Products and Services

Retirement Planning

The RRSP was originally created by the government over 50 years ago as a tools to allow people who were not building a retirement fund through employer sponsored pension plans to participate in a similar program. Today, they are still one of the most popular methods of saving for retirement. The problem is, times have changed, retirement does not look the same as it used to 50 years ago, so strategizing on how best to utilize these investment vehicles is critical if maximizing your retirement income is the goal. One must never forget that any money saved within an RRSP will one day be taxed and for some this could have significant impact on what they thought might be available to them during their retirement years. Used wisely, the RRSP is still a viable investment strategy.

Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)

Introduced in January 2009, this investment product will allow you to plunk up to $5000 each year into it and never pay tax on the financial gains obtained. Unlike the RRSP you cannot obtain a tax deduction for contributions made but there are plenty of reasons why it should be used as a savings account for large expenditures etc.

Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Balance (GMWB) products

Introduced in Canada in 2006, this investment strategy has taken the market by storm. There are a number of providers of these sophisticated plans available. If it’s guaranteed income you are looking for in retirement with the ability to predict what your income will be (like a defined benefit pension plan) then this product is certainly worth taking a look at.

Investment planning

Segregated Funds

If its safety and capital preservation that you are after then segregated funds and their extraordinary guarantees might be for you. Segregated funds are a Canadian insurance product and are only offered to Canadians.
In 1986, these funds were almost exclusively transactions between Canadian insurance companies and large pension fund managers. In 1998 Mutual fund companies realized the potential in segregated funds and began to make arrangements with life insurance companies to create new segregated funds which mirrored the performance of their own mutual funds.
All segregated funds are not the same but what they do have in common is a minimum 75% guarantee of initial investment capital at  maturity or death of the policy holder. Some still carry 100% guarantees of the investment capital.
Segregated funds can provide the investor with the safety required and the ability to participate in market gains much like the mutual fund investor. Because segregated funds are considered a life insurance product, an investment contract using segregated funds will also stipulate a beneficiary should the investor pass away. Beneficiaries will receive the death benefit provided from the investment without having to wait for the investor’s Will to be processed through probate. Potential creditor protection is also a benefit of using segregated funds within your investment portfolio.

Insurance

Universal Life Insurance

happy-coupleUniversal Life (UL) insurance combines both insurance coverage and an opportunity to invest in a “tax-sheltered” investment environment.  In Canada, UL insurance is the only vehicle outside of RRSPs where you can accumulate money on a tax-sheltered basis.  The difference however, is at death, Universal Life policies are paid out totally tax free compared to RRSPs which are fully taxable at death.  Premiums are paid with “after-tax” dollars, therefore are not tax deductible.
Universal Life is purchased for those who have a permanent need for insurance and/or also wish to have a tax-sheltered investment account.  It is an ideal vehicle for those who have maximized their RRSP contributions and wish to further shelter other investments from taxation.  Universal Life is also used extensively in Estate and Succession planning to provide the liquidity needed when taxes are due so that the estate and/or business can continue without being eroded.  As well, Universal Life is used for those who wish to establish a Charitable Planned Gift to their favorite charity upon their death.  By doing so, the estate has not been diminished by the charitable gift and the insurance gift may offset or even eliminate taxes owing in the estate.

Term Insurance

Term insurance is life insurance which provides coverage for a limited period of time, the relevant term. After that period, the insured can either drop the policy or pay annually increasing premiums to continue the coverage. If the insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term insurance is often the most inexpensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis.

Term life insurance is the original form of life insurance and is considered to be pure insurance protection because it builds no cash value.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole Life insurance provides you with life insurance protection for life. Cash values are usually grown within the policy as well but unlike the Unversal Life product, the insured has no control over the investments within the policy. There are a variety of whole life products available that can provide the permanent protection required.

Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care will protect you from the effects of incapacitating disease or illness – and your estate from future financial burden. Long Term Care Insurance provides tax-free benefits when there is a need for long term care. The benefit can be used to cover the costs of care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and/or home health care.

As much as we might prefer it, we cannot assume we’ll be taken care of in old age by family members and loved ones. Long Term Care Insurance gives you freedom of choice, from nursing home care to care in your own home, as your situation requires. With Long Term Care Insurance you can provide for your future needs today and ensure your level of care in old age when you can no longer assume your degree of health and independence.

Private Health Insurance

beach-familyPrivate health insurance is an extended health and dental plan that is distinct from government plans. In essence, a PHSP (private health services program) is a written contract between an employer and an employee. The purpose of a PHSP is to enable an employer to provide health and dental benefits to their employees on a tax-free basis. The employer is entitled to a deduction for the full amount of expenses paid out to the employee.

In other words, a PHSP is a health plan and a tax plan. The Plan maximizes the opportunity to fully utilize all health and dental services while merging this opportunity with existing Canadian tax laws. A business will purchase the Plan to achieve a wide and comprehensive range of health and dental services in the most cost effective route available.

There are two types of PHSPs:

  • 1.Traditional health and dental plans offered by most insurance companies. Blue Cross and  Great West Life are examples. Typically, a premium is paid to the insurer.
  • 2.A cost plus plan whereby an employer contracts with a trustee to cover defined risks or claims (a specific dollar amount per plan year) of an employee and their dependents. The employer promises to reimburse the cost of such claims plus an administration fee.

 

Travel Insurance

Out of Canada emergency medical expenses are not generally covered by your provincial medical plan and these expenses can be financially overwhelming. For millions of Canadians, comprehensive emergency travel coverage has become an essential part of their holiday plans.

While travelling outside your own province of residence in Canada, some medical and paramedical expenses may only be partially covered by your provincial health insurance program. Whether you travel frequently or occasionally, there is a plan that’s right for you. Depending on your needs, you can opt for coverage on a daily or annual basis.