Business owners: What happens if your plans get interrupted?

If you’re a business owner, you know it takes plenty of time, work and effort, and you do whatever you can to be successful now, and in the future. For example, you want to protect your business today while making sure you plan for retirement and the legacy you’ll leave behind.Protect your Business with Insurance

But what happens if your plans get interrupted? What would happen if you:

  • Were seriously injured?
  • Battled an illness and wanted to spend more time with your family?
  • Died suddenly and the business had to go to someone else?

Of course these aren’t things we really want to think about, but part of running a successful business means dealing with tough issues – and preparing for the unexpected.

You’ve worked hard to grow your business and make it a success, that’s why protecting it is important.

Protect your business today

While your business may be running smoothly now, you need to be prepared in case the unexpected happens. There are a number of options you can consider as part of your financial security plan; insurance is one of them. The right insurance coverage can help you:

  • Protect your business, if you, or a key employee is suddenly unable to work
  • Pay off business loans
  • Provide you or your business partner with the funds to buy the other person’s share of the business
  • Cover expenses for you or your family

Ensure you have a smooth exit strategy

At some point, you may want to retire and pass on your business. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure a smooth transition. Have you thought about your options?

Leave a legacy for those you care about

It’s important to think about what will happen to your wealth for your family in the future:

  • Do you have a plan in place to help take care of loved ones?
  • Are you growing your wealth in a tax-efficient way?
  • What about your estate? Will it be easy to split fairly between family members?

Insurance is one way to help maximize what you leave behind.

Plan to see the whole picture

You’ve worked hard to grow your business and make it a success, that’s why protecting it is important.

I can show you options that may work best for you, and how insurance and other options can help fund, or plan, for unexpected events.

Top Ten Questions to Consider for Retirement

You’ve saved well, invested wisely and built a sizeable nest egg. Retirement is within your grasp – or so you think. Here are 10 thought-provoking questions to help you determine your readiness to retire (whatever retirement means to you).

1. When do you want to retire? In a year? Six months? At a particular age?

In retirement, you’ll experience a fundamental shift – from saving to spending. The timing of your retirement is crucial to building your retirement nest egg and assessing how long it will need to last.

These 10 questions can be your roadmap to becoming retirement ready.

2. What percentage of your current income do you expect to need in retirement?

The amount of your current income you’ll need in retirement depends on how much you plan to spend in retirement. Plot out your current budget, then create a projected retirement budget and see where the gaps are.Retirement Checklist

3. How do you plan to spend your money in retirement?

Think about your current spending habits. Are you a penny-pincher or a lover of luxury? These habits will be amplified in retirement, so make sure your savings reflect this. Don’t forget to plan for events that may be out of your control.

4. Have you considered your lifestyle needs in retirement?

Travel lovers, take heed. Your lifestyle needs in retirement play a big part in how you save. For example, buying a condominium and being saddled with condo fees may not be the best idea if you plan on travelling extensively.

5. What guaranteed sources of income can you count on in retirement?

Calculate how much guaranteed income you’ll receive during retirement – such as Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), and Old Age Security (OAS) payments. Then, determine how much additional income you’ll need and where this will come from. While investment income is a nice bonus, you shouldn’t rely on it to pay for necessities.

6. Do you plan to work part-time or full-time in retirement?

Perhaps you want to continue using your existing work skills or explore new career opportunities. Debt and family matters may also influence your decision.

7. How do health and wellness factor into your retirement plan?

Retirement is the perfect time to focus on your mental and physical fitness. Leave room in your budget for activities that exercise your mind and body – the good news is that many of them are free!

8. Are you ready for the unexpected events in life?

When you consider retirement planning, make sure to account for unpredictable events – both financial and personal. Check if your retirement savings are strong enough to support you through a future economic downturn, a rise in the cost of living and a long life.

9. How will you keep your money working in retirement?

Think about how you’ll keep your money growing. Talk to me about investment solutions for retirees.

10. Do you plan to leave a legacy?

You might want to leave an inheritance to your family or favourite charity. Once again, I can help you put this in place.

The answers to these questions can help form a dependable roadmap for your retirement. While you can’t predict the future, you can plan for it.

Flexibility of a Participating Life Insurance Policy

Choice of basic participating life insurance policy

All three of these basic policies give you permanent life insurance protection. The policy doesn’t terminate at a certain age, as long as you pay premiums as described in the policy.

20-Pay Life

This policy gives you lifetime protection with premiums payable for 20 years. After that, your basic coverage is fully paid up and no further premiums are due. 20-Pay Life gives you the highest early cash surrender values, compared to the other two products. It also gives you excellent long-term cash value and growth of the death benefit.

Life Premiums to 65

This policy gives you lifetime protection with premiums payable to age 65. After that, your basic coverage is fully paid up and no further premiums are due. Life Premiums to 65 is available for issue ages up to and including age 45.

Jubilee Whole Life

This policy gives you lifetime protection with premiums payable to age 100. This popular policy gives you the lowest annual premium of the three basic policies.

London-Life

Choice of death benefit

The death benefit is the money a beneficiary is eligible to receive on the death of the insured person. Jubilee Whole Life and 20-Pay Life are available as single- or joint-life protection. Life Premiums to 65 is available only as single-life protection.

Single life

The policy insures the life of one individual. The death benefit is payable when the insured person dies.

