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May 20

Victoria Day can only mean one thing – Summer is almost here! So throw on your shades, put on some flip flops, crank up the grill and have a brilliant and memorable Victoria Day weekend! #VictoriaDay2022 #StartOfSummer

May 19

You’re just a few clicks away from better client connections with PPI’s Your Link Between. This customizable platform adds your logo and contact info to client-friendly articles and tools. Connection is key, so get started today (Login required):

May 18

Implementing an effective client referral process can be challenging, but it’s an important part of growing your business. What is a good approach for gaining referrals? Check out our article for a practical strategy.

May 12

If you’re looking for great tools to cultivate your business, you can find them on PPI’s Stratosphere, a collection of complimentary technology tools that work together to help propel your practice to the next level. Check it out:

May 11

What are some benefits of Whole Life insurance? Use PPI’s Insurance for Your Whole Life applet to reveal how it can offer permanent protection with guaranteed premiums, death benefit and increasing cash values. Log into Toolkit Direct today: #PPI

May 20

Victoria Day can only mean one thing – Summer is almost here! So throw on your shades, put on some flip flops, crank up the grill and have a brilliant and memorable Victoria Day weekend! #VictoriaDay2022 #StartOfSummer

May 19

You’re just a few clicks away from better client connections with PPI’s Your Link Between. This customizable platform adds your logo and contact info to client-friendly articles and tools. Connection is key, so get started today (Login required):

May 18

Implementing an effective client referral process can be challenging, but it’s an important part of growing your business. What is a good approach for gaining referrals? Check out our article for a practical strategy.

May 12

If you’re looking for great tools to cultivate your business, you can find them on PPI’s Stratosphere, a collection of complimentary technology tools that work together to help propel your practice to the next level. Check it out:

May 20

Victoria Day can only mean one thing – Summer is almost here! So throw on your shades, put on some flip flops, crank up the grill and have a brilliant and memorable Victoria Day weekend! #VictoriaDay2022 #StartOfSummer

May 19

You’re just a few clicks away from better client connections with PPI’s Your Link Between. This customizable platform adds your logo and contact info to client-friendly articles and tools. Connection is key, so get started today (Login required):

May 18

Implementing an effective client referral process can be challenging, but it’s an important part of growing your business. What is a good approach for gaining referrals? Check out our article for a practical strategy.

May 12

If you’re looking for great tools to cultivate your business, you can find them on PPI’s Stratosphere, a collection of complimentary technology tools that work together to help propel your practice to the next level. Check it out:

May 11

What are some benefits of Whole Life insurance? Use PPI’s Insurance for Your Whole Life applet to reveal how it can offer permanent protection with guaranteed premiums, death benefit and increasing cash values. Log into Toolkit Direct today: #PPI

May 11

Is working with a professional advisor essential? PPI’s put together this short video for you to share with your prospects, highlighting the many benefits of working with an advisor - because nothing can replace the value of YOUR advice.

May 9

Help your clients easily grasp the key differences between life insurance alternatives with PPI’s new Exploring Your Life Insurance Options tool, designed to initiate and support conversations about insurance solutions. Check it out and share today: #PPI

May 6

What would we do without our mothers? Today, we honour the beautiful mamas in our lives who loved us deeply and shaped us into the extraordinary (of course we’re not exaggerating, ask our moms!) individuals we are today. Happy Mother’s Day! #MothersDay2022

May 5

PPI’s Your Link Between is a game changer! With 100 + articles/videos that you can share with new prospects and existing clients, this custom branded site will help you connect and grow your business effortlessly. Start today (Advisor login required):

April 28

Have you heard of PPI’s Your Link Between? Watch this video, then sign up for this customizable platform that makes it easy to share client-friendly insurance and investment articles + interactive content with your prospects and clients (Login required):

April 27

If you’re tired of scrolling through content, we’ve found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check them out here, then reshare with your new clients and prospects. Yes, it is that easy! #PPI

April 25

Get to know The Link Between, PPI’s client-friendly blog. With 100+ financial articles and tools, it’s a great way to start that important client conversation. Pick an article, share it, then book a time to discuss it with your client. Click here:

April 22

David Attenborough once said, “an understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but! great fulfillment”. Today, we honour Mother Earth and make a promise to protect and cherish her – let’s make a positive impact. Happy Earth Day!

April 19

Life is busy, and who has time to waste? PPI’s list of carrier e-Apps help you save time with efficient underwriting, providing you, and your client, with an underwriting decision sooner. Check out PPI’s digital resources today (Advisor login required):

April 14

We wish you and your loved ones a joyous and meaningful Passover – may the blessings of this ancient holiday brighten your today and tomorrows. Chag Pesach Sameach! #PPI #HappyPassover2022

April 14

We’re hopping into Easter with pure joy and hope you’re as excited as we are to spend time with family and friends and eat loads of bunny-shaped chocolates. We’ll share if we must, but for now, we’d like to wish you a Happy Easter! #PPI #happyEaster2022

April 14

A very warm thank you to advisors and industry colleagues who joined us for PPI’s Spring Symposium. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to make our next symposium better, please reach out to your local PPI office – we’d love to hear from you!

April 13

What is an estate freeze, and should your business-owner clients consider implementing one? There are more than a few things to consider when it comes to estate freezes. Read this article, then share the client-friendly version with your clients.

April 13

SPRING into ACTION with PPI’s 2022 Spring Symposium: 3-2-1 ACTION, happening today! Grab a coffee and join us at 12PM (ET) today to find out how to transform business vision into successful action. It’s not too late to register (Login required): #PPI

April 12

How do you build your wealth practice? A good start may be to watch this video about PPI’s robust suite of tools to help you with sales growth, prospecting and practice management. Then, contact our wealth team and get that wealth ball rolling! Watch:

Recent Articles

Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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How to Build Your Online Social Network

March 9, 2022

We live in a new world – COVID-19 has forced many of us to think about how we connect with others and find new ways to engage with family, friends, co-workers and clients. Undeniably, the digital era is now upon us and finding success may be the difference between embracing technology versus thwarting it. As an advisor, it’s crucial for you to have and maintain an active online presence in order to promote your business and showcase who you are and what you stand for. But how do you build the RIGHT network of followers – that ideal group of clients who are interested in what you have to offer and are willing to engage with you? Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind: Know Your Audience It’s imperative that you understand your client. Who are you speaking to? What are their fears and goals? What keeps them up at night? In order for you to swoop in and provide your financial expertise, you first need to understand what problem your client is trying to solve. Once you have a better understanding of your target client, you will be able to speak to them in a relevant manner and provide them with the valuable solutions they are seeking to their problems. Engage and Build Relationships Just as you would at a networking event or during a face-to-face conversation, it’s important to actively engage with your audience online. Yes, it’s an online connection, but it’s still a relationship that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and strengthened on an ongoing basis. Your online audience needs to feel like they know you, like you and trust you enough to come to you with their insurance or investment needs. Be sure to engage consistently with your online audience in order to make them feel both heard and understood. Provide Value Today, we are bombarded with online information and messaging – it’s overwhelming and quite noisy! This means it’s up to you to cut through all that noise and provide potential clients with useful content – content that is informational, educational, valuable and reliable. This makes you indispensable and that is exactly where you want to be – an indispensable expert in your field ready to provide real solutions to your clients’ problems. Be Proactive You cannot expect your audience to come to you; unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this way on social media. Instead, you are going to need to reach out and engage with your ideal client audience where they are on social media. Find out where your audience is active on social media (rule #1 – know your audience) – you can do this in a variety of ways including on their profile, within similar interest groups or by searching relevant hashtags that they may be following. Meet your audience on their platforms, dazzle them with all of your interesting and useful content (don’t be afraid to get creative), then gently nudge them towards your online business platforms. Once your ideal audience is active with you on your social sites, it’s much easier to communicate, build on relationships and ultimately get those sales! For a similar article on social media, read and share Content is King and if you have any questions relating to your online presence, contact PPI’s Digital Enablement Specialist Team.
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Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator

March 2, 2022

It’s certainly important to have financial objectives in mind. But just like sports, your client needs to understand where those goal posts are in order to score those important financial goals. Take a moment today to share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your client and help them get started with a game plan to score those triumphant financial goals! If you have any questions about this calculator or how to help your clients reach their financial objectives, please contact your local PPI office.
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Duties of an Executor – What Your Client Should Consider

February 17, 2022

When you or your client are selecting an executor (or liquidator in Quebec), or when your client is deciding whether to act as an executor or liquidator, it is important to consider the duties and responsibilities that this would entail, and whether you or the person you are considering have the ability and desire to perform the functions. This decision gets more complicated where the assets in question include business assets or assets in other jurisdictions. Beyond having the administrative duties that will be discussed below, an executor is a fiduciary who has moral and ethical duties to act honestly, reasonably and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The executor holds the estate “in trust” for the beneficiaries and must be impartial, avoid conflict of interests, not comingle estate property with their own, or use estate property personally. An executor is typically expected to complete the administration of the estate within one year (often called the “executor’s year”), but this may not be possible for complex estates or estates subject to litigation. An executor can be compensated, and the amount may be stated in the will; in the absence of a remuneration clause in the will, executor compensation may still be paid but may be subject to court approval. If a trust company is selected as an executor, fees will typically be charged based on a fee agreement prepared at the time the will is executed. Trust companies are a good option for complex and/or estates that may be ongoing for a period of years. Duties of an executor So, what are the main duties of an executor? While not an exhaustive list, some of the key duties include: Locating the will Arranging the funeral Probating the will Locating the beneficiaries Ascertaining all the estate assets and preserving them until sold or distributed to the beneficiaries Determining the deceased’s liabilities (known and potential) Filing tax returns and distributing bequests Let’s take a brief look at some points to consider with respect to each of these: Locate the will – in many cases, the will is retained by the lawyer who prepared the will but sometimes the client retains the will.  If this is the case, hopefully the deceased has informed the executor as to its location – maybe a safe or filing cabinet in the deceased’s home or maybe a safety deposit box (which could cause issues since the financial institution may require a probated will to grant authority to access the safety deposit box). Funeral – The executor should review the will or any letter of wishes to determine whether funeral arrangements have already been made or whether there are any specific instructions. The funeral is the executor’s responsibility, and they must ensure that the funeral expenses are paid even though, where the executor is not a family member, the family will likely take the lead in the planning. If the executor doesn’t have access to bank accounts of the deceased’s estate yet, they can sometimes get the necessary funds from a beneficiary or pay the amount themselves and get reimbursed later from the estate (or sometimes from the Canada Pension Plan death benefit). Probate – Most provinces have some version of probate fees. There are provincial forms that must be completed and getting legal advice for obtaining probate is often needed. Probate is necessary to prove that the executor has the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. Probate fees and laws vary by province. In some provinces, multiple wills are used to reduce probate by segregating assets that require probate (such as non-registered investment funds and bank deposits) from those that do not require probate (such as private corporation shares). This strategy is most often used in B.C. and Ontario. There are certain assets that are not subject to probate because they do not pass to the estate. These include proceeds from life insurance policies or registered plans paid to a named beneficiary and jointly-owned property that passes by right of survivorship. For a summary of probate rules in each province, review question 10 for the relevant province in PPI’s Reference Guide to Provincial Wills and Estate Law in Canada. Locate and deal with beneficiaries – Locating beneficiaries should generally be simple, especially where one or more family members are acting as executor. It can, however, be difficult in some cases if there are minors, those who lack legal capacity, non-residents or children of unmarried parents who may not be known to rest of the family. Beneficiaries are owed a fiduciary duty and can therefore challenge an executor’s actions and fees. Disputes among beneficiaries can arise, which can put the executor in a difficult position and, on occasion, in the middle of litigation. Regular ongoing communication with the beneficiaries is recommended to avoid questions and challenges in the future. Ascertain assets – This task can be the most time consuming. Usually, the largest asset of the estate is the deceased’s house. Unless the house has passed by right of survivorship, the executor’s job is to ensure both the house and its contents are secure. This usually means creating an inventory of the contents, making sure there is adequate property insurance and possibly changing the locks. The executor should locate banking information and notify banks and other financial institutions about the death, which usually means providing a probated will and death certificate. The executor may also need to ascertain the deceased’s digital assets, which may require determining passwords! For more information on digital assets and what they are, read this article, Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets, and watch this short video SMART TALK… about digital assets. If the deceased had business assets, then the job of executor just got more complex. Hopefully the deceased had a succession plan in place for the business. In this case, the executor should consult the deceased’s professional advisors regarding the plan, and also discuss possible post-mortem tax planning. If not, the executor will have to implement a plan to manage the business interests as soon as possible. Advice of professional advisors will be paramount. Determine liabilities – The deceased’s old tax returns should be located to determine what has been filed and if there are any outstanding taxes. Canada Revenue Agency has some resources that are helpful including What to Do Following a Death and What to Do When Someone has Died. In addition, the executor should consult tax advisors regarding post-mortem planning, graduated rate estate status and filing additional terminal year returns. The other known liabilities like mortgages, promissory notes, funeral debts, etc. must also be determined. The executor should ascertain if there are any contingent liabilities such as family law claims. If an executor fails to pay known liabilities, they are personally responsible; therefore, it is prudent for executors to advertise to notify potential creditors. Distribute estate property – The deceased’s will sometimes contains bequests to beneficiaries, after which the residue is distributed to the residual beneficiaries. Sometimes assets are left in trusts for beneficiaries and the executor may be the trustee for these ongoing trusts or other individuals may be named as trustees. If there are illiquid and liquid assets, this can lead to beneficiary disputes. The executor may have to liquidate certain assets in order to make distributions to the beneficiaries. With respect to personal assets, hopefully the deceased’s will describes how they are to be distributed. If not, the executor will have to determine a process for beneficiaries to claim personal assets – this is often the most emotional process and disputes between beneficiaries often arise that the executor must be prepared to handle. Before making the final distribution from the estate, the executor should get a tax clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (and Revenue Quebec). The certificate ensures that the executor is not personally liable for any unpaid taxes or other amounts under the Income Tax Act (or the Taxation Act of Quebec). In addition, the executor should get a written release from the beneficiaries that they have received their full share of the estate. In some cases, it is necessary to get a court-approved passing of accounts to approve estate distribution and executor’s compensation. Again, legal advice should be obtained. An executor’s commitment Being appointed as an executor to someone’s will, is in fact a privilege and shows the great respect and faith that person has in your client and their ability to fulfill their final wishes. It also comes with a lot of responsibility, can be emotionally draining and, as can be seen from the duties outlined above, can be a significant time commitment for your client. For smaller or simpler estates where family members are the executors and the beneficiaries, the role may not be as complex or time consuming, but even with smaller estates emotions can run high with respect to certain assets. Communication between the proposed executor and the person preparing their will is important so that the testator’s wishes are fully understood. Communication with the beneficiaries during the planning stage is recommended as a means of reducing potential disagreements after death. And of course, professional advice is paramount.
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Debt Consolidation Calculator

