Welcome to Mortgage Insurance – Protect yourself not the lender!

Welcome to Mortgage Insurance – Protect yourself not the lender!

Your home is one of the most important purchases you’ll make and protecting it is crucial. Mortgage protection plans offered by your lender are policies that insure your mortgage against the death of the title holder and pays the outstanding balance to the lender to cover the lenders potential loss. When you need protection and security after a death, the lender seem more concerned about their bottom line than your families well-being.

The problem with the lenders (bank, credit union) plans is that you, the homeowner, do not own the actual Insurance Policy. Mortgage insurance from your lender is held by the lender and only paid out to lender, and not to your family, which leaves loved ones with little to no income replacement and no financial security.

An Individual Life Insurance Policy can be up to 40% less than the lenders offerings (depending on age and health) because the lender are the go between to the insurance company. The increased cost is added to the price of the insurance to cover the non licensed brokers fees. So not only is it costly to insure through the lender the actual coverage is not benefiting those who matter most. Individual mortgage insurance keeps your home in your family’s hands and protects the families interests, because your family deserves Financial Security upon death – not your lender. For a comparison of Individual plans versus lender plans and understanding the value of individual mortgage insurance policies versus your lender’s policies, means looking at what each policy can offer you. Please see the table below to see why a lender’s mortgage insurance plan doesn’t offer the freedom and security of insuring yourself individually.

Contact Henley Financial & Wealth Management if you have any questions or need help insuring your home for your families financial security. We are happy to help save you money while creating a positive financial future.

If you are in need of a mortgage please contact  Bayfield Mortgage Professionals a trusted professional and mortgage broker.

Individual Plans Versus Your Lender

 Questions? Individual Insurance Policies Mortgage Loan Insurance from your Lender
Do I own my insurance policy? Yes No, The owner is your lender.
Who can be the beneficiary of the policy? Anyone you choose. Only the lender can receive the benefits from the policy.
When does coverage end? It depends on the term that YOU choose. Coverage ends when the mortgage is paid.
Do I have the same coverage for the life of the policy? Your coverage stays the same throughout the term of the policy. The coverage decreases relative to the value of the remaining loan.
What can your coverage be used for? Any purpose. The benefits are paid as a sum to your beneficiary to be used how they wish. The coverage may only be used to cover the balance on the loan.
Can I get lower rates if I’m a non-smoker/in excellent health? Yes. You usually pay as much as 50% less on your insurance premiums. No, premiums are determined under one rate system.
If I sell my home am I still protected? Yes. Since you are the owner of the policy. No, you will need to obtain a new policy.
Can I convert or renew my policy to change the terms or coverage? Some policies may be renewed or converted to another policy. No, you may not convert nor renew coverage. You may not transfer this coverage into a new policy.

 

 

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Expect the Unexpected…

Expect the Unexpected…

If I told you to do what you love and love what you do and spend 99.9% of your time doing so you would understand that statement as it applies to your life. Some would call it the simple life. But I recommend that you commit 0.1% of your time to plan for the unexpected, especially as you move towards some big milestones like marriage, home ownership and kids. That is when term life insurance, a type of policy that covers you for a specific length of time, can really make sense.

Newlyweds with debt

You are marring the person of your dreams the person that you want to share your future with. But does your future include a term life insurance policy. Here is one reason why you might want to consider buying it now:

Debt.

Insurance is designed to protect you from unknown at death. Many young people start their marriages with a significant amount of debt. It could be a disastrous if only one spouse remained to cover the payments. Say you want to cover $100,000 in debt. You can get a term life insurance policy to cover it for pennies on dollar a year, which is most likely less than you spend on coffee for the year.

Another scenario where term life insurance makes sense is when there is a big disparity in income. Insuring the difference means that if the higher income person dies, the lower income person can support their current cost of living while they rebuild his or her life.

For a newly wed couple Life insurance is something you should have. Hopefully you never need to use the benefit. You can feel good knowing that if something catastrophic was to happen your spouse is covered.

