Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?

When we first visited the topic of the novel coronavirus in March 2020, just over 100,000 cases had been reported worldwide. At this time, in late March 2021, the World Health Organization reports well over 120 million cases and regrettably, the loss of nearly 3 million lives. The global pandemic that is COVID-19 has affected 223 countries. In Canada, we are closing in on 1 million cases and almost 24,000 deaths (1). We have already discussed the economic and social devastation wrought by the virus. The good news has been both a new and renewed understanding of containment and mitigation to halt the spread of human-to-human viruses and the unprecedented speed of delivery of what appears to be highly effective vaccines. Mass vaccination should help usher in a new era of normalcy.

But what about our children? How have our kids fared during this time? Let’s look at COVID-19 and its’ impact on the youngest members of our society. First, the most obvious question: can children get COVID-19? Yes. One study out of Europe reports 14% of cases in those aged 0-19 years. Early in the pandemic, household transmission was likely predominant. With return to school, even on a limited basis, inconsistent safe distancing and mask wearing, along with poor ventilation in older school buildings, have contributed to child-to-child transmission rates. This is especially the case with the emergence of the more highly transmissible variants such as B117, now likely to become the dominant variant and increasing the need to accelerate mass vaccination programs (2). Continue reading “Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?

The Power of Compound Interest for Your Client

If your clients dabble in the world of investments, they should know about the power of compounding interest on their investment accounts. That is, the money they invest today – let’s say $100 at a 5% annual interest rate – will earn them $105 in one year. Likewise, if they take that $105 and re-invest it yet again at 5% the following year, your client will earn $110.25, and so on, year after year.

Yes, it is a fairly simple concept but one that your clients should be aware of. The key reason for your client to invest is to earn money on that investment. However, when those savings are increased via monthly deposits or PACS (pre-authorized cheques), they can help your client save on an even larger scale. Continue reading “The Power of Compound Interest for Your Client”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
The Power of Compound Interest

The Family Divide – Policy Transfers Between Family

Life is an uncertain road and for your client, circumstances may change where they one day need to transfer ownership of their personally owned life insurance. It does happen and in many cases, the transfer results in a taxable disposition of the life insurance. However, there are some tax-deferred “rollovers” available for transfers to spouses and children. Continue reading “The Family Divide – Policy Transfers Between Family”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
The Family Divide: Policy Transfers Amongst Family

The Estate Wedge

An estate wedge is a planning strategy that can provide tangible solutions for your clients and provide you, as their Advisor, with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your value.

As your clients age, their financial goals are likely to change and their focus may shift from asset accumulation and growth to estate preservation and wealth transition – an estate wedge can help in this scenario. The strategy involves allocating a portion of your client’s non-registered assets into a segregated fund contract, giving them more control over these assets from an estate planning perspective. This can result in several benefits, such as:

  • Contract owners maintain control over their assets
  • Payout options can be tailored to the needs of the estate – lump sum payments, annuity style settlement or a combination of these can be structured into the contract
  • Clients can employ strategies to address the issue of cognitive decline
  • Payouts are made directly to named beneficiaries following the death of the annuitant, bypassing probate if there is appropriate documentation and expediting the process of asset distribution
  • Distributions are not subject to the terms of the annuitant’s will, which provides privacy and lowers overall settlement costs

Continue reading “The Estate Wedge”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
The Estate Wedge – Your Peace of Mind Option

Employee Benefits – Help Your Business-Owner Clients Protect Their Business

Spring has sprung and we are now one full year into the COVID-19 pandemic – a pandemic which none of us could foresee and one which has altered the very way we live our lives and conduct business. Whether it be working from home or maintaining the frontline, all of us have had to make some adjustments over the course of the year and it is believed that at least some of these adjustments are here to stay. Which is why now more than ever, it is important to schedule some time to speak with your business-owner clients about whether they offer employee benefits and if so, whether their chosen plan is right for them, their employees and their business.

Just like mobile phones now possess a “can’t live without mine” status, we have come to expect an independent, all access channel to the delivery of ALL goods and services, including employee benefits. Today, Advisors are challenging the conventional methods used by the insurance industry and using this time to reshape the traditional benefits design into a plan with a much higher level of personal assistance as well as convenient, confidential and ready access to required support programs for all employees. Continue reading “Employee Benefits – Help Your Business-Owner Clients Protect Their Business”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
What a Difference a Year Makes… Getting Your Employees the Best Care Today

SMART TALK… about registered education savings plans (RESPs)

If your client has a child, they may be interested in a Registered Education Savings Plan (or RESP). This plan is a smart way for them to help lay the groundwork for their child’s learning while maximizing their investments via government grants and tax-deferred growth of the investments within the RESP. It’s a win-win for you and your client!

