Tag Archives: Emergency Preparedness

Mortgage or life insurance

Is Mortgage insurance the same as life insurance?

No so much. Not so much at all. Mortgage or Credit Insurance is just not the same as life Insurance.

There are BIG key differences between mortgage or credit insurance and life insurance.

  1. Post Claim underwriting Underwriting for mortgage insurance is done AFTER a claim not BEFORE a claim by looking at health, age and any pre-existing conditions that might exist, during the application process. What that means is that an individual paying for mortgage insurance for any length of time could be found to be uninsurable only after a claim gets submitted resulting in benefits not being paid.  There’s no guarantee. Yes. It’s possible and risky. (Google scary life insurance stories)
  1. Beneficiary choice. With mortgage insurance, the lender is the automatic beneficiary; not anyone you might choose like a spouse or a family member.  Personal circumstances can and do vary when an individual dies. Paying off the mortgage may or may not be the best option; cash might be more important.
  1. Higher Cost/Declining Benefit: Mortgage insurance offers a declining amount of coverage (in line with your mortgage) for a typically higher cost that one could obtain level life insurance for. There are no discounts for being a non-smoker or being healthy as everyone pays the same price. Prices do also vary for mortgage insurance but there is less transparency in the marketplace so it’s hard to compare pricing.
  1. Portability:Mortgage insurance is tied to your mortgage and is therefore not transferable if you change lenders. Higher rates may apply when you start over with another lender. With life insurance there would be no need to start over. Life insurance offers stable & consistent coverage and often renewable/convertible options maybe offered on a term policy that will allow one to convert to a permanent policy without a medical exam.

These differences are significantly significant. and too significant to be left to chance.

The real key takeaway is that mortgage/credit insurance benefits creditors or lenders first; personal life insurance benefits individuals better.

Take time to investigate and learn.

 

 

Estate Mistakes from 4 stars that died too young

Estate planning is for everyone – avoid Estate Mistakes

The goal of estate planning is to leave what you have to whom you want to.at the least possible cost in terms of administration and taxes. But, no one can successfully predict how long they will live; illness and accidents can happen at any age & when least expected. That’s why estate planning is important no matter the age (or stage). Too many families are caught off-guard and found unprepared when an incapacity or death happens and proper estate plans are not in place.

Estate planning is also not just for the wealthy; it’s important that proper estate planning & instructions be discussed and documented no matter the state of wealth. Indeed, estate planning can often mean more to families with modest wealth, because they can afford to lose the least.

I think there are profound lessons worth passing along from the estates of 4 very famous young stars who did not leave complete estate plans in place. Hopefully, others young or old, rich or not so rich can learn from these mistakes.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman (1967 – 2014)

A much-loved, versatile & celebrated actor, director, and producer of film and theater who won a best actor Oscar for his role in “Capote” in 2006. He died of combined drug intoxication. He was 47 years young.

Estate Mistakes:

  • His entire estate was left to his partner who was the mother of his 3 children,but he failed to create trusts for his children.
  • Because his partner was not his wife, the estate did not transfer on a tax-free basis.
  • By not setting up a revocable trust, his estate was subject to probate which caused further delays and costs and made his family financial situation, very public.
  • Estimated cost of estate mistake: $15 Million of an estimated $35 Million estate

Amy Winehouse (1983 – 2011)

The controversial yet undeniably talented British singer and songwriter known for her deep vocals and eclectic musical taste, died of accidental alcohol poisoning . She was 27 years young.

Estate Mistakes

  • She died “intestate” meaning that she did not leave a valid will.
  • Her estate passed by law to her “natural heirs” being her divorced parents. Her ex-husband who she remained very close to until her death; received nothing.
  • Her father was appointed as administrator and incurred considerable personal and financial burden in settling Amy’s complicated estate which included 6 music companies. The resulting cost to settle bills, debts and taxes ate up the majority of the estate estimated at $7 Million.