Buying your first home together

There’s “married” living the dream travelling doing what you want when you want, with no obligations. And then there’s “married with a mortgage,more debt and kids.” It’s an exciting step, a new home a place you call your own. But it also presents new risk. If one of you were to die, how would the surviving spouse manage the mortgage payments? This is when and why you buy a mortgage insurance at the bank (or they tell you that you have to purchase insurance through them). The better option is to buy a term life policy from your advisor or an insurance company, for a few reasons.

First, Term life is less expensive than mortgage insurance. Second, The payout on death benefit with term life doesn’t change, but on mortgage insurance it declines as you pay down the principal. Third, Mortgage life insurance has no flexibility meaning there is a face value policy limit and it isn’t transferable, so the policy will be cancelled if you move or become terminally ill before your mortgage is renewed.

Getting married and starting a family

There are a few things you are going to need if you’re expecting a baby. A completed baby room with the right crib, dresser, and a car seat plus all the other must haves. Oh yes you will have all the latest things needed to insure that your child is well looked after. I know this might sound morbid but at the same time you’re anticipating a new life beginning, and this is important. If you die, you want to make sure that your dependents are covered. Term life is a good short-term solution for a new family. The question is, how much do you need? The payout should cover your mortgage and replace a loss of income. How much you will need depends on the conversation you and your financial advisor have when you discuss this section of your family’s financial security.

Don’t hesitate to call or email us for your best options when thinking about your family’s financial security.

Henley Financial & Wealth Manangement  

 

Growing Old is Inevitable, Growing up is Optional! But we do have to deal with it…

Growing Old is Inevitable, Growing up is Optional! But we do have to deal with it…

It’s that time again Labour day has come and gone the kids are back in school meaning that summer has unofficially ended. We are back and will have some helpful insights for you to read over the next few months.  All the best from Henley Financial and Wealth Management. www.henleyfinancial.ca

Over the last year, I have been dealing with my mother who has decided that she would like to see my father again. The problem is he died 30 years ago. Yes he left us at the age of 52, the loss was hard but at that time my mother had lots of friends to entertain and years later I started a family. So she always busy and felt needed. Up until a few years ago, my mother was needed as she helped with my children. That has all changed, the girls are now teenagers and don’t even want my help and her friends have passed or moved on so she has been left feeling as though she is no longer needed.  A few years ago, I was telling everyone that she would outlive me. But things changed, life changed, she took her final trip, a trip she had asked me to go on when I was a teenager and of course I refused. It was at a time when I was involved in sports and could not leave my teammates behind. She has traveled extensively but this was her dream destination a month-long trip to China.

 

She has always been a good saver and lives minimally, as she gets older, you can see she is overwhelmed by the costs of things. Her generation is very concerned about finances it is the way they have come through life. Most people over 75 have filled out forms that are 20 pages in length, or do their own income taxes, they live on small incomes, there are Guaranteed Income Supplement forms to fill out, and in her case, a small pension my father left her.

 

As it turns out I have found to maintain their independence, older seniors like my mom need a lot of help with their finances—even if they have healthy savings. Home-care services need to be paid for, bill payments need to be set up, and investments need to be managed. It’s a balancing act and the process is time-consuming, but it needs to be done if you want your parents to age comfortably. Unfortunately, my mother is not aging comfortably as she is suffering from kidney failure and a poor heart. She would not go to the doctor when she was sick she did not think it was necessary… she felt she is no longer needed.

 

Handling elderly parents’ finances is made even tougher by the awkward role reversal. Aging parents are often reluctant to even share financial information with their children, let alone relinquish control. My mother is that in a nutshell. She continues to refuse help on any level. In many cases, you may have no choice but to pick a neutral person to oversee a parent’s finances.

 

That’s why it’s important to do some advance planning before your parents become incapable of managing their money themselves. Every family should have a plan to safeguard their elderly parents’ finances when the time comes.

 

If your parents are having trouble handling their finances, don’t expect them to come to you for help. If they’re like most parents, they don’t want to be a burden. So be on the lookout for subtle signs they may be having problems. Can’t remember if they paid a bill or think they did pay the bill. If they repeat things often, or forget conversations you recently had. I do that to on occasion I guess that comes with age but you will start to notice the signs.