February 9, 2022

Just like we purge our cupboards and closets during Spring cleaning to make our day-to-day life more manageable, your client can now organize their debt in a way that makes their monthly budget far more manageable. So, go on and share this Debt Consolidation Calculator with your clients and help them pave the way to financial security and freedom. If you have any questions about this calculator or other debt consolidation strategies, please contact your local PPI office.
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Exploring Your Client’s Life Insurance Options

February 2, 2022

All life insurance plans start with the same basic precept. Your client policyholder pays a premium in exchange for a tax-free lump sum benefit that’s payable to their selected beneficiaries upon their death. But there’s more! Because life insurance enjoys favourable tax treatment under the Income Tax Act1, it’s a valuable financial instrument that can do more than just pay a lump sum death benefit. Most Insurers design plans that offer features and benefits — added value for consumers that comes at a premium. We’ve made it simple for your prospects and clients to check out the basic life insurance options with a new tool, Exploring Your Life Insurance Options.  Be sure to share it with them to enhance your next conversation about the option that’s best for their circumstances. If you have any questions about the many benefits of life insurance, please contact your local PPI office. Along with the tax-free death benefit, the tax treatment of Canadian exempt life insurance policies includes tax-deferred accumulation. When there is a disposition of the life insurance policy (for instance on withdrawal, surrender, or policy loan) or when a dividend is paid to the policyholder, taxation may apply.
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Can Life Insurance Premiums Be Deductible?

January 26, 2022

Did you know that life insurance premiums can be deductible? Yes, they sure can in limited circumstances. We all know that life insurance proceeds are received tax-free on death, so it is commonly understood that the payment of the insurance premium would not be deductible. This statement is true for both personally and corporately owned life insurance polices except when the insurance is assigned as collateral for a loan.  Sounds great, however certain requirements must be met in order to receive the deduction, including that the owner and borrower must be the same person and the assignment of the loan must be a requirement of the lender and not just a mere accommodation. If all the requirements are met, then the lesser of the premiums paid and the net cost of pure insurance are deductible. Another question that is often asked when a corporate-owned life insurance policy is collaterally assigned for a loan is whether the insurance proceeds (less the adjusted cost basis of the policy) can be added to the capital dividend account if the insurance proceeds must first be used to pay off the loan. Fortunately, the answer to this question is a resounding YES for both conventional insurance and creditor insurance. If you want more information on the deduction of premiums and the addition to the capital dividend account when there is collateral life insurance, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Collateral Insurance, When are life insurance premiums tax deductible?, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have any other questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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The Loan Calculator

January 19, 2022

Debt. It’s stressful for everyone and nobody wants to carry it for any longer than they absolutely must. So how can you help your client lighten their debt load? Well, when it comes to debt-reduction, the old saying “every little bit counts” may just be the answer. This Loan Calculator will help you and your client determine a good loan rate in no time. In fact, your client will even be able to measure what it’s worth to them in interest savings to divvy up their loan payments and increase their payment frequency, paying a little bit weekly instead of a lot monthly. It also allows your client to ascertain what their finances would look like if they increased those payments by even just a little bit… because every little bit counts! So be sure to share this Loan Calculator with your clients to guide them in better debt-reduction and savings! If you have any questions or would like to know more about the many PPI tools at your disposal, contact your local PPI office.
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How Much Should My Client Contribute to Their RRSP?

