Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Life Insurance Coverage in Ontario Should Be Reviewed Annually as Life Insurance Needs Can Change

Like all aspects of your finances, insurance needs can change. Families mature, and new life insurance products come available that offer different incentives. It is always a good idea to review your life insurance coverage from time to time to ensure it offers the best possible protection.

Your evolving insurance needs depend on your current and changing life situation and your financial goals. Insurance changes should be based on an exploration of the key aspects of your life and adjusting your life insurance coverage in Ontario to better reflect your current insurance needs.

Here are three to consider:
1. Life events – Some of the key developments that can call for insurance changes include marriage, divorce, birth of children, change in income or a sudden change to your wealth. For example, perhaps your insurance needs change because your family is larger and you want to leave more for your heirs. Alternatively, perhaps you would be better suited to consider insurance products that offer a tax benefit as one example because you’ve built up your wealth, paid off the mortgage and your kids have finished their post-secondary education. A review might even reveal how we can save money on life insurance coverage. For example, if your health picture has changed for the better – perhaps you’ve lost a great deal of weight or your high cholesterol has dropped – we might be able to take advantage of the breaks on premiums some insurers offer under those circumstances and make the necessary insurance changes.

2. Beneficiaries – One thing we should always review is your beneficiaries. These are common insurance changes since they’re the ones who receive the proceeds of your policy, it’s important that we always make sure they’re who you want them be and that you’re taking care of them in the best way possible. You want to make beneficiary changes as you go through life to accommodate new children or grandchildren. When naming a person as your beneficiary, instead of your estate, the proceeds will be passed on directly to your named beneficiary. This will be private, not public record, and they will bypass probate fees. Your insurance needs depend on your current and changing situation and your financial goals.

3. Your financial situation – We should explore your life insurance coverage in Ontario in relation to your overall financial picture. Remember insurance is just one part of a long term financial strategy, which means the coverage that’s right for you depends on other aspects of your financial life. If your life insurance coverage policy includes an investment component, we can explore how it fits in with your overall plan. We’ll examine its investment performance and consider the best ways to use the cash value.

Discuss your life insurance coverage with your Ontario Insurance Advisor at least once a year. Then you’ll have peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re well covered. For more information how you can review your Life Insurance Coverage in Ontario contact Gary Mandel at IFCG by calling (416) 849-1653 or by visiting

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Long Term Care Insurance Planning For When You Need Private In-Home Care in Ontario

The idea of private in-home care during a major long term illness is far more attractive than an extended stay in an Ontario long term care facility. According to the Canadian Home Care Association, 35% to 50% of Canadians over the age of 65 will require some form of long term or palliative care.

Here are some statistics:

• About 50 thousand strokes occur in Canada each year. This is the leading cause of transfer from hospital to long term care.
• 1 in 11 Canadians over 65 is affected by some sort of dementia disease such as Alzheimer’s.
• 7% of Canadians age 65 and over reside in health care institutions.

Private home care services allow individuals to remain at home surrounded by family and friends. It allows them to continue to contribute to their community. This also makes it easier for families to continue caring for their loved one.

Receiving that care in the comfort of your own home can be a way to recover from a long illness. This can also include palliative care, but no matter what the reason might be, private home care in Ontario is costly. This is why, if you would prefer to have private home care should the need arise, you should begin long term care insurance planning today so that you can meet those costs.

The level of private home care coverage in Ontario that is offered by insurers differs. Some policies might offer less financial aid for private home care than for institutional care. When planning long term care in Canada, you should consider how much private home care would cost where you live. Since costs vary throughout Canada, it’s important to be realistic. Unfortunately, many communities have a shortage of qualified home care workers. If access to private home care is important to you, then you need to keep that in mind for your decision with long term care insurance planning. You want to ensure that if you need it, home care will be affordable to you.

To be able to afford the best long term care and minimize your costs, the sooner you start planning the better. Long term care insurance planning in Ontario begins with your Ontario Insurance Agent. Long term care in Canada continues to face increased pressure and quality of care has suffered as a result of low staffing and poor living conditions. This is not how you want to live once you retire and the best way to be in a position to afford in-home care is to start long term care insurance planning now. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your long term care is covered.