Heath Ledger (1979 – 2008)

The brilliant Australian actor and director died of accidental overdose of prescription drugs. He had just finished filming his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight for which he won many awards after his death including an Academy award. He was 28 years young.

Estate Mistakes:

  • He did not update his will following the birth of his daughter, Matilda
  • The beneficiaries in his will were his parents & 3 sisters with no mention of his daughter or his daughter’s mother
  • A filing of probate by his daughter’s guardians in Australia sought part of the estate held in Australian trusts worth approximately $20 Million. Much publicity around family infighting ensued until Leger’s father agreed to financially support his granddaughter

Paul Walker (1973 – 2013)

This young “heart throb” was best known as the star of the Fast & Furious movies and tragically (and ironically) died in a high-speed car accident that lead to a fiery car crash. He left a 15-year-old daughter and a tangled mess of finances & questions. He was 40 years young.

Estate Mistakes:

  • He established a revocable living trust for his 15-year-old daughter many years earlier, but he was noted as the only trustee with no successor trustee named. This has led to much debate between his own family and the mother of his daughter as to who will oversee the trust given that his daughter is a minor.
  • He had not updated his will in 12 years, a period over which his net worth grew significantly. Given the fact that his will had not been updated, there were no provisions made for his girlfriend of 7 years, who he intended on marrying.
  • While he established a revocable living trust for his daughter it was not funded fully during his lifetime so there has been considerable expense and publicity incurred that could have been avoided. It’s a common mistake to set up a trust but not do the actual transfer
  • Estimated cost of estate mistake: $5 Million of an estimated $25 Million estate

Better and more complete estate planning would have saved the estates of these young stars, millions in estate taxes. Better financial organization would have saved the families additional grief that comes with tracking down details and settling final accounts.

Better financial organization and peace of mind are goals behind LegacyTracker. When better organization is in place; better and more complete planning can take place.

64 Billion reasons to get your ducks in a row

Are your ducks in a row?

We think $58 Billion in unclaimed or misplaced financial assets in the US + $4-$6 Billion in Canada are pretty good reasons to get financially organized. These financial assets were no doubt hard-earned. A good majority of these assets may also be tax paid. $64 Billion or so waiting to be claimed by the individual that lost track or the legal beneficiaries of those assets; It’s a lot of money that could make a really BIG difference to many families and loved ones.

Unclaimed financial assets come in a variety of forms:

  • Bank or Credit Union accounts
  • Stocks/Bonds
  • Uncashed dividends
  • Utility deposits or refunds
  • Other prepaids, deposits or refunds
  • Trust distributions
  • Inheritances
  • Annuities/Pensions
  • Education funds
  • Prepaid funeral contracts
  • Mineral royalties such as oil, gas, or mining
  • Insurance policy claims/refunds
  • Contents of abandoned safe-deposit boxes

Unclaimed financial assets reside in a variety of places:

  • Banks, Credit Unions and Trust Companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Share Transfer Agents
  • Pension Funds
  • Trust monies held by lawyers or real estate companies
  • Utilities
  • Funeral Homes
  • Investment management companies
  • Retailers (Gift Cards/Credits)
  • Government treasuries or agencies

While held initially by a variety of ‘holder’ organizations or institutions, unclaimed assets residing in the US or 3 of the Provinces in Canada with Unclaimed Property legislation in place will, after a set period of time, be forwarded to the State/Provincial or Federal treasury. Those assets will be safeguarded and reported into an online search base where hopefully the legal owners or heirs will find those assets and make a claim. Many US jurisdictions are very proactive about looking for owners.For example, many State treasury departments will engage in outreach activities at baseball games, summer fairs and shopping malls with the specific purpose being to find unclaimed money for visitors. It is common place in most US states to publish the entire database in the local paper, once or twice a year.

The US estimates that 1 in 10 Americans has unclaimed funds belonging to them

The US knows a lot about Unclaimed or lost financial assets because they have kept really good records over the 50+ years or so that they have had such legislation in place.The same can not be said for Canada despite how socially progressive Canada might be in many other areas.