January 12, 2022

Figuring out how much to contribute to your RRSP is important. If your client does it right, they can maximize their tax savings now, while setting themselves up for a good income after retirement. If they do it wrong, they could find themselves paying more taxes than they have to. Luckily, planning how much to contribute to an RRSP isn’t complicated — once your client understands all the moving parts. In this post, we’ll go over everything your client needs to know to plan their RRSP contributions and maximize their tax advantages. Who can contribute to an RRSP? Your client can contribute to an RRSP if they: Have earned income Have a social insurance number Filed a tax return Have RRSP contribution room available Are under 71. The end of the year that they turn 71 is their last opportunity to contribute. The 2021 RRSP contribution & deduction limit There’s a limit to how much your client can contribute to their RRSP and it changes each year. For the 2021 tax year, they can contribute up to 18% of the earned income they reported for last year’s taxes (2020 tax filing), or $27,830 — whichever is less. Fortunately, they’re able to beef up their 2021 contributions even after the calendar turns. The deadline to contribute to their RRSP for the 2021 tax year is March 1, 2022. Remember, even if your client misses the deadline, unused RRSP room carries forward and adds up. If they haven’t maxed out their account in previous years, they should have a considerable amount of space available to them. How much should your client contribute to their RRSP? When your client contributes to an RRSP, they’re investing towards a better quality of life for their future self. So if they have money to contribute, it’s almost always a good idea to do so. Generally speaking, they should aim to contribute at least 10% of their gross income each year to their retirement savings. If they start contributing in their early 20s, that 10% per year could add up to a sizeable savings and a comfortable retirement. If they start later in life — say, their late 30s — and 10% a year may not cut it. To see how much money your client can expect in the future from their invested contributions, have them check out this RRSP tax savings calculator. Find the right number with a financial plan Keep in mind, these numbers are just general guidelines. Ultimately, the only way for your client to know if they are contributing enough is for them to build a financial plan that accounts for when they plan to retire, all of the different income sources and savings they expect to have, and how much they plan to spend each year. With that information, they can work backwards and figure out whether they’re saving too much or too little. When your client shouldn’t contribute to an RRSP There are a few instances when your client may be better off not contributing to their RRSP, and instead putting their money elsewhere. Here are a few examples: If they have high interest debt, such as a credit card balance. Paying down that debt should take priority. If their tax bracket is the same or lower than the tax bracket they’re expecting to be in during retirement. In that case, their money may be better off saved in a TFSA until they’re in a higher tax bracket. If they’re in a lower tax bracket now, but expect it to increase in the short-term. Say they’re expecting a big raise next year, they might want to use a TFSA for the time being. We have a great article that compares RRSPs vs TFSAs, and when your client should choose one account over the other. How to figure out your client’s RRSP contribution limit For your client to see their current RRSP contribution limit, including value carried forward, have them look at their most recent notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). They get this notice of assessment after filing their tax return. They can also view their limit using CRA’s My Account. (If they don’t already have a log in, they should get one – it will make their life much easier come tax time.) RRSP contributions & pension adjustments If your client pays into an employer plan such as a pension, that might impact their limit. Their Notice of Assessment from the CRA will show them how their pension adjustment affects their RRSP contribution limit. Here are some of the ways their employer plan can impact their RRSP limits: Pension adjustments and your client’s RRSP contribution limit: If your client belongs to a pension plan through their employer or union, the amount they can contribute to their RRSP is decreased. If your client has a defined benefit plan, the CRA will estimate the value of the benefit your client earned over the course of the prior year. If your client has a defined contribution or deferred profit sharing plan, the adjustment is the total amount they and their employer contributed during the prior year. Their Notice of Assessment from the CRA will show them how their pension adjustment affects their RRSP contribution limit. How to contribute to an RRSP There are two approaches to planning RRSP contributions: Short term and long term. With the short-term approach, your client contributes as much to their RRSP as possible every year in order to get the biggest tax deduction they can. This may benefit them now, but in retirement it could cost them. Once your client turns 71 — or sooner, if they decide — they’ll need to convert their RRSP into a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). At that point, they’ll be forced to withdraw a minimum amount from their RRIF each year as income. The more money they contribute towards their RRSP today, the more they’ll have to withdraw later. Keep in mind, if your client’s minimum withdrawal amount ends up being more than they actually need to maintain their lifestyle in retirement, that extra income will put them in a higher tax bracket, so a bigger chunk of their savings will go to taxes. The long-term approach looks at your client’s needs now, and their needs after retirement. That means figuring out what their living expenses will be after retirement, and saving enough in order to meet them — no more, no less. (For the sake of planning, retirement lasts until you turn 100). Any savings in excess of that should go into a TFSA. When your client withdraws the money from a TFSA, it won’t be taxed — meaning they’ll remain in a lower tax bracket after retirement. It’s better not to get overtaxed in the first place. That’s where automatic deposits come in. Automatic RRSP contributions The best way for your client to save consistently is to automate deposits to their RRSP on a regular basis, lined up with their payroll. That way, as soon as money comes in, some goes out to savings. If your client starts making more money, they should make an adjustment to their savings to keep on track. Ask your client to review the amount they’re contributing every couple of years, or when they get a major salary increase. How I maximize the benefit of my RRSP? Optimizing RRSP contributions For most of us, saving too much money for retirement seems like a great problem to have. Still, considering that an RRSP will be taxed on withdrawal, it is possible for your client to save more than they need. To maximize tax savings over a lifetime, here are a few things that your client should consider: Make sure that your client’s marginal tax rate when they contribute is higher than their average tax rate in retirement. They can find their marginal tax rate here can help them determine the best account type for them. Your client should only save enough in their RRSP to support their lifestyle until age 100 (at the latest). If your client is looking to leave an inheritance for their kids or other loved ones, there may be better ways to do so than through an RRSP, given the taxes. Ask them to consider using a TFSAor non-registered account instead. If your client has saved too much in their RRSP and now their RRIF is providing more income than they need, they should save the extra money coming from their RRIF in a TFSA or non-registered account. Having your client keep all of this in mind when planning their RRSP contributions will help them get the most out of their money. That way, they’ll pay the least taxes over their lifetime. Avoid RRSP tax penalties What happens if your client goes over their RRSP contribution room? Good news: The CRA gives them a $2,000 cushion for over contributing to their RRSP. So, your client can contribute up to $2,000 over the annual maximum limit without being penalized. Some people like to intentionally use that $2,000 as “extra space” to contribute more money to their RRSP. We don’t recommend it. Once your client uses up that $2,000 there’s no room for error. Any overpayment will cost them. The penalty for overpaying an RRSP is 1% per month for any amount exceeding the $2,000 cushion you’re your client overpays by accident, exceeding the $2,000 limit, they need to take the extra assets out of their RRSP as soon as possible. Once they’re withdrawn, the CRA will stop charging a 1% monthly penalty on them. How to claim an RRSP tax deduction Reporting an RRSP contribution as a deductible expense is fairly straightforward. If your client is filing taxes online and have linked their tax return to their My CRA account, their 2021 contributions should show up automatically on line 208 of their tax return. Otherwise, their financial institution will send them contribution receipts for any contributions they make before the March 1 deadline. They can add these numbers manually. Keep in mind your client doesn’t need the actual contribution receipts to file their taxes — they just need to add up the amount they contributed and report the total. Just have them keep the receipts handy for future reference in case they are ever audited. Deferring RRSP deductions Your client doesn’t actually have to deduct everything they contributed to their RRSP this year. Any contributions they don’t deduct this year become “unused contributions”. They carry forward into the following year, when they’ll have the option to deduct them again. They’ll need to report these as unused contributions on their tax return. Contributed assets will still grow in your client’s RRSP account — they just won’t see any savings for them in the tax year they made them. Why defer RRSP deductions? Doing so can sometimes help your client maximize their tax savings. For instance, if your client expects their income to increase in the future, and their tax bracket along with it, waiting to deduct RRSP contributions until that time can help them maximize tax savings. Similarly, if your client’s tax bracket is lower now than it will be in retirement, they might hold off on making contributions and instead invest through a TFSA. What to do with a tax return When your client claims their RRSP contributions, they can expect to get a bigger tax refund. This happens because the government collected too much income tax from them, and now they’re paying back the difference. It isn’t a free paycheque. RRSPs are just one part of your client’s retirement income When calculating the right amount to contribute, it’s helpful to consider whether your client can expect to receive additional income in retirement from sources other than their RRSP (which will be converted to a RRIF). Their retirement income may include money from: the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), any other pension plans they are a member of, Old Age Security (OAS), and any businesses they may be running post-retirement. Let’s say they’re getting retirement income from their RRSP, as well as CPP and OAS payments. And they’re also selling vintage 2021s fashion on Etsy. Their income each year will look like this: Example RRIF + OAS + CPP + Etsy = Retirement Income Suppose your client’s Etsy store does really well — today’s young people are crazy about the clothes their grandparents wore back in the 2010s. It could be the case that their income adds up to an even bigger paycheque than they were earning before they retired, pushing them back into a higher tax bracket. Suddenly, their tax savings are nil. For a similar article on RRSP by CI Direct Investing, read What Is an RRSP and How Does It Work? and When’s the RRSP Contribution Deadline? Key Dates You Need to Know. Also, be sure to share the client-friendly version of these articles with your clients because knowledge is key! For more information on the many benefits of RRSPS, contact PPI’s Wealth Management team. Reposted with permission from CI Direct Investing.
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The Ultimate Planning Tool

January 5, 2022

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. For more information on the benefits of permanent life insurance, contact your local PPI office.
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Recent Articles

Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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More Articles

What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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How to Build Your Online Social Network

March 9, 2022

We live in a new world – COVID-19 has forced many of us to think about how we connect with others and find new ways to engage with family, friends, co-workers and clients. Undeniably, the digital era is now upon us and finding success may be the difference between embracing technology versus thwarting it. As an advisor, it’s crucial for you to have and maintain an active online presence in order to promote your business and showcase who you are and what you stand for. But how do you build the RIGHT network of followers – that ideal group of clients who are interested in what you have to offer and are willing to engage with you? Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind: Know Your Audience It’s imperative that you understand your client. Who are you speaking to? What are their fears and goals? What keeps them up at night? In order for you to swoop in and provide your financial expertise, you first need to understand what problem your client is trying to solve. Once you have a better understanding of your target client, you will be able to speak to them in a relevant manner and provide them with the valuable solutions they are seeking to their problems. Engage and Build Relationships Just as you would at a networking event or during a face-to-face conversation, it’s important to actively engage with your audience online. Yes, it’s an online connection, but it’s still a relationship that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and strengthened on an ongoing basis. Your online audience needs to feel like they know you, like you and trust you enough to come to you with their insurance or investment needs. Be sure to engage consistently with your online audience in order to make them feel both heard and understood. Provide Value Today, we are bombarded with online information and messaging – it’s overwhelming and quite noisy! This means it’s up to you to cut through all that noise and provide potential clients with useful content – content that is informational, educational, valuable and reliable. This makes you indispensable and that is exactly where you want to be – an indispensable expert in your field ready to provide real solutions to your clients’ problems. Be Proactive You cannot expect your audience to come to you; unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this way on social media. Instead, you are going to need to reach out and engage with your ideal client audience where they are on social media. Find out where your audience is active on social media (rule #1 – know your audience) – you can do this in a variety of ways including on their profile, within similar interest groups or by searching relevant hashtags that they may be following. Meet your audience on their platforms, dazzle them with all of your interesting and useful content (don’t be afraid to get creative), then gently nudge them towards your online business platforms. Once your ideal audience is active with you on your social sites, it’s much easier to communicate, build on relationships and ultimately get those sales! For a similar article on social media, read and share Content is King and if you have any questions relating to your online presence, contact PPI’s Digital Enablement Specialist Team.
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Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator

March 2, 2022

It’s certainly important to have financial objectives in mind. But just like sports, your client needs to understand where those goal posts are in order to score those important financial goals. Take a moment today to share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your client and help them get started with a game plan to score those triumphant financial goals! If you have any questions about this calculator or how to help your clients reach their financial objectives, please contact your local PPI office.
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Duties of an Executor – What Your Client Should Consider

February 17, 2022

When you or your client are selecting an executor (or liquidator in Quebec), or when your client is deciding whether to act as an executor or liquidator, it is important to consider the duties and responsibilities that this would entail, and whether you or the person you are considering have the ability and desire to perform the functions. This decision gets more complicated where the assets in question include business assets or assets in other jurisdictions. Beyond having the administrative duties that will be discussed below, an executor is a fiduciary who has moral and ethical duties to act honestly, reasonably and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The executor holds the estate “in trust” for the beneficiaries and must be impartial, avoid conflict of interests, not comingle estate property with their own, or use estate property personally. An executor is typically expected to complete the administration of the estate within one year (often called the “executor’s year”), but this may not be possible for complex estates or estates subject to litigation. An executor can be compensated, and the amount may be stated in the will; in the absence of a remuneration clause in the will, executor compensation may still be paid but may be subject to court approval. If a trust company is selected as an executor, fees will typically be charged based on a fee agreement prepared at the time the will is executed. Trust companies are a good option for complex and/or estates that may be ongoing for a period of years. Duties of an executor So, what are the main duties of an executor? While not an exhaustive list, some of the key duties include: Locating the will Arranging the funeral Probating the will Locating the beneficiaries Ascertaining all the estate assets and preserving them until sold or distributed to the beneficiaries Determining the deceased’s liabilities (known and potential) Filing tax returns and distributing bequests Let’s take a brief look at some points to consider with respect to each of these: Locate the will – in many cases, the will is retained by the lawyer who prepared the will but sometimes the client retains the will.  If this is the case, hopefully the deceased has informed the executor as to its location – maybe a safe or filing cabinet in the deceased’s home or maybe a safety deposit box (which could cause issues since the financial institution may require a probated will to grant authority to access the safety deposit box). Funeral – The executor should review the will or any letter of wishes to determine whether funeral arrangements have already been made or whether there are any specific instructions. The funeral is the executor’s responsibility, and they must ensure that the funeral expenses are paid even though, where the executor is not a family member, the family will likely take the lead in the planning. If the executor doesn’t have access to bank accounts of the deceased’s estate yet, they can sometimes get the necessary funds from a beneficiary or pay the amount themselves and get reimbursed later from the estate (or sometimes from the Canada Pension Plan death benefit). Probate – Most provinces have some version of probate fees. There are provincial forms that must be completed and getting legal advice for obtaining probate is often needed. Probate is necessary to prove that the executor has the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. Probate fees and laws vary by province. In some provinces, multiple wills are used to reduce probate by segregating assets that require probate (such as non-registered investment funds and bank deposits) from those that do not require probate (such as private corporation shares). This strategy is most often used in B.C. and Ontario. There are certain assets that are not subject to probate because they do not pass to the estate. These include proceeds from life insurance policies or registered plans paid to a named beneficiary and jointly-owned property that passes by right of survivorship. For a summary of probate rules in each province, review question 10 for the relevant province in PPI’s Reference Guide to Provincial Wills and Estate Law in Canada. Locate and deal with beneficiaries – Locating beneficiaries should generally be simple, especially where one or more family members are acting as executor. It can, however, be difficult in some cases if there are minors, those who lack legal capacity, non-residents or children of unmarried parents who may not be known to rest of the family. Beneficiaries are owed a fiduciary duty and can therefore challenge an executor’s actions and fees. Disputes among beneficiaries can arise, which can put the executor in a difficult position and, on occasion, in the middle of litigation. Regular ongoing communication with the beneficiaries is recommended to avoid questions and challenges in the future. Ascertain assets – This task can be the most time consuming. Usually, the largest asset of the estate is the deceased’s house. Unless the house has passed by right of survivorship, the executor’s job is to ensure both the house and its contents are secure. This usually means creating an inventory of the contents, making sure there is adequate property insurance and possibly changing the locks. The executor should locate banking information and notify banks and other financial institutions about the death, which usually means providing a probated will and death certificate. The executor may also need to ascertain the deceased’s digital assets, which may require determining passwords! For more information on digital assets and what they are, read this article, Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets, and watch this short video SMART TALK… about digital assets. If the deceased had business assets, then the job of executor just got more complex. Hopefully the deceased had a succession plan in place for the business. In this case, the executor should consult the deceased’s professional advisors regarding the plan, and also discuss possible post-mortem tax planning. If not, the executor will have to implement a plan to manage the business interests as soon as possible. Advice of professional advisors will be paramount. Determine liabilities – The deceased’s old tax returns should be located to determine what has been filed and if there are any outstanding taxes. Canada Revenue Agency has some resources that are helpful including What to Do Following a Death and What to Do When Someone has Died. In addition, the executor should consult tax advisors regarding post-mortem planning, graduated rate estate status and filing additional terminal year returns. The other known liabilities like mortgages, promissory notes, funeral debts, etc. must also be determined. The executor should ascertain if there are any contingent liabilities such as family law claims. If an executor fails to pay known liabilities, they are personally responsible; therefore, it is prudent for executors to advertise to notify potential creditors. Distribute estate property – The deceased’s will sometimes contains bequests to beneficiaries, after which the residue is distributed to the residual beneficiaries. Sometimes assets are left in trusts for beneficiaries and the executor may be the trustee for these ongoing trusts or other individuals may be named as trustees. If there are illiquid and liquid assets, this can lead to beneficiary disputes. The executor may have to liquidate certain assets in order to make distributions to the beneficiaries. With respect to personal assets, hopefully the deceased’s will describes how they are to be distributed. If not, the executor will have to determine a process for beneficiaries to claim personal assets – this is often the most emotional process and disputes between beneficiaries often arise that the executor must be prepared to handle. Before making the final distribution from the estate, the executor should get a tax clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (and Revenue Quebec). The certificate ensures that the executor is not personally liable for any unpaid taxes or other amounts under the Income Tax Act (or the Taxation Act of Quebec). In addition, the executor should get a written release from the beneficiaries that they have received their full share of the estate. In some cases, it is necessary to get a court-approved passing of accounts to approve estate distribution and executor’s compensation. Again, legal advice should be obtained. An executor’s commitment Being appointed as an executor to someone’s will, is in fact a privilege and shows the great respect and faith that person has in your client and their ability to fulfill their final wishes. It also comes with a lot of responsibility, can be emotionally draining and, as can be seen from the duties outlined above, can be a significant time commitment for your client. For smaller or simpler estates where family members are the executors and the beneficiaries, the role may not be as complex or time consuming, but even with smaller estates emotions can run high with respect to certain assets. Communication between the proposed executor and the person preparing their will is important so that the testator’s wishes are fully understood. Communication with the beneficiaries during the planning stage is recommended as a means of reducing potential disagreements after death. And of course, professional advice is paramount.
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Debt Consolidation Calculator