For more information about long term care insurance planning for when you need private in-home care in Ontario contact Gary Mandel at IFCG by calling (416) 849-1653 or by visiting

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Financial Management Fundamentals For Those Who Have Children Who Will Receive An Inheritance In Ontario

If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to raise our children to be independent and successful. Even though we may have wonderful kids, we still worry about our children’s behaviour, who our children will marry, if they will be successful and if they will be financially responsible. You will want to make sure that your children will be able to manage their financial affairs, especially if they are going to be heirs to an inheritance in Ontario. We want to give our children the financial management fundamentals that they will need for their future.

Chances are you’re going to pass along the bulk of your wealth to your children. You’ll feel better if you know that your children are able to manage money and will be able to draw the maximum benefit from their inheritance in Ontario.

According to a poll conducted by one of Canada’s big five banks, only 58% of respondents said they were confident that their children would be able to properly manage money left to them. Your children’s behaviour towards money and the financial management fundamentals that they will need is extremely important and there are steps you can take to provide your children the information they will need to manage money they receive wisely.

Knowledge is key. Teaching your children financial management fundamentals is the first step to preparing them for the future. This is where an Ontario Insurance Advisor can come in very handy. There is a wealth of books, workshops and websites that will aide in teaching your children the basics of sound investment management. You can also work with a local Ontario Insurance Advisor to come up with a plan to prepare your children to manage their inheritance.

Many parents worry that their adult children will squander an inheritance by spending it away bit by bit, instead of using it wisely to provide for their own futures. Teaching your children how to manage money is positive in many ways. Share your insight. You know from your own experience that effective wealth management means focusing on making wealth grow overtime, through sound long-term investments, effective tax moves, and a host of other strategies that reinforce wealth accumulation.

Effective estate planning will include a combination of choosing the right insurance products and ensuring that your children are fully equipped to manage the proceeds properly in the event that they end up inheriting. For more information on financial management fundamentals for your children who will receive an inheritance, please contact Gary Mandel at IFCG by calling (416) 849-1653 or by visiting

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Ontario Insurance Advisors Must Protect Their Client’s Personal Information

With the internet, web-based CRMs and portals an Insurance Advisors private client data can be more at risk than ever before.

The number of threats and pitfalls of operating laptop computers are more severe and more frequent than they once were. Many Insurance Advisors in Ontario are mobile and are using laptops, so it has become increasingly difficult to protect data.

Insurance Advisors are provided with the most sensitive client data that includes but is not limited to medical, personal and financial information. We sometimes hear in the news that technology giants like Sony have had their client data hacked and when we hear these stories we quiver because this could result in identity fraud and a number of other serious outcomes.

In the US the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, a bank used by nearly 1 million U.S. service members, a single hacked laptop led to a much bigger problem. The company found that someone had hacked a laptop on its network and used it to access a company database that contained credit card numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers and other sensitive information.

Protecting client data can be expensive for an Independent Insurance Advisor and so sometimes it is not made a priority when it should be a top priority. This is why it is very important that consumers choose an Insurance Advisor who is part of an MGA (Insurance Brokerage) that takes protecting client data seriously. On the same point a consumer has every right (and should) ask their insurance advisor what their privacy policy is and what measures the organization takes to protect their client’s personal information.

On the flip side, an Insurance Advisor who is changing MGA’s or is entering the business and choosing an MGA, should be concerned with the issue or privacy as it relates to computing. Our brokerage has spared no expense in this regard because the integrity of our client data is so important.

We take great measures to ensure that our client’s data is protected and we also ensure that our agent’s data is protected by providing them with access to the same technology we use as an MGA. This month we will be co-championing a webinar with “NoPanicComputing” in an effort to keep our agents informed of the threats out there and what they can do to prevent their client’s personal information from threat of being hacked.

For more information about how Ontario Insurance Advisors can protect their client’s personal information, contact Gary Mandel at IFCG by calling (416) 849-1653 or by visiting OR or to participate in this beneficial Webinar by registering