Only 2 provinces in Canada (Alberta and Quebec) have comprehensive unclaimed property legislation in place and provide searchable databases. BC has a voluntary, less comprehensive system in place

The Bank of Canada has over $1 Billion in Unclaimed Money

The Bank of Canada on its own has over $1 Billion in Unclaimed financial assets in the form of Unclaimed bank accounts and Unclaimed/Matured Canada Savings Bonds. While there is a searchable database available online for unclaimed bank accounts which total over $532 Million, there is no such database for Unclaimed but matured Canada Savings Bonds which total over $500 Million. No one from the Bank of Canada s looking for those legal owners. We know because we asked.

Bank of CanadaThe amount of unclaimed financial assets is a staggering amount and so too is the rate of increase of financial assets becoming lost or unclaimed. The Unclaimed Bank account balance with the Bank of Canada increased by a net amount of $36 Million in 2013 or 7.3% making for a 5 year (net) increase of $181 Million. The value of unclaimed but matured Canada Savings Bonds increased $105 Million in the year ending April 2013.

 

Please get your ducks in a row

These alarming increases in unclaimed financial assets in combination with in Canada, a lack of comprehensive unclaimed property legislation for a majority of hard-working Canadians and their families should be sufficient evidence of the need to safeguard and protect information relating to financial assets appropriately. No one will safeguard your information as well as You can.

Helping with that challenge, is one of the core missions behind LegacyTracker.

 

Get organized and reduce Personal Financial stress

Reduce personal financial stress by getting organized

A little organization can go a long way to reducing personal financial stress

A recent national survey conducted for the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) found that money is the leading source of stress among Canadians. Money and financial matters are a bigger stressor than work, personal health or relationships. 51% of women and 40% of men are losing sleep over financial worries and almost half or 45% are embarrassed about their lack of control over finances.   Highlights of the survey on financial stress can be found here 

Unlike other kinds of stress that can make your adrenaline go into overdrive and raise your energy level which can lead to a fight or flight response, financial stress is different. Financial stress often leads to a debilitating form of mental burden that is hard to shake and can have other long-term consequences of the very unfavorable kind.

What’s the answer?  How can you reduce personal financial stress?

  1. Breathe
  2. Organize
  3. Embrace Technology
  4. Review
  5. Simplify

Answer: All of the above and keep them going

Dealing with “cluttered” finances & personal financial stress can be debilitating

Organization is a key and positive first step to successful personal financial management & reducing stress that can help you achieve future success.  Organization & simplifying are both BIG stress reducers. Organization goes beyond where things are. Organization is about knowing what you have which is way better than not knowing and imaging the worst.

Knowing what you have is the first step in moving forward towards what you want to achieve and where you want to be down the road. Knowing what you have on an ongoing basis will help you monitor your progress and keep you motivated towards your goals.

Our web-based LegacyTracker personal financial organizer helps you reduce personal financial stress by helping you to organize and:

  1. Safeguard important documents by scanning/saving them inside LegacyTracker
  2. Enhance your peace of mind by sharing important information you wish to share with your loved ones or professional advisors
  3. Receive reminders and alerts about what you still need to do in terms of being organized around your personal financial affairs

Organization can also help you Assimilate, Eliminate, or Consolidate helping you to Simplify

The process of becoming more organized can better highlight the fact that you might have multiple accounts or providers that can be consolidated or eliminated which will mean less paperwork management and maybe reduced costs over the longer term. You might also find while you are organizing, that you have gaps or opportunities that you had not taken care of previously because they were missed in some of the clutter

Getting organized is a Gift to you AND your family in the short and longer term. Disorganized personal financial/estate information can cause additional grief, expense & stress inadvertently for a loved one that you care about. Helping a spouse or family member or friend organize their own affairs is also a gift worth offering.

Our LegacyTracker financial organizing tool provides the ability to share what you want to share with loved ones or advisors for that specific reason. LegacyTracker can help you and your family members reduce personal financial stress

 

Perfect storm in the financial services market

A Perfect Storm ?