February 9, 2022

Just like we purge our cupboards and closets during Spring cleaning to make our day-to-day life more manageable, your client can now organize their debt in a way that makes their monthly budget far more manageable. So, go on and share this Debt Consolidation Calculator with your clients and help them pave the way to financial security and freedom. If you have any questions about this calculator or other debt consolidation strategies, please contact your local PPI office.
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Exploring Your Client’s Life Insurance Options

February 2, 2022

All life insurance plans start with the same basic precept. Your client policyholder pays a premium in exchange for a tax-free lump sum benefit that’s payable to their selected beneficiaries upon their death. But there’s more! Because life insurance enjoys favourable tax treatment under the Income Tax Act1, it’s a valuable financial instrument that can do more than just pay a lump sum death benefit. Most Insurers design plans that offer features and benefits — added value for consumers that comes at a premium. We’ve made it simple for your prospects and clients to check out the basic life insurance options with a new tool, Exploring Your Life Insurance Options.  Be sure to share it with them to enhance your next conversation about the option that’s best for their circumstances. If you have any questions about the many benefits of life insurance, please contact your local PPI office. Along with the tax-free death benefit, the tax treatment of Canadian exempt life insurance policies includes tax-deferred accumulation. When there is a disposition of the life insurance policy (for instance on withdrawal, surrender, or policy loan) or when a dividend is paid to the policyholder, taxation may apply.
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Can Life Insurance Premiums Be Deductible?

January 26, 2022

Did you know that life insurance premiums can be deductible? Yes, they sure can in limited circumstances. We all know that life insurance proceeds are received tax-free on death, so it is commonly understood that the payment of the insurance premium would not be deductible. This statement is true for both personally and corporately owned life insurance polices except when the insurance is assigned as collateral for a loan.  Sounds great, however certain requirements must be met in order to receive the deduction, including that the owner and borrower must be the same person and the assignment of the loan must be a requirement of the lender and not just a mere accommodation. If all the requirements are met, then the lesser of the premiums paid and the net cost of pure insurance are deductible. Another question that is often asked when a corporate-owned life insurance policy is collaterally assigned for a loan is whether the insurance proceeds (less the adjusted cost basis of the policy) can be added to the capital dividend account if the insurance proceeds must first be used to pay off the loan. Fortunately, the answer to this question is a resounding YES for both conventional insurance and creditor insurance. If you want more information on the deduction of premiums and the addition to the capital dividend account when there is collateral life insurance, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Collateral Insurance, When are life insurance premiums tax deductible?, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have any other questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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The Loan Calculator

January 19, 2022

Debt. It’s stressful for everyone and nobody wants to carry it for any longer than they absolutely must. So how can you help your client lighten their debt load? Well, when it comes to debt-reduction, the old saying “every little bit counts” may just be the answer. This Loan Calculator will help you and your client determine a good loan rate in no time. In fact, your client will even be able to measure what it’s worth to them in interest savings to divvy up their loan payments and increase their payment frequency, paying a little bit weekly instead of a lot monthly. It also allows your client to ascertain what their finances would look like if they increased those payments by even just a little bit… because every little bit counts! So be sure to share this Loan Calculator with your clients to guide them in better debt-reduction and savings! If you have any questions or would like to know more about the many PPI tools at your disposal, contact your local PPI office.
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How Much Should My Client Contribute to Their RRSP?

