Shield Your Dreams: The Vital Role of Critical Illness Protection for Self-Employed Entrepreneurs

Life’s twists and turns can shake us to our very core. As self-employed individuals, we navigate the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship, embracing the exhilarating highs and weathering the stormy lows. But what if I told you that there’s a potent armor, ready to defend your dreams and offer solace to your loved ones when life takes an unexpected turn?

Emma is a remarkable entrepreneur whose journey took an unexpected detour. Emma had poured her heart and soul into her business, building it from the ground up. But life had a different plan—a critical illness diagnosis that shook her world. It was during this challenging time that the true power of critical illness protection became evident.

Critical illness protection is a lifeline amidst adversity, a beacon of hope that ensures your dreams can continue to flourish, even in the face of unimaginable hardship. It is a testament to your unwavering commitment to safeguard your future and protect those who matter most.

Emma’s story is one of resilience and strength. Critical illness protection provided her with the financial stability and peace of mind she needed to focus on her recovery. It enabled her to access the best medical care, support her family during challenging times, and cherish the moments that truly mattered. Today, Emma continues to inspire others with her unwavering spirit and determination.

Being self-employed means we embrace the freedom and endless possibilities that come with forging our own path. But have you paused to consider the potential risks you face if a critical illness were to strike?

Critical illness protection for self-employed individuals is not just an option; it is an indispensable shield that empowers you to face life’s uncertainties with confidence. It serves as a safety net, providing financial support when you need it most, allowing you to access vital treatments, cover everyday expenses, and protect the dreams you’ve worked so tirelessly to build.

As an insurance agent serving Ontario’s vibrant self-employed community, I’m here to guide you through the realm of critical illness protection. Together, we will create a tailored plan that aligns with your unique circumstances, offering you and your loved ones the assurance and security you deserve.

Let’s empower one another to face the unknown head-on. Let’s transform challenges into triumphs and emerge even stronger. The power to shield your dreams and protect your loved ones is within your grasp. Don’t wait for life’s unexpected curveballs—take control of your future today!

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Mick Jagger’s Succession Plan: What Business Owners Can Learn About Philanthropy and Legacy

Sir Mick Jagger’s recent interview with the Wall Street Journal sheds light on an intriguing aspect of business succession planning, offering valuable insights for business owners and families. While the Rolling Stones legend may not enjoy the business side of the music industry, he acknowledges its necessity.

Over the years, the Stones have amassed significant wealth from their tours and music catalog. However, when asked about selling their post-1971 music catalog for more profit, Jagger declined. He believes that his children don’t require a fortune of $500 million to live well, and he contemplates the possibility of donating his wealth to charity in the future.

Jagger’s eight children, spanning ages from six to 52, highlight the significance of a well-thought-out succession plan. While it’s evident that there’s still potential to generate income even after one’s passing, the idea of philanthropy as part of a succession plan has its unique benefits.

Donating a portion of one’s wealth to charity not only serves a noble cause but can also provide substantial benefits for both the business and the owner. From a business perspective, it can enhance the company’s reputation, fostering goodwill and customer loyalty. For the business owner, charitable giving can yield tax advantages and serve as a legacy that embodies their values.

The owner can also help their favourite charity and provide for their children. Life insurance plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth transition of assets and wealth to the next generation. It can provide financial security for children and maintain the family’s financial well-being while preserving their privacy.

Mick Jagger’s contemplation of philanthropy within his succession plan serves as a reminder of the importance of forward-thinking and comprehensive strategies.

Business owners should consider the potential benefits of charitable giving and the role of life insurance in safeguarding their legacies. Planning for the future ensures that both their business and their loved ones thrive, even when they’re no longer at the helm.

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Employee Benefits: Attracting and Retaining Top Talent in a Competitive Market

Is your advisor just sending you your renewal, with ever-increasing costs, without any explanation? Are they even talking to you about these things?

The same old, same old just, doesn’t work anymore.

1 in 5 Canadian employers is missing out on top talent due to salary and benefits limitations, according to a recent survey. The study by global talent firm Morgan McKinley, based on insights from 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals, highlights that 20% of employers faced challenges in the past six months in attracting new talent because they couldn’t compete in terms of compensation and benefits.

Despite the competitive hiring landscape, with 60% of companies experiencing stiff competition, 40% of Canadian businesses still plan to hire in the next six months. However, the survey reveals a significant hurdle for 40% of employers– the lack of approval for new headcount.

Ian Kinsella, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Canada, emphasizes the importance of formal retention strategies in the face of reduced budgets.