A Perfect Storm in the financial services marketplace for a personal financial management (PFM) tool 

It certainly feels like a perfect storm is unfolding at the moment that we think provides an opportunity for financial organizations & professionals to provide clients with a personal  financial management tool offering a Win/Win benefits.

The challenges are many:

  • Demographics: Aging/Sandwich Generation/Smaller families
  • Demographics: Increased longevity/Rise in incapacity
  • Increasing need for enhanced financial literacy
  • Increased risk related to Inter-generational wealth transfers ($41 Trillion)
  • Push to ‘paperless’ reporting
  • Increasing Complexity of personal finances/impact on executing estates
  • High levels of personal financial stress impacting productivity in the workplace
  • Increase in the number and impact of natural/physical disasters highlighting the need for emergency preparedness
  • The need to differentiate in the marketplace due to fierce competition
  • Higher expectations from clients to show value for fees
  • An alarming rise in the balance of unclaimed financial assets ($63 Billion)
  • Increased appetite for technology tools particularly from younger generations to manage their financial lives
  • Continued procrastination on the part of individuals & families to have important conversations about estate planning/final wishes

A little organization can make a BIG difference.

LegacyTracker helps clients simplify, safeguard & share their important financial & estate info, documents & to do’s with loved ones and/or advisors.

Better Organized Clients are Better Clients.

LegacyTracker can provide a Win/Win solution for Organizations:

  • Enhanced Loyalty/Retention/Referrals by demonstrating Customer Advocacy
  • Better Differentiation in the market
  • Better Insight into the challenges & needs of clients for products & services
  • Improved engagement/collaboration with clients (“Do More”)
  • Reduced costs related to marketing/on-boarding
  • Increased Revenue/Profit

We think that all leads to Increased Revenue/Profit on your bottom line with happier clients

Get in Touch/Connect for the details

 

Preparing for What If Scenarios

An earlier post from Brighter Life  asked  Can you imagine what would happen if you died and your beneficiaries didn’t know where to find your will?  Or your money?

That’s a much feared.. What If Scenario ..dying unprepared, without your beneficiaries knowing where to find your will or your money…Unfortunately, that kind of scenario  happens far too frequently, leaving loved ones and beneficiaries with additional stress, grief and expense often.

What If?

The article quoted well-known financial advisor Jim Yih, author of the personal finance blog, retirehappyblog.ca 

“You really love your family and friends, so take the time to get your estate organized so you don’t leave them with a big mess to sort through during such an emotional time “

The article pointed out the following 12 key documents which should be safely stored together in a place where they can easily be found:

  1. Your will: Outlining who gets what when you die and appointing guardians for minor children. Dying without a will, may lead to a family disaster with assets being divided according to provincial law & minor children ending up with the guardian that you may not approve of.
  2.  A living will: Outlining treatment should you be unable to make decisions about your own health (like receiving life-sustaining treatments).
  3.  A power of attorney: Providing someone you trust with the power to make financial decisions for you in the event you’re no longer able to do so, as opposed to the Courts deciding upon who that guardian should be.
  4.  Proof of ownership: All of those documents that relate to important assets like your house, land, vehicles, stocks and any other assets.
  5. 6 years of tax returns: Providing your executor a sense of the assets and finances that are part of your estate.
  6. A list of bank accounts and safety deposit boxes: To avoid the risk of your bank accounts being added to the 1.3 million accounts that make up $465 Million in the Bank of Canada,
  7.  Stock certificates and savings bonds: Investment account statements and & any actual stock certificates
  8.  Pension, retirement and annuity documents: Without these documents, your family may be unable to determine what remains of your retirement benefits that they may be eligible to receive.
  9.  Insurance policies: All insurance-related documents are vital for claiming insurance benefits. At this point in time in Canada particularly, no one is going to look for beneficiaries even if the policy owner might be 125 years old
  10.  A list of your debts and loans: Another list that will help ensure family won’t end up with unwanted or nasty surprises down the road
  11.  Marriage licence and/or divorce papers: Legal proof of marriage and divorce can make it easier for the executor of your estate and for your family.
  12.  Your user names and passwords: Digital assets relating to social media and online accounts are now critically important to most estates.

