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.

Protect Your Business from the Loss of a Key Person

Like many smart business owners you’ve insured your assets from theft or damage.

What would happen if you or one of your key people died prematurely or suffered a life-threatening illness?

Every Company has Key PeopleKey Person Insurance

You probably don’t have to look far to identify people essential to your company’s success.

These are people with:

  • Proven ability to grow sales
  • Highly specialized technical skills
  • Personal relationships with valued customers
  • Responsibility for major projects

Whether it’s a valued employee, a business partner or yourself, each key person brings energy and expertise that can be difficult and costly to replace.

How would losing a key person impact your business financially?

Consider the effects of a key person’s critical illness or premature death.

  • Could it affect your short-term or long-term profits?
  • How much will it cost to replace the key person?
    • Recruiting $     ?
    • Training    $     ?
    • Relocation $     ?
  • Will creditors shorten payment terms or call in loans?

Insurance on you and your key people can help prevent an unexpected loss from financially harming – even destroying – the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

Key Person Protection – It’s Simply Good Business

Two proven building blocks for key person protection are life insurance and critical insurance.

Your business can use the insurance funds to:

  • Pay debts and expenses to help keep operations running
  • Find and train a suitable replacement
  • Increase cash flow to compensate for lost revenue
  • Assure creditors and suppliers that funds are available to meet commitments
  • Show customers that the business has the means to continue

Determine the value of your key people

Ask me how you can implement key person protection as part of your business plan. 519-860-4223

Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) Increase

The Universal child care benefit (UCCB) is designed to help Canadian families, as they try to balance work and family life, by supporting their child care choices through direct financial support.

The Government of Canada is introducing changes to the law to increase and expand the UCCB. Enhanced payments for the universal child care benefit would take effect as of January 2015 and would begin to be reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.

Universal Child Care Benefit

The UCCB is increasing for children under the age of six. Effective January 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of up to $160 per month for each child under the age of six, up from $100 per month. If the changes to the law pass, parents will receive up to $1,920 per child per year.

The UCCB is also expanding to children aged six through 17. Effective January 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of up to $60 per month for children aged six through 17. If the changes to the law pass, parents will receive up to $720 per child per year.

The first enhanced payment will be issued in July 2015 and will include any retroactive payments for the period ofJanuary 2015 to June 2015.

Note
It is the CRA’s longstanding practice to administer tax and benefit measures on the basis of proposed legislation, which has been accepted in principle by Parliament pursuant to a Notice of Ways and Means Motion, unless this legislation or a motion to implement the measures is defeated in Parliament.

Financial Planning Process

FINANCIAL PLANNING PROCESS

  1. Introduction
  • Who I am
  • What I do
  1. Understand Situation
  2. Determine Goals & Objectives
  3. Review Investment and Risk Management
  4. Present Financial Security Plan
  5. Present Analysis and Go-Forward Strategy
  6. Implement Plan
  7. Annual Review and Monitoring

Financial Planning Overview

I work with my clients to create a financial security plan that addresses their concerns in four key areas: financial security at death, living benefits, liquidity and retirement. Their financial security plan will be tailored to their needs, risk tolerance and the goals they want to achieve.

Cash Flow and Debt Management

My financial planning process will involve an analysis of your current cash flow and debt levels through a comprehensive budget review.  I will make recommendations on how you can make the most effective and efficient use of your cash, expenses and what you can do to best structure your debt and most effectively pay it down.

Investment Services

I pride my practice on my commitment to a proven process. Before ever making any investment, I first work with clients to develop a complete understanding of their financial position, concerns, tax position, goals & objectives and estate planning. I then work with my clients to help them determine their financial goals and objectives in short, medium and long term. I create a financial forecaster assessment that quantifies my clients ability to meet their goals and objectives given their current financial realities with varying growth assumptions. I believe this is an important tool in determining how much risk NOT to take and establishes baseline investment parameters. I believe this holistic approach allows me to make unique and tailored investment recommendations.

Risk Management

In most cases, the ability of my clients to achieve their intended financial objectives relies on their ability to earn an income. I work with my clients to help ensure the sustainability of income in the event of a disability or critical illness. Using an innovative array of products designed for families, business owners and professionals. I can help mitigate the financial impact in the event of an unexpected medical event.

Estate Planning

I work with families, business owners and professionals to build an estate plan to help ensure their financial matters are distributed the way they would like them to be after their death. It can also help reduce taxes, so more of the estate is left for heirs.

Insurance Solutions

Unexpected events can leave your family without the cash flow needed for day-to-day expenses. I offer a range of products that can provide temporary or permanent coverage to replace your income, fund expenditures that arise due to a death (ie. taxes or final expenses). I can help determine your needs and decide which insurance product solution is best for you.

However, there are other features of life insurance that benefit families, business owners and professionals depending upon their current and long term financial positions. I provide three basic insurance solutions to my clients.

  • Insurance needs over time
  • Alternative investment vehicle for fixed income
  • A strategy for corporate asset efficiency
  1. Temporary and permanent needs over time

Life insurance meets different needs at different stages of your life. You should update your coverage to reflect important events in your life.

  1. Insurance as an alternative investment asset class for taxable fixed income

The major advantage of using life insurance (permanent participating) as an alternative asset class is:

  • Tax advantage on growth
  • Low fees
  • Asset protection
  • Estate tax reduction
  • Stable yields

Tax advantage life insurance products are structured such that a certain amount of life insurance is purchased to ensure that the policy will qualify under the MTAR rules and therefore remain an exempt policy, while at the same time providing the maximum amount of tax advantage income accumulation.

Depending upon client circumstances, funds can either be used to provide an income stream during their lifetime (living benefits) or enhance the value of their estate upon their death.

  1. A strategy for corporate asset efficiency

Save it – Redirect your company’s excess cash from taxable investments to tax advantaged permanent insurance. Growth inside the policy is not eroded by income tax, within prescribed limits. Save on taxes to keep more money working for you.

Spend it – Access the policy’s accumulated cash value by using the policy as collateral for a line of credit. Use loan advances to provide your business or yourself with a stream of income.

Leave it – At death, the policy’s death benefit pays off the loan. The full death benefit payable to your company (less adjusted cost basis, if any) is eligible for distribution to shareholders – including your successors or heirs – as tax-free dividends.

 

The Team Behind Your Financial Security Plan

My support team consists of specialists in:

–       Retirement and investment –       Living benefits
–       Life insurance –       Employee benefits
–       Banking and mortgages –       Tax and estate planning

 

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.