626

Twitter (@DividendEarner): 1,468 Followers

Klout Score: 40

Most Shared Content: 5 Steps Toward Being Financially Bulletproof (50 Shares)

36. Mo Money Mo Houses

Mo Money Mo Houses Logo e1418138278699

Alexa Canada: 28,005

Alexa World: 223,228

Twitter (@momoneymohouses): 4,420 Followers

Facebook: 1,738 Likes

Google+: 15,246 Views

Most Shared Content: Why I Would Never Invest in a Pre-construction Condo…Again (97 Shares)

37. Canadian Capitalist

Canadian Capitalist Logo

Alexa Canada: 30,529

Alexa World: 540,078

Twitter (@ccapitalist): 2,350 Followers

Klout Score: 38

Most Shared Content: Asset Class Returns for 2013 (28 Shares)

38. My Alternate Life

my alternate life logo

Alexa Canada: 30,637

Alexa World: 223,030

Twitter (@myalternateblog): 2,299 Followers

Facebook: 1,399 Likes

Most Shared Content: 30 Financial Milestones to Reach By Age 30 (93 Shares)

39. Frugal Rules

Frugal Rules Logo

Alexa Canada: 33,401

Alexa World: 47,648

Twitter (@FrugalRules): 24.8K Followers

Facebook: 2,899 Likes

Google+: 33,844 Views

Klout Score: 61

Most Shared Content: How to Budget For Buying a House (994 Shares)

40. The Blunt Bean Counter

Blunt Bean Counter Logo e1418139154650

Alexa Canada: 34,611

Alexa World: 593,583

Twitter (@bluntbeancountr): 609 Followers

Facebook: 44 Likes

Most Shared Content: Rental Properties - Everything You Always Wanted to Know, but Were Afraid to Ask (131 Shares)

41. Brighter Life

Brighter Life Logo

Alexa Canada: 35,244

Alexa World: 624,515

Twitter (@brighterlifeCA): 6,334 Followers

Facebook: 26,428 Likes

Google+: 21,946 Views

Klout Score: 50

Most Shared Content: Understanding Life Insurance (628 Shares)

42. Money We Have

Money We Have Logo

Alexa Canada: 38,036

Alexa World: 988,634

Twitter (@barrychoi): 1,077 Followers

Facebook: 58 Likes

Google+: 28,663 Views

Klout Score: 59

Most Shared Content: What is The Ontario Pension Plan? (100 Shares)

43. Michael James On Money

Michael James On Money

Alexa Canada: 38,287

Alexa World: 746,792

Twitter (@MJonMoney): 304 Followers

Most Shared Content: Debunking RRSP Myths with Pictures (37 Shares)

44. Sustainable Personal Finance

Sustainable Peronsal Finance e1418140176269

Alexa Canada: 44,906

Alexa World: 361,133

Twitter (@SustainablePF): 2,566 Followers

Facebook: 1,021 Likes

Most Shared Content: 3 Times it Makes Sense to Pay Someone Else to Do Something For You (134 Shares)

45. Canadian Money Saver

Canadian Money Saver Logo

Alexa Canada: 45,813

Alexa World: 1,339,155

Twitter (): 519 Followers

Facebook: 328 Likes

Google+: 1,527 Views

Most Shared Content: Canadian Moneysaver Events (60 Shares)

46. Free Money Finance

Free Money Finance Logo e1418141092951

Alexa Canada: 46,855

Alexa World: 169,003

Twitter (@FMFblog): 178 Followers

Klout Score: 46

Most Shared Content: Six Times It's Easy to Ask for a Discount (88 Shares)

47. Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Give Me Back My Five Bucks Logo e1418141354862

Alexa Canada: 48,491

Alexa World: 354,105

Twitter (@krystalatwork): 4,257 Followers

Facebook: 956 Likes

Google+: 10,431 Views

Klout Score: 61

Most Shared Content: Creating a Bare-Bones Budget (45 Shares)

48. Modest Money

modest money logo

Alexa Canada: 48,725

Alexa World: 33,523

Twitter (@ModestMoney): 29.2K Followers

Facebook: 13,461

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Klout Score: 64

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49. Ellen Roseman

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Alexa Canada: 52,492

Alexa World: 1,613,813

Twitter (@ellenroseman): 6,965 Followers

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50. My University Money

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Alexa: 52,514 

Alexa World: 948,120

Twitter: (@myuniversitymon): 2,626 Followers

Facebook: 510 Likes

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Five Disability Insurance Loopholes

December 5th, 2014
disability insurance loopholes
 

How well do you know your disability insurance policy?

What happens if you answered your policy questions incorrectly?

Do you have illness protection, or only injury protection? When does your coverage expire?

Having disability Insurance is critical, and it’s something everyone should have in order to protect some of their biggest assets, such as their mortgage; but do you know everything about your policy? Are you fully protected? What if something goes wrong?

Below are five insurance loopholes that you may be unaware of that could have a major impact on your life.

