Ross and Janis lived a typical Canadian life. They were married, had two children, Melissa and Kyle, and both worked outside the home.
An avid golfer, Ross also went on fishing trips with friends and helped coach his son's hockey team. Janis played the piano, enjoyed bike rides with her friends, and was treasurer for her daughter's soccer team. They played in a mixed curling league.
It's all part of the process when you are arranging a mortgage for your new home. The bank employee inevitably asks if you would like to purchase mortgage insurance. No one likes to think about their own mortality; however, we all know deep down that stuff happens. People contract terminal illnesses or suffer debilitating or fatal accidents.
When Sarah graduated from university and got her first job as a regional sales rep, her parents bought her a car to ensure she'd have a reliable vehicle for the travelling her new position would require. Sadly, only weeks after receiving this generous gift, Sarah hit black ice while driving and lost control. Fortunately, she was alone, and no other vehicles were involved. Unfortunately, the accident left her with severe injuries and a long, uncertain road to recovery.
Most of us take for granted that we will be able to get out of bed every morning and go to work to earn a living. We base all of our financial plans on this seemingly obvious concept. Our most valuable asset is the ability to earn an income. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most vulnerable and most of the undesirable things that can affect it are beyond our control.
Alicia was about to sign the papers on her new vehicle when she noticed an additional charge of a little over $3,400 for insurance on the Bill of Sale. When she asked the finance manager what it was for, he said, 'Well, that's for the life and disability insurance for your car loan.' She was left with the impression that the insurance was mandatory. Alicia didn't sign the papers and said she would finish them up the next day. She asked for a copy of the coverage wording to help with her decision.
Many falsely believe they will not be victims of a critical illness like cancer, heart attack or stroke. They also believe that if they do experience a serious illness, the healthcare system will look after them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many mistakenly believe that if they need Long Term Care, either in their home or in a facility, the cost will be covered by provincial health care or other government agencies. While certain programs are available, a large portion of these costs become the responsibility of the patient or their family.
Graham*, like millions of other Canadians, has and uses credit cards. He often carries a balance from month to month and is concerned about making the monthly payments if he becomes disabled or gets seriously ill. Graham doesn't want to stick his family with the balance if he dies before paying it off.
For many small business owners, what began as a bright idea or an innate desire to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit turned into a new enterprise with the promise to provide for them and their families. Even the most successful small businesses are significantly reliant upon the continued health, vision and skills of the business owner or a key person. Without the owner or key person, the likelihood of the business continuing is greatly diminished. It can mean instant death for the business with devastating consequences for the owner, employees and their families.
Besides 'death' and 'taxes', the other certainty in life is that life is full of unexpected events. So why aren't we more prepared for financial stresses when they occur?
With the odds of an unexpected event such as a job loss, a medical emergency, a debilitating accident, or a death in the family fairly high when you consider them all together, many Canadian families are just one paycheque away from financial disaster. When these risks are considered as a whole, the question is not IF a financial shock will occur, but when.
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