 

Ideally, communication between parents and siblings should start well before a parent needs help. The best time is when parents are starting to talk seriously about retirement. It’s just an intellectual activity then. The longer you leave it, the harder it will become.

 

Understand that total trust doesn’t happen overnight, I have not always had a good relationship with my mother but as an only child there is not much choice. In many cases, it’s hard for siblings to work well together. One often feels another is taking advantage. The key to making it work is transparency on all fronts.

 

Have frequent family gatherings or communicate by email or phone constantly speak candidly about retirement and old age. It will happen it’s not a secret. You should also talk about what happened in the meeting that transpired with lawyers, accountants, and advisors. Then you will be able to understand the process in the future.

 

Gather information

Find out where your parents keep their safety deposit box and important documents. Make a list of their bank accounts and investment accounts, insurance documents, wills and the names of their accountant, lawyer, and financial advisor.

Open a joint bank account with your parents, deposit their CPP and OAS checks into it, and take over all bill payments. You should also find out where your parents’ income comes from, including government and employer pensions as well as RRIF withdrawals and any income from their investment portfolio. Find out who their beneficiaries are, what their financial wishes are, and how they want funeral arrangements handled.

 

Get legal power

While both parents are alive, make sure all non-registered accounts are held jointly: otherwise the surviving parent will need a will and death certificate to access those accounts. Also, ensure your parents have an up-to-date will and estate plan. A loss of capacity either suddenly, such as through a stroke, or gradually as with Alzheimer’s, may mean they never have the opportunity to clarify their intentions.

That’s why it’s also key to know if your parents have in place a power of attorney (POA) for health care as well as for finances and property. A POA will often name a child as a substitute decision maker. That person can sign documents, start or defend a lawsuit, sell a property, make investments, and purchase things for the parent, the POA usually comes into effect as soon as it’s signed and witnessed, but a parent can put a clause in saying it doesn’t come into effect until they’re incapacitated.

 

More than one person can be named as a POA: that way no one can act opportunistically and without accountability. If you’re concerned about mismanagement of funds, make sure your parents include a clause in their POA document that requires the decision maker to submit periodic financial statements to your parents’ accountant, adviser or lawyer.

 

10 key questions to ask your aging parents

You can start by asking your parents these key questions to ensure your family is prepared for the road ahead.

  1. Where do you keep your important papers—wills, investment account statements, life insurance policies, and others?
  2. Do you have a current will? Where do you keep it and when was the last time you updated it?
  3. Have you prepared a power of attorney (POA) documents? A POA designates who will take care of your affairs if you are unable to do so because of illness or cognitive decline. Your parents can designate one person to handle health decisions and another for financial decisions, or they can designate one person for both roles.
  4. Do you have a safety deposit box? If so, at which bank, and where do you keep the key?
  5. Where are your bank accounts? If you are incapacitated, where would I find the PIN and account information?
  6. Do you have credit cards and if so, who are they with? Have you been paying the balance off every month?
  7. Do you have a financial adviser, lawyer or accountant, and what is their contact information?
  8. Do you have life insurance policies? Who is the contact agent?
  9. Do you have any debt and if so, with whom? How much do you owe?
  10. Does anyone owe you money and if so, who?

Hopefully, this will help you start that conversation. I know from experience that once they get sick they have no interest in sharing information.

 

Do you have a plan?

Do you have a plan?

Most people are concerned about having enough money to meet their obligations at or in retirement. Using traditional planning methods such as buy term and invest the difference, and live off the earnings and retain capital are the most common methods used today.

This type of planning only works if you follow a regimented plan and you don’t spend the difference.  If you fail to invest the rest… it lessens the quality of life that one should be able to enjoy in the active years of retirement! It is upside down and backwards!

With our low-interest rate environment, it’s difficult to find sustainability in your portfolio. One way to extend the life of your capital is to consider equities in the form of dividend earning stock.

This tends to be a source of hedging against tax, inflation, fees and other wealth transfers, however, using equities means taking more risk.