LegacyTracker includes comprehensive but flexible templates to take care of this chore and includes all of the above documents plus quite a few more. Life is Busy. Our mission is to help you better simplify, safeguard & share your important details for the benefit of you and your loved ones.

Learn more by contacting us

Safeguard your family

Safeguard your family from What If scenarios

Talking about Money has historically been considered as “UnFun” but these days it’s critical. What’s even less fun than taking about Money? Money and Death.     Yes. Thinking through all of the unpleasantness that comes with death is considerably UnFun but being unprepared for a sudden or unexpected death in your family is even more so.

Statistics indicate that women will often outlive their husbands but that’s not always the case. We all know Stuff happens & that includes BAD Stuff. That’s why it’s important that each spouse take an active role in their household/family finances and know where stuff is and what they have.

Others have talked about this in their columns or blogs like the Blunt Bean Counter in his blog post “Stress Testing your Spouse’s Financial Readiness if you were to Die Suddenly” and Roma Luciw in her Globe and Mail Article Why you should stress-test your finances for a sudden death 

The bottom line is about safeguarding your family from additional grief & expense in an already stressful time by ensuring that both spouses have all the important information necessary to manage through such a time.

Let me say that I’m quite familiar with the kinds of scenarios that can occur when a death happens. As an Accountant, I have helped many overcome all sorts of challenges that have been brought about by an untimely death of a loved one (not that there is such a thing as a timely death)

I’m also quite personally aware of the stress that comes from being the “CFO of the family“. That would be the spouse that manages & holds all of the important details relating to the lives of your family. Your family might work that way as Lots of families do: One spouse is the CFO & manages all of the important financial/legal/estate paperwork & the other spouse operates (sometimes blissfully) unaware of all of those important details behind your household finances. It’s not a good position to be in no matter which role you have. As the CFO in my family, I still worry that my spouse is not going to know where everything is and whether he will “leave money on the table” It’s a pretty UnFun responsibility to be the one solely responsible for the “info”.

And now you know some of my personal secrets & some of my motivation behind LegacyTracker. it’s about ensuring that my family and yours have their important details of living life documented, safeguarded & shared with those who need to know. Details like:

  • Where the will and power of attorneys are
  • Having a readily available & accurate list of assets with account numbers & contact information
  • Having a current and comprehensive list of passwords for your digital assets and non-digital assets
  • Knowing the location of important legal agreements like income tax returns and real estate deeds
  • Knowing exactly how much insurance you have and who are your insurance contacts
  • Having the opportunity to write and share details about your final wishes/arrangements

Nothing can be left to chance.  It’s up to each of us to safeguard our financial legacies and that’s how LegacyTracker can help. That’s what we’re about.

 

2 Words best describe the need for a Power of Attorney

2 words about why you need a Power of Attorney – Casey Kasem

Casey Kasem POA

The dispute involving the famous but sadly ailing LA radio host, Casey Kasem provides clear evidence of the need for a power of attorney. Mr. Kasem is 82 and is suffering from a form of dementia (Lewy Body Disease) as well as Parkinson’s. His family meanwhile, has been embroiled in a very public ‘spat’ over his care which has included complaints by his 3 children from a prior marriage, that his current wife of 34 years has been denying access to them.

Last year, those children had filed a petition of conservatorship (or power of attorney) to gain control of their father’s health. But a judge denied the request.They claimed that his current wife, Jean Kasem, who had been in control of his medical care had also controlled access to him and had isolated him from his family and his friends.

Late last month, one of his daughters was appointed his temporary conservator after Mr. Kasem was reported missing. He was found 3 days later in Washington state. He is currently being treated in a Washington Hospital where he is in critical condition and the battle between his family about how best to treat Mr. Kasem is ongoing. While both his children and his current wife appear to have Mr. Kasem’s best interests in mind; they disagree about how he should be treated medically.