Share this video with your client, part of our SMART TALK series, to help them learn more about how RESPs can maximize their investments while providing their child with the opportunities for a bright future. Continue reading “SMART TALK… about registered education savings plans (RESPs)”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
SMART TALK… about registered education savings plans (RESPs)

Loneliness – How Risky Can It Get?

“Loneliness is the ultimate poverty” (1). So said the everyday philosopher Pauline Philips, better known to millions as “Dear Abby”, the legendary advice columnist. The theme of loneliness runs deep in our past and present society, inspiring music, literature, film and a long list of commercial endeavours to alleviate what another great legend, Bob Dylan, described as “endless emptiness” (2). It’s all a little grim. In more clinical terms, it can be described as a subjective feeling related to the lack of social relations or simply a sense of disconnectedness or isolation (3).

So, why discuss loneliness in an underwriting setting and why now? Well, the simple answer is that when it comes to medical reporting, loneliness as a component of psychiatric disorders has long been a red flag for concern. That same report would typically also reveal a history of depression, insomnia, disturbed appetite and other markers of reduced well-being. In more extreme cases, there can be the misuse of alcohol, marked stress and drug use. Physicians have long recognized that loneliness can predispose the sufferer to a broad range of illness, including cardiovascular and immune system diseases (4). In older populations, isolation can accelerate cognitive decline, interfering with day-to-day functioning and the quality of life (5). In younger people, social stress and isolation are cited as precipitating factors for suicide, which accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year-olds living in Canada (6). In fact, every day we lose ten Canadians to suicide (7). Continue reading “Loneliness – How Risky Can It Get?”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
Loneliness – Hope on the Horizon

Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client

Critical illness insurance (CI) is still one of the most compelling protection products on the market today. In addition to providing lump-sum payments in the event of 20+ major illnesses, it also gives your client flexible options to return their premiums (in full!) should they live a long and healthy life.

The fact is that 1 in 3 women and 2 in 5 men have a chance of developing a critical illness in their lifetime – an illness that could derail your client’s financial security, retirement planning or even their way of life altogether (1). The risk is real and all of us have witnessed how an illness can affect a family and its finances.

Yet, unlike life insurance, your client will be able to actually see the benefit of this product, beyond providing for a beneficiary, during their lifetime. CI allows your client to protect themselves financially, allowing them to focus on treatments, a speedy recovery, as well as the purchase of additional medical care if needed. Continue reading “Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection or your Money Back!

Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider For Renewal

You already know the benefits of term insurance, one of them being its lower cost when it comes to covering a larger temporary need. Term insurance helps your client to maintain their same standard of living by providing income replacement, and even paying off existing debt. So far, pretty impressive.

However, if you have a client with term insurance, it is important to reach out and review their needs on a regular basis. In fact, you will want to contact your client long before the term insurance is available for renewal – giving you and your client adequate time to evaluate their needs and review all of their insurance options.

Below, are a few of the things that you will want to consider when your client’s term insurance comes up for renewal. Continue reading “Term Insurance – What Your Client Should Consider For Renewal”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
Things to Consider When Renewing Your Term Insurance Plan

Gene Therapy – The Fix Is (Almost) In

Since its completion in 2003, the Human Genome Project has garnered a great deal of attention for genetic testing. All of this focus has resulted in the identification and mapping of the three-billion pairs of human gene structure, known as the genome. Today, geneticists can perform many different types of analyses that have never been seen before, including deep sequencing, RNA sequencing and epigenomics, the overall study of the complete set of epigenetic modifications on the genetic material of a cell – all of these allow scientists to study the expression of genetic patterns from person-to-person and more.

Genetic therapy is a developing area of our unprecedented understanding of the human genome. Imagine being able to add a normal, healthy gene where a person has inherited a defective gene variant? In some cases, this may improve outcomes from a disease and in the best cases, cure or prevent it altogether. Continue reading “Gene Therapy – The Fix Is (Almost) In”

READ the client article on The Link Between:
Gene Therapy – The Fix Is (Almost) In