He notes that offering meaningful benefits, especially with a focus on flexibility, will be crucial for companies looking to retain and attract top talent.

The survey sheds light on Canadian employees’ dissatisfaction with their benefits packages, with 65% expressing neutrality, dissatisfaction, or high dissatisfaction. Health insurance, work-from-home options, pensions, health and well-being support, and life insurance are identified as the top five desired benefits.

Despite the less-than-ideal perception of benefits, only 45% of Canadian professionals plan to change roles in the next six months. For those considering a move, a higher salary and meaningful, impactful work are cited as the primary motivations, each at 23%.

The survey also reveals a rise in contract work among Canadian professionals, with 79% of permanently employed individuals expressing a willingness to become independent contractors. Better pay rates, increased skill development opportunities, and greater flexibility are cited as enticing factors for considering contract roles.

Kinsella notes that leaner talent acquisition teams and a surge in applicants have led to lengthened hiring processes, impacting the efficient qualification and assessment of incoming talent. He emphasizes the need for organizations to act swiftly in identifying and securing top talent, particularly as fewer high-caliber candidates actively seek new opportunities.

It’s time to review your benefits! The same old, same old, just doesn’t work anymore!

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

How Life Insurance Can Save Your Estate from a $735,000 Tax Bill

“$735,000. That is the taxes due. As much as you wish it would go away it simply won’t. It has to be dealt with.” “So…how do you want to pay for that?”

Here was a portion of a conversation I had last week. I’ve said many times that business owners, whether they want it or not, have a silent partner…The Tax Department.

As a business owner, planning for the future is paramount. One crucial consideration is the potential tax burden that arises upon the death of the last spouse. The last thing you want is for your hard-earned wealth to be significantly diminished by hefty taxes. However, there is a solution that offers substantial benefits in the short and long term: Life Insurance.

Here’s why life insurance is a compelling choice to cover these tax obligations and why it surpasses the traditional “dollar for dollar” payment method.

Uncertainty Surrounding Mortality:

Let’s address the fundamental question: can you predict the exact date of your death? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Cost-Efficiency:

While it’s true that the short-term benefit of life insurance outweighs the cost, what about the long-term? Some may argue that paying dollar for dollar may eventually be more cost-effective. Or as the person said to me, break even. To this, I say see the point above.

Life insurance presents a unique advantage by offering substantial coverage at a fraction of the potential tax liability. By paying relatively smaller premiums over time, you can secure a much larger death benefit that effectively covers that imposing tax bill, often leaving additional funds for your beneficiaries.

Preservation of Assets:

Using life insurance to cover the tax bill allows you to preserve your hard-earned assets. Instead of depleting your estate, liquidating investments, or selling business interests, life insurance enables you to pass on your wealth intact to the next generation or to help your favourite charity. Truly. It’s that the goal?

Immediate Availability of Funds:

Upon the death of the last spouse, the tax authorities typically require payment within a relatively short timeframe. This can place a significant burden on your family during an already emotionally challenging period. Life insurance ensures that the necessary funds are readily available, eliminating the stress and potential disruption that can arise from trying to raise the required funds quickly.

Flexibility and Customization:

Life insurance policies can be tailored to meet your specific needs and objectives. From choosing the appropriate coverage amount to determining the policy duration, you have the flexibility to align the life insurance plan with your overall financial and estate planning strategy.

When faced with a potentially large tax bill it is essential to consider the long-term implications and explore viable solutions. Life insurance emerges as a compelling option, offering numerous benefits that outweigh the traditional “dollar for dollar” payment method.

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

“What’s the rush!” Well…

Unfortunately, it happened again last week. Having talked to them, their accountant, and their lawyer every year for multiple years (BTW they all agreed that something should be in place) the decision to move forward was never made. Something that I’ve seen time and time again – successful business owners who’ve worked hard to build their businesses and accumulate wealth but have no plan to protect it from taxes and other fees when they pass away.

Did you know that the government will take a staggering 53.53% of your RRSP/RRIF after the second death of both spouses? That means $1 million in retirement savings is worth only $470,000 to your heirs. And if you have gains in your business, investment real estate, or securities portfolios, you could be paying the government 27% of those gains. If you have money in a corporation, it could be taxed at a rate of 40-70%. And let’s not forget about probate tax and other fees. You have to pay your “silent” partner (the government) a ton of money.

So why haven’t you taken action to protect your legacy? Perhaps you’re too busy running your business to think about estate planning. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the complexity of the tax system and don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’re simply in denial, thinking that you have plenty of time to plan for the future.