In Canada, power of Attorney is provincially legislated and enables someone either designated legally or by a court to become a substitute decision maker AFTER a person becomes incapacitated. While a power of attorney is the term used when an individual is appointed by that individual to act on their behalf; the term guardian is used when an individual is appointed by the court.

A power of attorney is quite different from a will. Some would argue it’s more important as it enables someone to look after your interests while you are still alive but incapacitated. It can also be more complicated. A person can be incapable of making one kind of decision but not for making a different kind of decision and sometimes that can change depending on whether or not capacity is diminishing or not. A power of attorney for property versus personal care can be different and responsibility can be provided to the same individual or different individuals.

With reference to Mr. Kasem’s case, In Ontario, one of the statutory obligations for someone acting as a power of attorney is to facilitate supportive relationships, they cannot deny access to relatives just because they don’t like them.

In all cases, it’s important to choose someone who you know to be trustworthy and capable who can take on such important responsibilities. It’s also important to document a power of attorney properly and to ensure that the document is available when needed.

We have included a place for safeguarding your power of attorney inside LegacyTracker and by doing so; we hope there is a better chance that you will attend to this important task if you haven’t already. And if you don’t have one yet and live in Ontario Canada, you can download a Power of Attorney Kit from the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website

POA Kit Ontario

Power of Attorney and Living Wills FAQ Ontario

Inventory your stuff

Documenting your personal property (or worldly possessions) is a smart thing to do in case of burglary, fire or natural disaster (or if your oven blows up and the manufacturer wants the serial # but the oven is full of glass-but that’s a different story)

Know your stuff

If a big disaster should befall you or your family; a home inventory would be either really great to have or really great to have done. For those that only wish they had one; it’s not that taking a home inventory is difficult but yes, it can be time-consuming. Many of us don’t get as far as doing a home inventory but think about it a lot,  which is unfortunately, not quite as impressive as actually handing an inventory to your insurance agent or your broker should a claim arise.

Walking around your home and videotaping can be very helpful and certainly quicker than writing it all down, but it’s best to also include serial number and $ values and that’s not quite as easy with a video.

There are a couple of good inventory tools online that can help you out for free or otherwise. Most offer the ability to capture your items by room and category and document purchase dates/prices/places, serial numbers while also allowing you to attach pictures and receipts. Information can be accessed and updated any time from anywhere or saved off-line to Excel or PDF, That means you can save that document inside LegacyTracker.

However, we have also added personal property as an easy to use template inside LegacyTracker to document your worldly possessions with a photo and the following important info: 

  • Appraisal dates
  • Appraisal values
  • Purchase
  • Intended beneficiary (this might be subject to what your formal Will might say but often times a will document does not get into the detail of your china and antique clock)

For your reference, here are 2 Online Inventory tools that I have found that are easy to use and pretty comprehensive

Know Your Stuff® – Home Inventory has been around for a number of years thanks to the Insurance Information Institute. This is a free offering that is now also available as an iPhone and Android App. 

StuffSafe has been around since about 2011. I’m not quite as familiar with this offering but it does appear a little easier to use with drag and drop options for your photos. The Premium plan allows multiple properties to be inventoried in your one account. StuffSafe is available as an IPhone App. & the cost is $29 per year with a 15 day Free Trial period.

Recovering from an emergency situation is always made easier when you have information at hand. That’s why we’ve built LegacyTracker to be a comprehensive solution that also includes information on your personal property.

Connect with us to find out more   info@legacytracker.com

 

Perfect Storm Challenges and Solutions

We think there’s a perfect storm coming in the financial services market with challenges being faced by both consumers and the providers they deal with. ….LegacyTracker can help 

Too extreme? Maybe

We’ve been collecting some evidence in the form of published surveys, research & articles for quite some time. We think all of that reading and collecting has paid off. We think there’s a lot of evidence to support the need for LegacyTracker which is our personal financial management tool . This is an ongoing list in no particular order from our growing collection of supporting surveys, articles and research. Note: George Clooney did not help with this project; he was busy filming the Perfect Storm among his many other activities.