January 12, 2022

Figuring out how much to contribute to your RRSP is important. If your client does it right, they can maximize their tax savings now, while setting themselves up for a good income after retirement. If they do it wrong, they could find themselves paying more taxes than they have to. Luckily, planning how much to contribute to an RRSP isn’t complicated — once your client understands all the moving parts. In this post, we’ll go over everything your client needs to know to plan their RRSP contributions and maximize their tax advantages. Who can contribute to an RRSP? Your client can contribute to an RRSP if they: Have earned income Have a social insurance number Filed a tax return Have RRSP contribution room available Are under 71. The end of the year that they turn 71 is their last opportunity to contribute. The 2021 RRSP contribution & deduction limit There’s a limit to how much your client can contribute to their RRSP and it changes each year. For the 2021 tax year, they can contribute up to 18% of the earned income they reported for last year’s taxes (2020 tax filing), or $27,830 — whichever is less. Fortunately, they’re able to beef up their 2021 contributions even after the calendar turns. The deadline to contribute to their RRSP for the 2021 tax year is March 1, 2022. Remember, even if your client misses the deadline, unused RRSP room carries forward and adds up. If they haven’t maxed out their account in previous years, they should have a considerable amount of space available to them. How much should your client contribute to their RRSP? When your client contributes to an RRSP, they’re investing towards a better quality of life for their future self. So if they have money to contribute, it’s almost always a good idea to do so. Generally speaking, they should aim to contribute at least 10% of their gross income each year to their retirement savings. If they start contributing in their early 20s, that 10% per year could add up to a sizeable savings and a comfortable retirement. If they start later in life — say, their late 30s — and 10% a year may not cut it. To see how much money your client can expect in the future from their invested contributions, have them check out this RRSP tax savings calculator. Find the right number with a financial plan Keep in mind, these numbers are just general guidelines. Ultimately, the only way for your client to know if they are contributing enough is for them to build a financial plan that accounts for when they plan to retire, all of the different income sources and savings they expect to have, and how much they plan to spend each year. With that information, they can work backwards and figure out whether they’re saving too much or too little. When your client shouldn’t contribute to an RRSP There are a few instances when your client may be better off not contributing to their RRSP, and instead putting their money elsewhere. Here are a few examples: If they have high interest debt, such as a credit card balance. Paying down that debt should take priority. If their tax bracket is the same or lower than the tax bracket they’re expecting to be in during retirement. In that case, their money may be better off saved in a TFSA until they’re in a higher tax bracket. If they’re in a lower tax bracket now, but expect it to increase in the short-term. Say they’re expecting a big raise next year, they might want to use a TFSA for the time being. We have a great article that compares RRSPs vs TFSAs, and when your client should choose one account over the other. How to figure out your client’s RRSP contribution limit For your client to see their current RRSP contribution limit, including value carried forward, have them look at their most recent notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). They get this notice of assessment after filing their tax return. They can also view their limit using CRA’s My Account. (If they don’t already have a log in, they should get one – it will make their life much easier come tax time.) RRSP contributions & pension adjustments If your client pays into an employer plan such as a pension, that might impact their limit. Their Notice of Assessment from the CRA will show them how their pension adjustment affects their RRSP contribution limit. Here are some of the ways their employer plan can impact their RRSP limits: Pension adjustments and your client’s RRSP contribution limit: If your client belongs to a pension plan through their employer or union, the amount they can contribute to their RRSP is decreased. If your client has a defined benefit plan, the CRA will estimate the value of the benefit your client earned over the course of the prior year. If your client has a defined contribution or deferred profit sharing plan, the adjustment is the total amount they and their employer contributed during the prior year. Their Notice of Assessment from the CRA will show them how their pension adjustment affects their RRSP contribution limit. How to contribute to an RRSP There are two approaches to planning RRSP contributions: Short term and long term. With the short-term approach, your client contributes as much to their RRSP as possible every year in order to get the biggest tax deduction they can. This may benefit them now, but in retirement it could cost them. Once your client turns 71 — or sooner, if they decide — they’ll need to convert their RRSP into a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). At that point, they’ll be forced to withdraw a minimum amount from their RRIF each year as income. The more money they contribute towards their RRSP today, the more they’ll have to withdraw later. Keep in mind, if your client’s minimum withdrawal amount ends up being more than they actually need to maintain their lifestyle in retirement, that extra income will put them in a higher tax bracket, so a bigger chunk of their savings will go to taxes. The long-term approach looks at your client’s needs now, and their needs after retirement. That means figuring out what their living expenses will be after retirement, and saving enough in order to meet them — no more, no less. (For the sake of planning, retirement lasts until you turn 100). Any savings in excess of that should go into a TFSA. When your client withdraws the money from a TFSA, it won’t be taxed — meaning they’ll remain in a lower tax bracket after retirement. It’s better not to get overtaxed in the first place. That’s where automatic deposits come in. Automatic RRSP contributions The best way for your client to save consistently is to automate deposits to their RRSP on a regular basis, lined up with their payroll. That way, as soon as money comes in, some goes out to savings. If your client starts making more money, they should make an adjustment to their savings to keep on track. Ask your client to review the amount they’re contributing every couple of years, or when they get a major salary increase. How I maximize the benefit of my RRSP? Optimizing RRSP contributions For most of us, saving too much money for retirement seems like a great problem to have. Still, considering that an RRSP will be taxed on withdrawal, it is possible for your client to save more than they need. To maximize tax savings over a lifetime, here are a few things that your client should consider: Make sure that your client’s marginal tax rate when they contribute is higher than their average tax rate in retirement. They can find their marginal tax rate here can help them determine the best account type for them. Your client should only save enough in their RRSP to support their lifestyle until age 100 (at the latest). If your client is looking to leave an inheritance for their kids or other loved ones, there may be better ways to do so than through an RRSP, given the taxes. Ask them to consider using a TFSAor non-registered account instead. If your client has saved too much in their RRSP and now their RRIF is providing more income than they need, they should save the extra money coming from their RRIF in a TFSA or non-registered account. Having your client keep all of this in mind when planning their RRSP contributions will help them get the most out of their money. That way, they’ll pay the least taxes over their lifetime. Avoid RRSP tax penalties What happens if your client goes over their RRSP contribution room? Good news: The CRA gives them a $2,000 cushion for over contributing to their RRSP. So, your client can contribute up to $2,000 over the annual maximum limit without being penalized. Some people like to intentionally use that $2,000 as “extra space” to contribute more money to their RRSP. We don’t recommend it. Once your client uses up that $2,000 there’s no room for error. Any overpayment will cost them. The penalty for overpaying an RRSP is 1% per month for any amount exceeding the $2,000 cushion you’re your client overpays by accident, exceeding the $2,000 limit, they need to take the extra assets out of their RRSP as soon as possible. Once they’re withdrawn, the CRA will stop charging a 1% monthly penalty on them. How to claim an RRSP tax deduction Reporting an RRSP contribution as a deductible expense is fairly straightforward. If your client is filing taxes online and have linked their tax return to their My CRA account, their 2021 contributions should show up automatically on line 208 of their tax return. Otherwise, their financial institution will send them contribution receipts for any contributions they make before the March 1 deadline. They can add these numbers manually. Keep in mind your client doesn’t need the actual contribution receipts to file their taxes — they just need to add up the amount they contributed and report the total. Just have them keep the receipts handy for future reference in case they are ever audited. Deferring RRSP deductions Your client doesn’t actually have to deduct everything they contributed to their RRSP this year. Any contributions they don’t deduct this year become “unused contributions”. They carry forward into the following year, when they’ll have the option to deduct them again. They’ll need to report these as unused contributions on their tax return. Contributed assets will still grow in your client’s RRSP account — they just won’t see any savings for them in the tax year they made them. Why defer RRSP deductions? Doing so can sometimes help your client maximize their tax savings. For instance, if your client expects their income to increase in the future, and their tax bracket along with it, waiting to deduct RRSP contributions until that time can help them maximize tax savings. Similarly, if your client’s tax bracket is lower now than it will be in retirement, they might hold off on making contributions and instead invest through a TFSA. What to do with a tax return When your client claims their RRSP contributions, they can expect to get a bigger tax refund. This happens because the government collected too much income tax from them, and now they’re paying back the difference. It isn’t a free paycheque. RRSPs are just one part of your client’s retirement income When calculating the right amount to contribute, it’s helpful to consider whether your client can expect to receive additional income in retirement from sources other than their RRSP (which will be converted to a RRIF). Their retirement income may include money from: the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), any other pension plans they are a member of, Old Age Security (OAS), and any businesses they may be running post-retirement. Let’s say they’re getting retirement income from their RRSP, as well as CPP and OAS payments. And they’re also selling vintage 2021s fashion on Etsy. Their income each year will look like this: Example RRIF + OAS + CPP + Etsy = Retirement Income Suppose your client’s Etsy store does really well — today’s young people are crazy about the clothes their grandparents wore back in the 2010s. It could be the case that their income adds up to an even bigger paycheque than they were earning before they retired, pushing them back into a higher tax bracket. Suddenly, their tax savings are nil. For a similar article on RRSP by CI Direct Investing, read What Is an RRSP and How Does It Work? and When’s the RRSP Contribution Deadline? Key Dates You Need to Know. Also, be sure to share the client-friendly version of these articles with your clients because knowledge is key! For more information on the many benefits of RRSPS, contact PPI’s Wealth Management team. Reposted with permission from CI Direct Investing.
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The Ultimate Planning Tool

January 5, 2022

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. For more information on the benefits of permanent life insurance, contact your local PPI office.
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Recent Articles

Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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More Articles

To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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How to Build Your Online Social Network

March 9, 2022

We live in a new world – COVID-19 has forced many of us to think about how we connect with others and find new ways to engage with family, friends, co-workers and clients. Undeniably, the digital era is now upon us and finding success may be the difference between embracing technology versus thwarting it. As an advisor, it’s crucial for you to have and maintain an active online presence in order to promote your business and showcase who you are and what you stand for. But how do you build the RIGHT network of followers – that ideal group of clients who are interested in what you have to offer and are willing to engage with you? Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind: Know Your Audience It’s imperative that you understand your client. Who are you speaking to? What are their fears and goals? What keeps them up at night? In order for you to swoop in and provide your financial expertise, you first need to understand what problem your client is trying to solve. Once you have a better understanding of your target client, you will be able to speak to them in a relevant manner and provide them with the valuable solutions they are seeking to their problems. Engage and Build Relationships Just as you would at a networking event or during a face-to-face conversation, it’s important to actively engage with your audience online. Yes, it’s an online connection, but it’s still a relationship that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and strengthened on an ongoing basis. Your online audience needs to feel like they know you, like you and trust you enough to come to you with their insurance or investment needs. Be sure to engage consistently with your online audience in order to make them feel both heard and understood. Provide Value Today, we are bombarded with online information and messaging – it’s overwhelming and quite noisy! This means it’s up to you to cut through all that noise and provide potential clients with useful content – content that is informational, educational, valuable and reliable. This makes you indispensable and that is exactly where you want to be – an indispensable expert in your field ready to provide real solutions to your clients’ problems. Be Proactive You cannot expect your audience to come to you; unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this way on social media. Instead, you are going to need to reach out and engage with your ideal client audience where they are on social media. Find out where your audience is active on social media (rule #1 – know your audience) – you can do this in a variety of ways including on their profile, within similar interest groups or by searching relevant hashtags that they may be following. Meet your audience on their platforms, dazzle them with all of your interesting and useful content (don’t be afraid to get creative), then gently nudge them towards your online business platforms. Once your ideal audience is active with you on your social sites, it’s much easier to communicate, build on relationships and ultimately get those sales! For a similar article on social media, read and share Content is King and if you have any questions relating to your online presence, contact PPI’s Digital Enablement Specialist Team.
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Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator

March 2, 2022

It’s certainly important to have financial objectives in mind. But just like sports, your client needs to understand where those goal posts are in order to score those important financial goals. Take a moment today to share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your client and help them get started with a game plan to score those triumphant financial goals! If you have any questions about this calculator or how to help your clients reach their financial objectives, please contact your local PPI office.
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Duties of an Executor – What Your Client Should Consider

February 17, 2022

When you or your client are selecting an executor (or liquidator in Quebec), or when your client is deciding whether to act as an executor or liquidator, it is important to consider the duties and responsibilities that this would entail, and whether you or the person you are considering have the ability and desire to perform the functions. This decision gets more complicated where the assets in question include business assets or assets in other jurisdictions. Beyond having the administrative duties that will be discussed below, an executor is a fiduciary who has moral and ethical duties to act honestly, reasonably and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The executor holds the estate “in trust” for the beneficiaries and must be impartial, avoid conflict of interests, not comingle estate property with their own, or use estate property personally. An executor is typically expected to complete the administration of the estate within one year (often called the “executor’s year”), but this may not be possible for complex estates or estates subject to litigation. An executor can be compensated, and the amount may be stated in the will; in the absence of a remuneration clause in the will, executor compensation may still be paid but may be subject to court approval. If a trust company is selected as an executor, fees will typically be charged based on a fee agreement prepared at the time the will is executed. Trust companies are a good option for complex and/or estates that may be ongoing for a period of years. Duties of an executor So, what are the main duties of an executor? While not an exhaustive list, some of the key duties include: Locating the will Arranging the funeral Probating the will Locating the beneficiaries Ascertaining all the estate assets and preserving them until sold or distributed to the beneficiaries Determining the deceased’s liabilities (known and potential) Filing tax returns and distributing bequests Let’s take a brief look at some points to consider with respect to each of these: Locate the will – in many cases, the will is retained by the lawyer who prepared the will but sometimes the client retains the will.  If this is the case, hopefully the deceased has informed the executor as to its location – maybe a safe or filing cabinet in the deceased’s home or maybe a safety deposit box (which could cause issues since the financial institution may require a probated will to grant authority to access the safety deposit box). Funeral – The executor should review the will or any letter of wishes to determine whether funeral arrangements have already been made or whether there are any specific instructions. The funeral is the executor’s responsibility, and they must ensure that the funeral expenses are paid even though, where the executor is not a family member, the family will likely take the lead in the planning. If the executor doesn’t have access to bank accounts of the deceased’s estate yet, they can sometimes get the necessary funds from a beneficiary or pay the amount themselves and get reimbursed later from the estate (or sometimes from the Canada Pension Plan death benefit). Probate – Most provinces have some version of probate fees. There are provincial forms that must be completed and getting legal advice for obtaining probate is often needed. Probate is necessary to prove that the executor has the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. Probate fees and laws vary by province. In some provinces, multiple wills are used to reduce probate by segregating assets that require probate (such as non-registered investment funds and bank deposits) from those that do not require probate (such as private corporation shares). This strategy is most often used in B.C. and Ontario. There are certain assets that are not subject to probate because they do not pass to the estate. These include proceeds from life insurance policies or registered plans paid to a named beneficiary and jointly-owned property that passes by right of survivorship. For a summary of probate rules in each province, review question 10 for the relevant province in PPI’s Reference Guide to Provincial Wills and Estate Law in Canada. Locate and deal with beneficiaries – Locating beneficiaries should generally be simple, especially where one or more family members are acting as executor. It can, however, be difficult in some cases if there are minors, those who lack legal capacity, non-residents or children of unmarried parents who may not be known to rest of the family. Beneficiaries are owed a fiduciary duty and can therefore challenge an executor’s actions and fees. Disputes among beneficiaries can arise, which can put the executor in a difficult position and, on occasion, in the middle of litigation. Regular ongoing communication with the beneficiaries is recommended to avoid questions and challenges in the future. Ascertain assets – This task can be the most time consuming. Usually, the largest asset of the estate is the deceased’s house. Unless the house has passed by right of survivorship, the executor’s job is to ensure both the house and its contents are secure. This usually means creating an inventory of the contents, making sure there is adequate property insurance and possibly changing the locks. The executor should locate banking information and notify banks and other financial institutions about the death, which usually means providing a probated will and death certificate. The executor may also need to ascertain the deceased’s digital assets, which may require determining passwords! For more information on digital assets and what they are, read this article, Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets, and watch this short video SMART TALK… about digital assets. If the deceased had business assets, then the job of executor just got more complex. Hopefully the deceased had a succession plan in place for the business. In this case, the executor should consult the deceased’s professional advisors regarding the plan, and also discuss possible post-mortem tax planning. If not, the executor will have to implement a plan to manage the business interests as soon as possible. Advice of professional advisors will be paramount. Determine liabilities – The deceased’s old tax returns should be located to determine what has been filed and if there are any outstanding taxes. Canada Revenue Agency has some resources that are helpful including What to Do Following a Death and What to Do When Someone has Died. In addition, the executor should consult tax advisors regarding post-mortem planning, graduated rate estate status and filing additional terminal year returns. The other known liabilities like mortgages, promissory notes, funeral debts, etc. must also be determined. The executor should ascertain if there are any contingent liabilities such as family law claims. If an executor fails to pay known liabilities, they are personally responsible; therefore, it is prudent for executors to advertise to notify potential creditors. Distribute estate property – The deceased’s will sometimes contains bequests to beneficiaries, after which the residue is distributed to the residual beneficiaries. Sometimes assets are left in trusts for beneficiaries and the executor may be the trustee for these ongoing trusts or other individuals may be named as trustees. If there are illiquid and liquid assets, this can lead to beneficiary disputes. The executor may have to liquidate certain assets in order to make distributions to the beneficiaries. With respect to personal assets, hopefully the deceased’s will describes how they are to be distributed. If not, the executor will have to determine a process for beneficiaries to claim personal assets – this is often the most emotional process and disputes between beneficiaries often arise that the executor must be prepared to handle. Before making the final distribution from the estate, the executor should get a tax clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (and Revenue Quebec). The certificate ensures that the executor is not personally liable for any unpaid taxes or other amounts under the Income Tax Act (or the Taxation Act of Quebec). In addition, the executor should get a written release from the beneficiaries that they have received their full share of the estate. In some cases, it is necessary to get a court-approved passing of accounts to approve estate distribution and executor’s compensation. Again, legal advice should be obtained. An executor’s commitment Being appointed as an executor to someone’s will, is in fact a privilege and shows the great respect and faith that person has in your client and their ability to fulfill their final wishes. It also comes with a lot of responsibility, can be emotionally draining and, as can be seen from the duties outlined above, can be a significant time commitment for your client. For smaller or simpler estates where family members are the executors and the beneficiaries, the role may not be as complex or time consuming, but even with smaller estates emotions can run high with respect to certain assets. Communication between the proposed executor and the person preparing their will is important so that the testator’s wishes are fully understood. Communication with the beneficiaries during the planning stage is recommended as a means of reducing potential disagreements after death. And of course, professional advice is paramount.
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Recent Articles

Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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