But here’s the thing – estate planning doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. And it’s never too early to start thinking about it. In fact, the earlier you start, the more options you’ll have for protecting your wealth and leaving a lasting legacy for your loved ones.

One powerful tool for estate planning is Life Insurance. By purchasing a life insurance policy, you can ensure that your loved ones receive a tax-free payout when you pass away. This money can be used to cover the tax bill and other expenses, leaving your estate intact for your heirs.

So why should you take action and protect your legacy with life insurance? For starters, it’s the responsible thing to do. You’ve worked hard to build your business and accumulate wealth – don’t let the government take it all away. And think about the peace of mind you’ll have, knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of when you’re gone.

But beyond that, estate planning with life insurance can also be a smart financial decision. Depending on the policy you choose, you may be able to access the cash value of the policy while you’re still alive, providing a source of tax-free income in retirement.

Let’s work together to create a plan that’s right for you and your business. Help protect your legacy and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

What Wile E. Coyote Teaches Us About Business Resilience and Strategy

Wile E. Coyote really was a Genius!

 

It’s funny how the mind works. This weekend as I was framing my basement and remembered my old shop teacher’s test of 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2… I was also thinking about Wile E. Coyote.

Growing up, Saturday mornings were all about Looney Tunes, and one iconic duo that left an indelible mark was the relentless pursuit of Wile E. Coyote and his elusive prey, the Roadrunner. The sheer hilarity of watching the Coyote’s wild schemes unravel, often thanks to ACME’s questionable products, was pure entertainment.

Behind the chaos, Wile E. Coyote was dishing out some valuable lessons for us in the world of business.

 

Lesson 1: If ACME keeps sending you crap, order from someone else.

Coyote’s loyalty to ACME was baffling. No matter how many times their gadgets failed him, he kept going back for more. Sound familiar? In business, we sometimes stick with vendors or strategies that consistently underdeliver. Take a cue from the Coyote: Don’t be afraid to cut ties and explore better options.

 

Lesson 2: If you offer the Roadrunner lead, he won’t stop to eat.

Coyote’s attempts to lure the Roadrunner with lead pellets often ended in disaster. Similarly, if your content is all about you or lacks value, your audience won’t stop to engage. Instead, they’ll speed on by with a “MEEP MEEP.” Serve up quality content that resonates with your target audience.

 

Lesson 3: You need to map out your plan.

Coyote was a planner, even if his plans were far from foolproof. Having a strategy, even a flawed one, gave him direction. In business, a well-thought-out plan is crucial. Define your goals, measure success metrics, gather the necessary tools, and pinpoint where your audience will be when you launch. Without a roadmap, you risk wandering aimlessly.

 

Lesson 4: Learn from your mistakes, and keep trying new things.

The Coyote’s resilience in the face of countless failures is admirable. In business, too often, we see entrepreneurs give up after a single setback. Embrace the spirit of trial and error. If a strategy fails, don’t write it off as a total loss; learn from it and adapt. The greatest breakthroughs often arise from the ashes of perceived failures.

The Coyote may not have been a certified genius, but he left us with some invaluable business lessons. So, as you navigate the complex world of entrepreneurship, remember these insights from our favorite desert-dwelling supergenius.

 

And always keep in mind Lesson 5: Gravity is relative. MEEP MEEP!

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Timing is Everything: When to Launch an Employee Benefits Program for Maximum Impact

Are you ready to take your company to new heights and truly invest in your most valuable asset — your employees? Today, I want to talk about the transformative power of launching an employee benefits program and the optimal timing to do so.

I too am a small business owner. I too understand the emotional rollercoaster that comes with building and nurturing a company. We all know that running a business is no easy task; it requires dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment. That’s why it’s crucial to create an environment where your employees feel supported, valued, and motivated to give their best each day.

Now, picture this scenario: It’s a Monday morning, and your team walks into the office with an extra bounce in their step. They have peace of mind knowing their health and well-being are taken care of, allowing them to focus on what they do best. This is the kind of positive energy that ignites productivity, fosters loyalty, and attracts top talent to your organization.

But when is the ideal time to launch an employee benefits program?

Excitement: Imagine your company just hit a significant milestone, like surpassing your annual revenue goal or expanding into new markets. Launching an employee benefits program at this time will amplify the excitement within your team, creating a sense of shared accomplishment and celebrating your collective success.

Empowerment: Have you noticed your employees craving professional development opportunities and seeking growth within your organization? Introducing an employee benefits program can be a powerful tool to empower your team. It shows that you believe in their potential and are invested in their long-term success, ultimately enhancing employee retention and engagement.

