There’s no demographic in Canada larger and more eager to spend than our senior population. That being said, they’re also among the most overlooked groups when it comes to talking about financial advice or financial tools. Seniors are the biggest demographic for insurance within Canada, and yet are receiving only a pittance in terms of advice and support.
A little foresight can save a lot of pain and frustration down the road – particularly when it comes to managing money effectively. While the life insurance industry is rife with its fair share of complexity, you would be surprised at how quickly the little things get overlooked.
This week, we would like to focus on how Canadian seniors are making small but very significant mistakes when buying, managing, and allocating their life insurance policies.
For most people, making a long term plan for their futures is a critical priority, as your final affairs always need to be addressed. For others, low cost options are more important, which is particularly important as seniors often live on a reduced income.
We suggest considering a third path. The road less traveled, so to speak.
The purpose of living and working should be, ostensibly, to provide a comfortable living for oneself. The ideal of this purposes is embodied in the dream of retirement. After all, what is retirement if not the assurance of comfort and prosperity in the knowledge that we no longer need to work?
But the truth of the day is, as Canadians age into retirement, the promised bounty of a comfortable retirement is quickly falling out of reach, and we’re left with loads of debt and the uncertainty that we can truly retire.
Continuously frustrating about the insurance and finance industries are the no-effort pitches that seniors get. Financial experts make a few catch-all statements about seniors:
“Planning for your funeral? Get life insurance”
“Put money in your RRSP if you want a stable retirement”
“You’ll have to pay more for this because you’re too old for normal rates.”
What does this even mean? The truth is that seniors get the no-effort pitch for a lot of financial advice because the industry is so indoctrinated that seniors are all interchangeable and homogenous. These meaningless half-answers don’t help you manage your money, but here is some things that may.
A couple of years ago, we did a preliminary review of BMO’s Guaranteed Life Plus plan, which highlighted what BMO Insurance had done in approaching the insurance market a little differently – and why that difference is critical.
Since then, life insurance – in particular the guaranteed insurance market, have gone in waves of revolution; now over half of insurers across the nation offer life insurance “no questions asked.” Under these new changes – is BMO Insurance still offering a worthy product? And should Canadians still think twice before trying to buy a guaranteed product?
Whether you’re retired, retiring, or an aspiring retiree, all your problems and worries all boil down to the same age-old problem: money. Indeed, money makes the world turn round and, while the current wave of retirees have lived through the world’s most affluent years, they’re struggling to retire on time.
So take this as a cautionary tale if you’re still on the right side of the fence – there’s still a chance you can secure enough for your retirement, but you’ll have to strongly consider how to do it.
Life stages tend to be rigidly divided into so-called “stages of life”. From ages 18 to 25, for example, we are expected to grow ourselves professionally and begin those tentative steps into building a family. Ages 35-55 are our “professional years”, where we own our home, build our career, and work towards retirement.
Then there’s our “Golden Years”, often defined as any age after 60, where we’re expected to “settle down” and “enjoy retirement”. Yet it’s over 60 when our stage in life doesn’t match where we really are. And many of us who write off financial tools such as life insurance may find that our “Golden Years” may be when we need to take greater control of our finances than in any stage prior.
Hitting 50 is a watershed year for many Canadians, as it’s the beginning of a rather stark and precipitous change in lifestyle, health, and everyone’s personal ulcer: finances.
Whether you plan to retire tomorrow, by the vaunted age of 65, or if you never plan to retire at all – there’s financial considerations that anyone over 50 needs to keep in mind to ensure that their golden years stay golden.
Final affairs planning, sometimes called funeral planning (though more involved than that), is an uncomfortable prospect for a lot of us. Final affairs planning, however, is an important responsibility for anyone who wants to make a tragic event even slightly more bearable for loved ones.
Some people make bucket lists, but these are the points on your list that should really matter.