The Ultimate Planning Tool

Permanent life insurance is often said to be the ultimate planning tool because it facilitates beneficial tax and estate planning opportunities and solutions throughout your client’s lifetime to provide them with peace of mind now and into their future. The earlier in life that your client’s permanent life insurance policy is purchased, the greater the impact it can have as a financial instrument.

Share the Ultimate Planning Tool with your clients to show them how permanent insurance can be flexible enough to service a lifetime of changing priorities and needs. Continue reading “The Ultimate Planning Tool”

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The Ultimate Planning Tool: For prioritizing what you want when you want


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tax Season

Everywhere you go

Take a look at your T5 and T4, or you may soon be poor

With all the taxes at your door.

It’s that lovely time of the year when everyone is full of cheer (the 2021 brand of cheer, that is!) And now, tax season is just around the corner. But that’s no reason to fret! You still have time to act and ensure your taxes are a delight and not a downright fright. That little extra time may just be enough to pay off that pony you just bought little Tony.

So, here’s a little gift to get your season started right whether you’re a toy building elf, a gift giving saint, or a retired snowman, there’s a tax guide for you.   Continue reading “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tax Season”

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tax Season



Looking Good: Prostate Cancer’s Sharper Image

Prostate cancer continues to be a scourge on the Canadian health landscape as the most commonly diagnosed and third leading cause of cancer-related death among men (1). It currently accounts for about 20% of all new cancers in men and approximately 4,500 deaths annually (2). Underwriters increasingly are presented with prostate cancer in the medical history and we will see even more cases as our population continues to age.

But the landscape also points to a good news horizon. Thanks to improved screening and treatment, prostate cancer mortality continues to fall, dropping from its’ high of 45.1 deaths per 100,000 men in 1995 to 22.7 per 100,000 in 2021 (1). One of the more remarkable advances in the screening and diagnosis of this malignancy is the use of imaging studies, such as the prostate MRI. From the earliest images 40 years ago using magnetic resonance imaging technology, the current prostate MRI uses state-of-the-art image modalities such as dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) and spectroscopic views to get a better look in order to detect clinically significant prostate cancer (3). The impact on detection, accuracy and diagnosis is a major contributor to improved prostate cancer mortality. Prostate MRIs are also increasingly utilized to monitor for prostate cancer recurrence after treatment, no doubt also contributing to improved mortality. Continue reading “Looking Good: Prostate Cancer’s Sharper Image”

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Looking Good: Prostate Cancer’s Sharper Image



A Murky Path: Continuing Concern Over Beneficiary Designation Legislation

In our previous The Beneficiary Challenge article, we discussed the 2020 Ontario Superior Court case regarding Calmusky v Calmusky. One of the key issues in this case involved the designation of Gary Calmusky as the beneficiary under his deceased father’s Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). This caused quite a stir when Randy, the other adult son, argued that these funds should not have been administered to Gary directly. Randy then took the case to court, maintaining that the RRIF was held in trust for the estate of the father. He also argued that a bank account, previously held jointly by Gary and the father, was also held in trust for the estate.

At that time, the Court decided that a joint bank account should be held in trust for the estate when it resulted from a gratuitous transfer of an asset to an adult child, unless the child can prove that it was the deceased’s intention to gift the asset to them directly. This was consistent with established case law.  However, the court then went on to apply this very same principle to the RRIF beneficiary designation, regardless of legislation already in place honouring such designations! In doing so, the court created doubt as to whether routine designations, whether they be in registered plans or insurance, would now be subject to increased legal scrutiny and litigation.

The Calmusky case was heavily criticized in legal and financial circles. Subsequently, in the 2021 case of Mak Estate v. Mak, a different judge of the same court came to the opposite conclusion from the judge in the Calmusky case. In the Mak case, in considering a RRIF designation of an adult child, the court stated that there was “good reason to doubt the conclusion that the doctrine of resulting trust applies to a beneficiary designation”. The judge’s comments suggest that there is no requirement to determine the intent of an individual who designates a beneficiary supported by legislation, such as that governing registered plans and insurance. Continue reading “A Murky Path: Continuing Concern Over Beneficiary Designation Legislation”

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Beneficiary Designations and the Importance of Transparency


Planning Opportunities in the Women’s Market

As you plan your business development strategies for the coming year and beyond, it may be a good time to consider truly untapped opportunities in the marketplace. For example, understanding how women relate to money and being sensitive to the unique challenges women face can set you apart from your peers.

Watch this video to learn more about this key market segment and how you can make a difference. Continue reading “Planning Opportunities in the Women’s Market”

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Planning for Your Financial Future


The Death Claims Process – Meeting with Your Client

As an Advisor, you continually strive to help your clients plan for their estate planning needs and the needs of their family. Your clients have placed the ultimate confidence in you, entrusting you with the incredible responsibility of representing them after they pass, in order to ensure that their estate wishes are fulfilled. The death of a family member is always traumatic and you have an important role in helping your clients’ beneficiaries through this process with care and understanding.

In her 2018 article Coach Clients on Death Claims, author Suzanne Yar Kahn highlights insights from several Canadian insurance advisors about the life insurance claims process. One advisor recommends meeting with your clients and their named beneficiaries today to ensure that there is no confusion when it comes to your client’s wishes and that everyone, including family and beneficiaries, are aware of what to expect when that time comes (1). These meetings are a great way to build client/advisor trust and offer your client the peace of mind that they are looking for at that time. Additionally, these meetings allow you to meet and get to know the named beneficiaries – so you can better support them in the future. Continue reading “The Death Claims Process – Meeting with Your Client”

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The Settlement Process – What Your Beneficiary Can Expect


Love and Money

Ah love… such a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial strains and worries can get in the way. In fact, 84% of respondents in a Money Magazine survey said that money was the source of marital tensions with disagreements about financial priorities topping the list of problems (1). So, how should your client handle their money in order to avoid these wicked pangs of love?

Here are few insights to share with your clients to help them keep their pocketbooks full and those love lights burning strong (without all those headaches!). Continue reading “Love and Money”

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Love and Money


A Case for Holistic and Proactive Employee Wellness

Mental health itself is nothing new. However, the ways in which we understand and approach issues related to mental health in society, and in the workplace, are constantly evolving. This is especially visible in the insurance industry, where mental health challenges account for a high percentage of long-term disability (LTD) claims, and are therefore a costly expense for many businesses (1).

Much can be said for the progress made up to this point, by individuals and organizations working together to address challenges to mental health such as social stigma, education, access to support and treatment (2). However, plenty of work remains ahead, perhaps starting with how we think about mental health in the first place – not as something separate and independent from other aspects of our well-being, but as something completely intertwined with, and dependent upon them. In fact, medical, physical, financial, social, and occupational health all factor into mental health. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association:

“Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked. People living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Conversely, people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population. Co-existing mental and physical conditions can diminish quality of life and lead to longer illness duration and worse health outcomes. This situation also generates economic costs to society due to lost work productivity and increased health service use. (3)” Continue reading “A Case for Holistic and Proactive Employee Wellness”

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A Holistic and Proactive Approach to Your Employees’ Wellness