Who wants to take more risk leading into retirement?

If you would like advice on reducing the risk, or with what type of investment vehicle may be best for your situation please contact us at info@Henleyfinancial.ca

Visit us at at Henley Financial and Wealth Management

If indeed you are investing in equities please understand the risk involved within your investable assets. Investing in equities will depend on your risk tolerance and the reality of the situation. During retirement, you should lower the amount of Equities within your portfolio to protect you against the volatility of the markets. Leading up to retirement Equities can help build your portfolio but you must be able to accept the risk of volatility which the markets will provide.

Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit products offer a guaranteed income bonus and can provide a stable environment for investments moving forward with the option of a guaranteed lifetime income. This takes the guess work out the planning and provides you with a pension like asset.

Another strategy is to have adequate permanent life/asset insurance that frees up other assets such as non-registered savings, investment property equity or retained earnings in a business.

Having enough life insurance allows one to spend down taxable savings RRSP’s or RRIF’s during early/active retirement years (age 60-75) whereby you’re actually reducing the tax burden overall.

By deferring the use of RRSP’s and RRIF’s the tax on these assets is actually growing as invested capital. By using the funds sooner, rather than later, (yes you are paying more tax now) but you are paying a known tax, you have control over what the tax amounts are. If you wait long enough the government dictates the amount of tax owed yearly. Meaning if you defer too long, one conceivably can pay a much greater tax than ever saved by using the registered plan strategy!

Access equity sitting dormant in your paid off or very low debt home could also be a strategy that you could use during retirement. The reverse mortgage has been a component of retirement planning  over the last few years based on the low-interest rates on borrowed money. Again this strategy requires some professional advice.

Life insurance lowers the pressure of the capital to perform and lessens market volatility risk. It also lessens government control risk. Meaning, by using a registered plan strategy you absolutely are in a partnership with the government. RRSP and RRIF products are very much a controlled revenue source for the C.R.A. your strategy will dictate the how much income they will receive on your behalf.

If you are interested in creating more spendable income during the early retirement years without fear of running out of money we can show you how. For the most part, we can increase your spendable income into and during retirement without any additional out of pocket expense!

If we can recover 1%-5% of gross income from dollars that are unnecessarily being transferred away from you through tax, fees and other opportunity costs which can be redistributed to your retirement plan and increase lifestyle along the way. Would you be interested?

Let us provide you with an overall review of your entire investment and financial plan. We will do this with no obligation from you to move forward with any recommendations we may have, or we may find that you are well on your way and continue on that path. Either way, a second opinion never hurt anyone.

Life is unfair on many levels… Protect yourself and your family!

Life is unfair on many levels… Protect yourself and your family!

We are often told by many people we interview, “We don’t need Insurance”, “We are healthy”, and “We live a healthy lifestyle”. “I’m not buying what you’re selling”. I respect that many of them are healthy and live healthy lifestyles, unfortunatly 100% of our population will die at some point in time.

Very often we have no reply because you can’t get someone to buy into the reason they need  protection if they don’t want it to begin with. We have a plethora of lifetime stories that explain the reason there is a need for the products we sell. Again we are met with… “Yeah, but it will not happen to me”.

What do we do?  How do we prepare someone who is invincible?

Yes, we get paid to sell a product that will ensure that your family is financialy secure. What we get paid is pennies on the dollar of what you can do for your families financial security in the future.  Yes, you may not need the products we sell at the time we ask you to purchase protection for yourself and your family, because you are indeed healthy. But should an unfortunate event happen when you are not ready or prepared for it you will have protection. The security of knowing you are covered has to be worth something moving forward.

Here is an unfortunate story of one of the healthy ones, if you told me after the 2012 Olympics this great athlete would pass away within the next four years I would have said you were crazy.

How is this possible?   She was one of the healthiest athletes in the world within her sport. It is unfortunate that I am profiling an athlete in this attempt to show that life threatening Illness does not pick and choose its partner.

Below is an excerpt of a healthy, strong, and very competitive athlete who has recently passed away at a very young age and is survived by a young family. This is a story that unfortunately helps us dipict the need for the protection we provide.