Joint first-to-die

The policy insures the lives of two individuals. The death benefit is payable when the first insured person dies. Depending on risk, class and age, the policy may include other features, such as:

  • Exchange option – You can exchange the original policy for two single-life policies, each up to 60 per cent of the original death benefit, for any reason during the first five years. There are some limitations after five years.
  • Interim insurance benefit – If both insured people die within 60 days of each other, there’s an additional death benefit payable.
  • Survivorship option – The surviving insured person can purchase insurance, within 60 days of the death of the first insured person, without evidence of insurability.

A joint first-to-die policy lets you cost-effectively:

  • Replace income
  • Insure a mortgage
  • Fund a buy-sell agreement for a business

Joint last-to-die

The policy insures the lives of two individuals. The total death benefit is payable only when the second insured person dies. This means you shouldn’t buy a joint last-to-die policy if you need the funds on the first death. A joint last-to-die policy usually costs considerably less than two single-life policies.

There are two types of joint last-to-die policies:

  • Pay premiums to the first death
  • Pay premiums to the last death

You can use a joint last-to-die policy to:

  • Pay taxes on the last death
  • Preserve your estate for your heirs
  • Give a gift to your favourite cause or charity

Value of Participating Life Insurance

Here is more information on the key components that determine the value of your participating life insurance policy.

Policy cash values

The cash value of your policy is composed of guaranteed cash values, as stated in your policy, plus non-guaranteed cash values generated by dividends credited to your policy. If you surrender your policy, you receive the total cash value, less any indebtedness.

Investment performance for the long term

Participating life insurance is, first and foremost, life insurance. However, the investment performance of the participating account is an important component in the long-term value of your policy. The participating account assets are managed by London Life’s investment division. This is the experienced group of professionals who manages assets for London Life. The assets in the participating account include publicly traded government and corporate bonds, residential and commercial mortgages, corporate lending, real estate, equity-related investments, short-term investments and policy loans. The investment returns associated with the participating account are reflected in the dividend scale through the dividend scale interest rate. Historically, even during times of rapid economic change, the participating account’s dividend scale interest rate has been relatively stable.

The high quality of investments, and the long-term investment strategy help stabilize the variation in the investment returns used to determine policyowner dividends.

London-Life

If you’re looking for life insurance built on a foundation of guaranteed values with an established history of proven performance, London Life participating life insurance may be right for you.

London Life participating life insurance policies have an excellent track record of
investment performance.

As with any financial vehicle, a small change in investment returns can have a significant long-term impact on the dividends, values and features in your policy. To better understand this sensitivity for your specific policy, refer to the policy illustration your financial security advisor gave you and compare the reduced example to the primary example.

For more information on the investment returns of the participating account, ask your financial security advisor for a copy of London Life participating life insurance financial facts.

Increasing life expectancy

This is a unique feature of participating life insurance. As people live longer, positive mortality experience is passed to policyowners through dividends. In general, every decade of the last century has shown continuous mortality improvement based on data from Statistics Canada. Each year we review our mortality experience and take it into account in determining policyowner dividends.

Expense management

London Life has the largest Canadian participating account, as measured by assets. This provides economies of scale for expenses and investments. Expense management focuses on controlling expenses for the benefit of participating policyowners and shareholders.

Dividends

One of the unique benefits of participating life insurance is the opportunity to earn policyowner dividends. As a participating policyowner, you benefit from the success of the pool of participating policies, through the receipt of policyowner dividends. Dividends are not guaranteed and vary up or down from those illustrated, depending on future dividend scales. The dividend scale is affected by investment returns, mortality experience, expenses, taxes and other factors associated with the participating account.

The dividends credited to your policy have a cash value. Once credited, this cash value is vested and cannot be reduced or used in any way without your authorization, other than to pay premiums. Before the first dividend is credited, the premium due on the first policy anniversary must be paid. A policy loan, including a premium loan, doesn’t reduce your dividend. Your policy continues to receive dividends as if the loan didn’t exist. Any outstanding loan, including interest, is repaid from the cash value if you surrender the policy, or from the death benefit when the insured person dies. When determining the net cost of your policy, you should consider both the premiums charged and the dividends returned over time. The philosophy behind London Life participating life insurance is to provide participating policyowners with life insurance at a cost that takes into account the long-term performance of the participating account.

Strength of London Life

Life insurance is a promise that may not be put to the test for 30, 40, 50 years or more. This means the long-term financial strength and claims-paying ability of your insurance company are vitally important.

  • London Life – a vital Canadian business since 1874
  • London Life has helped Canadians meet their financial security needs since 1874.
  • London Life has distributed policyowner dividends, providing value to its participating policyowners, every year since 1886. The participating account has experienced more than a century of sound management, and that dependable management approach still applies.

London Life is a subsidiary of The Great-West Life Assurance Company. Together, Great-West Life and its subsidiaries, London Life and Canada Life, serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life are members of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies.

Maximizing and Protecting Your Wealth

Life can be complicated. Maximizing and protecting your wealth doesn’t have to be.

Integrated advice will ensure your wealth is viewed from every angle. From tax advantages and protection against Protect Your Wealthmarket volatility to identifying opportunities to increase your portfolio, a sound financial security plan gives your wealth the attention it deserves.

Lean on our objective advice. You should feel confident about the decisions you make about your wealth, your legacy, and your future generations.

You know how to build your business. Let me help you build your wealth with a financial security plan that can help you:

  • Increase returns
  • Take advantage of tax-efficient strategies
  • Make the best use of your cash flow and capital
  • Protect your business from volatility
  • Prepare for transition

Like a regular health check-up, scheduled regular reviews can help ensure the health of your plan, and help you grow your wealth. Give me a call 519-860-4223.