For many small business owners, what began as a bright idea or an innate desire to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit turned into a new enterprise with the promise to provide for them and their families. Even the most successful small businesses are significantly reliant upon the continued health, vision and skills of the business owner or a key person. Without the owner or key person, the likelihood of the business continuing is greatly diminished. It can mean instant death for the business with devastating consequences for the owner, employees and their families.
Besides 'death' and 'taxes', the other certainty in life is that life is full of unexpected events. So why aren't we more prepared for financial stresses when they occur?
With the odds of an unexpected event such as a job loss, a medical emergency, a debilitating accident, or a death in the family fairly high when you consider them all together, many Canadian families are just one paycheque away from financial disaster. When these risks are considered as a whole, the question is not IF a financial shock will occur, but when.
We've all read or heard about the unlucky family that is wiped out by a house fire and didn't have any fire insurance. All too often, people mistakenly believe that it won't happen to them. The reality is that bad things CAN happen and there is nothing that guarantees they will be immune from disaster. Insurance is simply an economical way to protect ourselves from the financial loss a tragedy can bring.
Many believe that if they need long term care, either in their home or in a facility, that the cost will be covered by provincial health care or other government agencies. While there are certain programs available, a significant portion of these costs are the responsibility of the patient.
Most people have a false sense of security by believing that they will not be victims of a critical illness like cancer, heart attack or stroke; and if they are, that the healthcare system will look after them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As they take the big step of moving out of their parents' home and into their first apartment or other living quarters, the last thing on a young person's mind is insurance. Yet, this is an area of great importance as they also begin their journey on the road to financial wealth and health.
Ted and Martha had about $600,000 in their RRIFs generating the minimum monthly income of almost $4,000 before taxes. Then disaster struck.
Ted developed a cognitive impairment. Martha was able to look after him at home for a little over a year, but eventually had to place him in an extended care facility.
Depending on the province, even with government help, the additional monthly cost to Martha can range from about $1,200 to over $4,700 (Source: Province of Alberta website). In their case, it cost $2,500 per month for Ted's long term facility care.
Graham, like millions of other Canadians, has and uses credit cards. He often carries a balance from month to month and is concerned about making the monthly payments if he becomes disabled or gets seriously ill. Graham doesn't want to stick his family with the balance if he dies before paying it off.
The credit card company offered him Credit Balance Insurance (CBI) that would take care of these concerns. After looking over the offer, he wondered if it was such a good deal.