My symapthies go out to her family. Life is unfair on so many levels.

Olympic silver medallist, has died of cancer, aged 33. Tributes have flowed in from around the world, her rowing career was cut short when the mother of two was diagnosed with cervical cancer three years ago.

The three-time Olympian, began rowing while at her high school in Perth. Her talent for rowing was quickly discovered and as a 17-years-old she made the junior national team, where she went on to finish second in the junior women’s four. Two years later she made her first senior national team competing at the World Rowing Cup in the women’s four. The crew then went to the under-23 championships and won gold. She followed it up with a win in 2003 in the under-23 women’s double sculls…

…She competed again in the eight at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. She then took a year off from competitive rowing to have her daughter…

…In 2012 Olympic Games she won a Sliver medal in the women’s pair…

… A year later she had her second child and soon after the birth she was diagnosed with cancer. She continued to be involved in rowing, but in February 2014 she stepped away from the sport to concentrate on her health.

The world of rowing will always remember her with love and respect.

Her legacey will live on but unfortunately life can be taken from us at any time.

There is always a need to protect yourself and your family. You have the ability to make a difference, please look at the big picture when deciding your families future.

Financial Security  is what we do and do well, let us help @Henley Financial and Wealth Management. 

You may also contact us at the following Info@henleyfinancial.ca

A living Benefit: Critical Illness Insurance; Do I need It?

A living Benefit: Critical Illness Insurance; Do I need It?

 

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Isn’t it expensive?
  3. Is it too complex and confusing?
  4. What about the underwriting?

Let’s examine each of these four questions.

 1. Do you actually feel no need for this product?

Research tells us 77% Canadians are concerned with lifestyle and health costs if they became critically ill.  A further 84% were concerned with the government’s ability to fund the current healthcare system.  Those concerns are not unfounded.  A survey from 2014 found that 41% of retirees retired because of personal health.

Just like life insurance, critical illness coverage is likely suitable for people under age 65 (CI coverage is often cost-prohibitive after that age).  CI coverage can help anyone whose illness would cause financial liabilities (e.g., debt, bills) for a spouse or dependent.  Often, the money is used to replace lost income when disability coverage doesn’t pay out, which can happen if the insured’s condition is not severe enough to satisfy a doctor’s opinion of someone’s inability to work for a sustained period.  CI simply pays out upon diagnosis of specific illnesses.  Also, single people who don’t see a need life insurance could benefit from CI coverage as they could use the payout to replace lost income and pay for caregiving services.

2. Is critical illness expensive?

Every person who qualifies for CI insurance should own at least enough to cover a year of lifestyle expenses (salary).  This would give most people up to a year of expense coverage to allow them to make choices that focus on recovery from illness.  A 35-year-old Female non-smoker can buy $100,000 10 – year term  for around $35 per month.

There are various ways to set up your CI policy depending on what you want out of the product.  If you want the product to cover you short term while your family is young and you are concerned about the cost, the 10-year term coverage is a good option.  There are options that allow you to keep the coverage over a longer period, and there is even an option to return all of your premiums if you do not use coverage after a specified period of time.  When looking at this coverage it can be built to fit your needs and wants with regards to cost.

Cheap and expensive are relative terms.

What impact would $100,000 of protection have on your finances?  If you had to withdraw $100,000 from your RRSP, it could cost up to $150,000  before tax, depending on your marginal tax rate.  That $150,000 could have been worth $300,000 or more at retirement, depending on time and growth rates.  Remember that $35.00 a month for 10-year Critical Illness coverage could have change that equation in your favor.

3. Is CI too complex to understand?

The product which was originally designed by a doctor in South Africa to aid patients in paying for treatment upon diagnosis of a life-altering illness.  This idea is somehow deemed to be more complex than any other insurance product on the market.  I think it’s all about understanding why you need this coverage.

Let me ask you these two questions below:

Do you know someone that is close to you that is healthy?

What if they went to the doctor because they have not been feeling well for a little while. But it’s nothing that resonates as a major illness. Remember they live a healthy life and they are healthy.