1. Limitations and exclusions. While these may vary from insurance provider to insurance provider, you can generally count on a few universal exclusions. Exclusions or limitations refer to instances when your policy will not be paid out.

Suicide is one of the most common exclusions, but sometimes will depend on how long you have had your policy. Pre-existing health conditions that result in your death within the first 12 months of coverage could be an exclusion. War is also considered an exclusion, which makes all disability policies out of the question for members of the military.

Also, if you participate in, and die during, a riot or civil uprising, your policy will be void. Finally, if you are killed during the commission, or attempted commission of a criminal offense, your policy will not pay the benefit.

2. Incorrectly filling out your policy questionnaires/or obtaining a poor policy. This isn’t misrepresentation because this is something that can happen unintentionally due to lack of information.

It is important that you accurately fill out your forms to ensure that, when and if the time comes, you will get the coverage you need. You need to accurately state your marital status, any pre-existing conditions, etc.

Secondary to this is choosing the wrong policy, or simply being unaware of the policy you have. This can be a big problem, particularly where group policies are concerned. The three types of disability insurance include “any occupation,” “regular occupation,” and “own occupation.”

The difference being that if you have an “any occupation” policy, you must be unable to do ANY job in order to receive long-term coverage, however, if you have a “regular occupation” policy, then you can obtain long-term coverage if you are simply unable to perform the job you regularly do.

See this difference? This can have a serious impact on your life and your financial status. If you have existing policies, look into them to differentiate between the types of policies you are currently holding. You may find you need a supplemental policy.

3. Limited protection or coverage. Not all disability insurance policies cover all types of disabilities. Policy are generally divided between injury and illness policies, and injury-only policies. If you have an injury-only policy, you won’t be covered if you become disabled due to an illness. It is very important that you know what sort of policy you have in place. There are many illnesses that, over time, can leave you completely disabled.

In fact, 75 per cent of all disabled people are disabled due to an illness. That means that only 25 per cent of disabled people became disabled due to an injury. Injury-only policies are cheaper because the likelihood of a disabling injury if far less than that of an illness derived disability, and injury-only policies don’t have to factor in your overall health. Injury-only policies are frequently known as “accident insurance” and many institutions offer it, even banks. It’s low-risk and a narrow scope, which means it may not be in your best interests.

4. Consider your age. Regular disability insurance has a cut off of 65 years of age. After 65, you simply aren’t covered anymore. What’s the big deal? In Canada there is a rising trend for those 65 and over to still be working, or to re-enter the workforce in an effort to supplement their fixed income. This is problematic because if injured on the job at this age, there is no financial protection there for you.

While there are companies out there now offering disability policies to the 65+ age group, they too have their limitations, and generally provide financial support for no more than two years. These policies are great for minor injuries that result in a temporary disability, but if you work in a place where your injury risk is high and the injury type serious, this may still be inadequate – although better than the alternative (nothing!).

5. Refusal to seek appropriate treatment. If you do not abide by your doctors recommendations for treatment, you may not receive coverage, or your coverage may be halted. Your doctors develop a close relationship with insurance companies because of frequently reporting on injuries and your condition (progressive or stagnant).

If you refuse treatment, or refuse to follow the treatment and rehabilitation course of action your doctor has prescribed, your insurer will likely stop paying out your policy. It is important that you participate in getting well and maintaining your current state of health.

These are five of the most prominent loopholes your insurance provided can use against you to deny your coverage and void your policy. It is important that you are informed on every aspect of your policy. Are their travel addendums? What about the type of work you do? If you realize that your policy information is incorrect or out of date, be sure to contact your insurer and get the right information on file.

You don’t want to give them any ammunition that they can use against you, especially after the fact. There is nothing worse than getting injured, only to discover that your insurer is refusing to pay out your policy for any of the above reasons. Get in the know and be organized well before you ever find yourself in a position where you are reliant on your disability coverage. Without that policy, you will quickly find yourself buried under a mountain of debt.

5 Diseases That Make It Hard To Get Life Insurance

December 3rd, 2014

In many cases, insurance applications are approved with sub-standard rates or even declined if the applicant has a major illness or medical condition.

Other than the main factors such as age, weight and gender, insurance companies will weigh an insured's health history in the underwriting process. Check out our infographic on 5 diseases that make it difficult to get approved at standard life insurance rates.

5 diseases hard to insure
 

5 diseases hard to insure

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Recap of Financial Literacy Month 2014

December 2nd, 2014

 

Financial Literacy Month 2014
 

November was Financial Literacy Month in Canada. This nationwide campaign was spearheaded by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to help inform Canadians about personal finance.

The Government of Canada and Canadian financial experts took to Twitter with #FLM2014 to give their tips on how to handle personal finance. Topics included debt, security, financial planning and much more.

The most common topic on Twitter was debt management. Canadian finance bloggers, credit unions and the Government of Canada offered tips, advice and encouragement for those seeking help.   

Finance is not all about managing your debts but about investing and keeping your finances secure.

Of course you will want to track your finances and start planning how you will use your finances as well. 

Some Canadian financial blogs offered general tips for Canadians. 

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