The Beneficiary Challenge

Designating a beneficiary for a life insurance policy just got more complicated with the recent Calmusky v. Calmusky Ontario Superior Court case, overruling a beneficiary designation and ruling a RRIF as part of a deceased’s estate. As a result of this decision, there is a concern that beneficiary designations in favour of adult children in life insurance policies can now be challenged. This could be applicable in all common-law provinces, which excludes Quebec.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to have a detailed conversation with your client about their designations and ensure their intentions are documented both clearly and thoroughly in order to avoid their assets falling into litigation and/or estate. Continue reading “The Beneficiary Challenge”

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Beneficiary Designations – Making Sure Your Money Goes Where You Want


Accumulation and Decumulation – Preparing your Clients for Retirement

Your client has been diligently putting some money away for their retirement, contributing to their RRSP or their TFSA. Perhaps they even have a defined contribution pension or, if they are lucky, the defined benefit version. In either case, there are two very distinct stages within the retirement planning rubric that your client should be aware of.

As you are aware, the accumulation phase is typically the easier of the two and occurs during your client’s working years – this is where they try to allocate as much as possible to an RRSP, TFSA, pension plan or some combination thereof. The main objective here is to accumulate assets for retirement and can be as simple as making regular deposits to an efficiently diversified portfolio and keeping fees in check. Straightforward, right?

The decumulation phase is a little more challenging and refers to the stage in your client’s life when they are no longer earning income from work. During this stage, the main objective is to use the funds that were saved or accumulated to set up income sources for the remainder of their lifetime. The challenge arises through a host of different issues, some predictable and others not so much. Continue reading “Accumulation and Decumulation – Preparing your Clients for Retirement”

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Changing Gears – From Accumulation to Decumulation


A Convo with your Client about the Death Benefit Guarantee in Seg Funds

Segregated funds have several uses as a financial planning tool, primarily in the area of estate planning. As you may know, segregated funds (or seg funds for short) combine the features of a mutual fund with elements of an insurance contract. One of those insurance elements is the death benefit guarantee, which ensures that a specific percentage of the value of your client’s investment pays directly to their beneficiaries at the time of death. This death benefit payment may even bypass probate, which streamlines the process of estate settlement and makes it easier for your client to pass investment assets on to those they love. Seg funds must provide at least a 75% death benefit guarantee, but the guarantee can be up to 100%.

The death benefit guarantee also adds a level of security that is not available in a mutual fund. This can be increasingly powerful for clients who are in retirement or approaching retirement – it allows them to participate in funds with potentially higher returns than guaranteed options such as GICs. The death benefit guarantee forms a “safety net” that provides an element of protection against market risk in these funds. Continue reading “A Convo with your Client about the Death Benefit Guarantee in Seg Funds”

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Segregated Funds and the Death Benefit Guarantee


Making Your Client’s Retirement Simple with RRIFs and LIFs

If your client is looking to retire soon, facing the prospect of retirement can be both exciting and stressful for them. Thank goodness you are here to help! Let’s have a look at the basics of retirement withdrawal products including RRIFs and LIFs, so you can help your client retire with ease. Continue reading “Making Your Client’s Retirement Simple with RRIFs and LIFs”

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Making Your Retirement Easy Breezy with RRIFs and LIFs


A Conversation with Your Client about Robo-Advisors

Recently, WealthBar changed their business name to CI Direct Investing – exciting news! Rebranding aside, they continue to be an excellent option for your client when it comes to efficient, low-cost portfolio management.

The next time you need to speak with a client about robo-investing, you can relax, because we’ve got all the right answers for you. Here is what a typical conversation with your client might look like. Continue reading “A Conversation with Your Client about Robo-Advisors”


Segregated Funds and What They Mean for your Client

The seg-fund space has evolved considerably in recent years and where all types of equity, fixed income and balanced mandates used to only exist as a mutual fund, they now have an analogue in the segregated fund realm as well. Using a segregated fund as an investment vehicle opens the door to a host of features for your client and offers them protection throughout their life and beyond. Most of these features are unique to insurance-based investment products and may not be available through traditional investments like a GIC or mutual fund. So what are some of these great features of a segregated fund? Continue reading “Segregated Funds and What They Mean for your Client”

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Your Segue into Segregated Funds


How a Spousal RRSP Can Benefit Your Client

A spousal* RRSP is exactly what it appears to be, quite simply a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for a spouse; a plan that can not only help your client and their spouse set aside funds for their retirement, but can save them some tax dollars in the process. The general idea of the spousal RRSP is that one person, typically the higher earner, contributes money to the plan on behalf of their spouse. The main benefit for your client is that a contribution can be made each year (subject to your client’s contribution limit) and their spouse will see a tax-free return until those assets are withdrawn. Continue reading “How a Spousal RRSP Can Benefit Your Client”

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The ABCs of Spousal RRSPs