After a brief consultation with the doctor, blood work and diagnostic tests are ordered. The results come back and the doctor office calls your healthy friend to set up an appointment. During this appointment, the doctor informs them that they now have a Life-Altering Illness.

But they were healthy… how is this possible?  A critical Illness does not pick or choose!

If they don’t have Critical Illness coverage how would they fund the treatment and recovery they will require?

All of a sudden this coverage does not seem very complicated to understand.  As we know life altering Illnesses can happen to anyone and has happened too often amongst our friends and families.

4. Is critical illness insurance hard to qualify for?

Anyone who has a family history of hereditary issues will have a tougher time qualifying.  That is not to say you will not qualify, there is a rating system in place to provide coverage if you are deemed high risk.  The majority of people who apply will qualify for standard offers if they are healthy.

You need to take a holistic, risk management approach and determine all risks so that illness protection and a life insurance plan work together.

The banks are the number one writers of this coverage for their Mortgages and Lines of Credit products.  What you need to know is it always cheaper when dealing directly with an insurance company.  Put the money back in your pocket!  A good Financial Planner will help you find money you have been spending unknowingly or unwillingly. This is just one example of you spending money unknowingly – find an advisor start saving now.

As always if you have any questions regarding Living Benefits Insurance, Financial Security or Financial Planning please contact us at Henley Financial and Wealth Management.

You may also contact us at the following Info@henleyfinancial.ca

Do you really need 10 reasons?

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We live in a world that is filled with the uncertainty of what might happen. Life Insurance protects your loved ones in the event of your death. It can provide future income to your family if you were to passaway during your prime working years, and it may also be used to pay debt, such as a mortgage, final and emergency expenses.

Life Insurance is the most selfless act a person cando for their family, as the person that is insured will never benefit from the coverage.
Before obtaining Life Insurance here are some things to consider.

1. The Best Time is now:
The cost of Critical Illness insurance policies will never decline, the costs will only ever increase. So the best time to get Critical Illness Insurance is now.

2. Receive Cash Back:
In Canada there is a Critical Illness plan that enables you to receive a portion of your premiums to be returned after a specified time frame. Which means if a client doesn’t need to make a claim and feels they won’t, they can cancel the policy and receive repayment based on the percentage of premium paid, all the while having coverage just in case

3. Purchase while you are healthy:
Critical Illness coverage can only be purchased while you are healthy. Once an illness has been diagnosed you are not eligible to purchase it.

4. Tax free lump Payment:
When a claim is made with Personal Critical Illness coverage, it pays out a lump sum, tax free to the insured. The payment is in the amount that has been agreed upon when the policy is taken.

5. One less Worry:
Personal Critical Illness allows the insured to take the time that is necessary to recover without worry as to how the day to day expenses or additional medical services not paid by the provincial health plan. There isn’t a prearranged allocation for the payment, so all of the payout goes to the insured.

6. Additional coverage:
You can purchase Critical Illness coverage on a mortgage, however, these types of plans only cover three illnesses such as cancer, heart attack and stroke. Alternatively, Personal Critical Illness policies cover these three illnesses as well as 22 others; all of which we hear about almost daily.

7. Not included in most employers plans:
In most employee benefit group plans, Critical Illness is not always offered. In the rare instance that it is indicated on a group policy, it is often not near the recommended coverage amount.

8. Best Doctors:
Personal Critical Illness coverage allows you access to Best Doctors. Best Doctors is a group of the best Doctors worldwide that are experts in specific areas of medicine. Once a claimis made, your file is put before a panel of Doctors to review and determine whether the diagnosis is correct and the course of treatment is the best for the diagnosis.

9. Coverage for children:
Critical Illness can be purchased to insure people from newborns and up to the age of 65. Some carriers allow you to insure children for up to five illnesses, where as adults can be covered forup to 25 illnesses.

10: Peace of mind:
Critical Illness policies are underwritten at the time of the application process. Meaning that we will know if the client is covered up front and not left to chance at claim time.
What’s next?

Contact us… http://www.henleyfinancial.ca
info@henleyfinancial.ca