Gratitude: The holiday season is a time for giving thanks and expressing gratitude. Launching an employee benefits program during this period can serve as a meaningful gesture, demonstrating your appreciation for your team’s hard work and dedication throughout the year. It fosters a sense of belonging and reinforces the bond between you and your employees.

Transition: Is your company going through a significant transition, such as restructuring or moving to a new office? Launching an employee benefits program during times of change can provide stability and a sense of security for your employees. It shows that you prioritize their well-being, even amidst uncertainty, and strengthens their trust in your leadership.

 

Remember, the best time to launch an employee benefits program may vary for each business. It depends on your company’s unique circumstances, culture, and goals. I do know that you should be the company people flock to. Not the company that is constantly hiring, and losing, and hiring, and losing…

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

A fantastic bridge!

Is your employee benefits enough to shield you from life’s unexpected twists and turns? How about a powerful solution that can bolster your financial well-being…Critical Illness protection

Picture this: You or a loved one is suddenly struck by a severe illness, plunging your world into chaos. Amidst the emotional upheaval, the financial strain can be overwhelming. While employee benefits can provide some relief, they may not be sufficient to cover all the expenses that come knocking at your door.

That’s where critical illness insurance steps in as a beacon of hope, offering a robust safety net when you need it the most. It goes beyond the realm of traditional employee benefits, providing an additional layer of protection against the unforeseen challenges life throws our way.

With critical illness insurance, you gain access to a tremendously cost-effective solution that bridges the gap until long-term disability coverage takes effect. This means you won’t have to fret about the financial repercussions of an extended absence from work due to a critical illness. Your focus can remain where it matters most—on healing and recovery.

Furthermore, critical illness insurance offers you an extra lifeline by granting you supplemental funds precisely when you need them. These funds can be used to cover a range of expenses, including medical treatments, travel for specialized care, childcare services, or even mortgage payments during a difficult period.

In a world where emotional resilience is crucial, having a robust financial plan can empower you to weather any storm that comes your way. Critical illness insurance plays a pivotal role in safeguarding your financial future, offering peace of mind to both employers and employees.

Build a foundation of financial security that withstands life’s unpredictable challenges.

I want to be your insurance guy!

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

5 Must-Ask Questions for Future Shareholders to Ensure a Smooth Family Business Transition

Most of the companies I work with are family-owned with 1 and sometimes 2 generations working in the business.

The owner(s) and the future owner(s) have a responsibility for a smooth transition. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I biggest challenge that I’ve seen is a simple lack of communication.

If you are a Future Shareholder here are 5 Must-Ask Questions for a Smooth Transition.

Being a shareholder-in-waiting isn’t always a walk in the park. You’re in a delicate spot—ask too much, and you’re seen as “entitled,” ask too little, and you might be caught off guard when inheriting family assets. Here’s the scoop:

1️. What’s the family member gifting shares really after? Start with this simple question to understand their goals. Keep it in plain language to avoid misunderstandings. It’s vital to avoid surprises or conflicts down the line. There may also be family members who have no interest in or are part of the business. How do you treat them fairly?

2️. Do you grasp the jargon used by lawyers and advisors? Legal documents can be confusing. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Clear communication is key to preventing confusion. Even if you have the ask the same question 6 different ways. Make sure you fully understand. Don’t assume.

3️. Will the late family member’s plans actually work? Sometimes, various legal documents can clash or lose effectiveness over time. Gather the family, clarify roles, and plan for the future to avoid complications.

4️. Who’s watching for unintended consequences? Advisors may set up plans without knowing all family members. These dynamics can be overwhelming during a loss. Make sure everyone understands and is on board with the plans. Your lawyer, accountant, and insurance advisor should all be brought in early.

5️. Who’s resisting the conversation and understanding? Identify resistance sources and approach them with empathy. Transparency and clarity can often resolve resistance.

Family transition can be complex, but thoughtful questions can help maintain family unity and enterprise harmony.

I want to be your insurance guy

 

Click here to connect with us on Facebook.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute insurance advice. Readers are encouraged to contact a representative from Benchmark Insurance Ltd. directly for personalized insurance solutions tailored to their individual needs. Benchmark Insurance Ltd. is a niche insurance agency offering Life, Critical Illness, Long-Term Disability, and Group benefits to individuals and businesses across Ontario. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, please reach out to us at info@benchmarkinsurance.ca or call 647-955-1242.
_____________________________________________________________________________________