From Digital Insight: The  88% of consumers who now pay bills and transfer funds online, 62% would like a single place to manage their complete financial picture, no matter where the information originates. Households on average have more than three financial institution relationships for wealth and savings solutions and up to six credit card accounts. LT: Legacy Tracker provides a safe & accessible place to safeguard all of the important information and documents in life

2011 US Trust Insights on Wealth Survey: A survey of wealthy Americans with $3M or more of investable assets 56% of those surveyed have not documented personal property and assets, and roughly half have not documented instructions about the distribution of personal property or assets among heirs; even though 25% acknowledge their heirs don’t understand their wishes for how to divide special possessions LT: Helps consumers safeguard their hard-earned assets & can help facilitate important conversations with family members and loved ones about estate planning or final wishes 

2008 Innovations in Retail Financial Services IG&H Consulting & Interim, Woerden:  In financial services these days, a lot of companies struggle to win in severe price competition. However, a financial institution should develop it’s business on long-lasting & customer value driven business models; price is not enough. An element could be innovation.            LT: Helps financial service providers innovate & differentiate their offerings

2011 Banking on You by Thomas Watson, Canadian Business Magazine: Canada’s biggest banks are desperately trying to find new ways to connect with customers. Increased competition has heightened the banks’ interest in offering value and quality to customers, and forced banks to form individual identities. “The ability to introduce new fees is limited, raising the importance of gaining share through better service, broader relationships with clients and growth markets” (Margaret Willis, HSBC Executive VP of Retail Banking and Wealth Management) LT: Helps financial organizations differentiate in a busy marketplace and provide a meaningful way to demonstrate customer advocacy which can deepen client relationships

2011 Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) : A national online survey of 1,504 Canadians over 18 by Leger Marketing showed only 26% of Canadians think their personal and financial information would be easy to access in an emergency. 56% said their personal & financial information is “somewhat organized” while 11% said it was “not very organized”  LT: Helps users enhance their level of emergency preparedness and by safeguarding important financial legacy & information

2010 Intuit Financial Online financial management survey: Banking customers view online financial management solutions from their bank or credit union as competitive differentiators. 52% of those surveyed said they would leave their current financial institution for one that offers better money management capabilities. Nearly 50% of respondents said they’d already switched banks or credit unions recently. and one-third of them switched because their financial institution did not provide satisfactory online solutions LT: Financial institutions need to offer their customers more in the way of tools & solutions that help them manage their money –a differentiator in the marketplace

 2011 Investment Executive Magazine – Prevent Executor headaches Bank of Montreal Survey confirmed CHLIA’s figures, almost 50% of Canadians who have been appointed to be an executor of a will have experienced administrative “complications” More than 25% have experienced legal issues. “If everything is not written down and documented, the difficulty in sorting out the mess can tie up the settling of an estate (Carol Bezaire, VP of Tax & Estate Planning with Mackenzie Financial. ” Technology has made some things invisible. In their capacity as executors, in some cases, the bank has had to take possession of the deceased’s computer and hire experts to search the hard drive to find crucial information (Royal Bank Estate and Trust Services)  LT: Reduces financial risk for individuals & their loved ones of unclaimed funds for families but it also safeguards families from incurring additional grief in the form of additional delay, cost and stress in times of emergency

2013 For the Love of Money Blog  Are you finances organized? Get into the habit of organizing your finances and you’ll be in for some happy surprises. …..The truth is, we create needless work and worry for ourselves when we do not make a little effort to get financially organized. Often, the biggest leap to getting a house in order is getting over a negative mindset. A lot of people are unwilling to organize their finances because they think there is simply too much to do.  LT: We provide the place for consumers to get organized & stay organized. Simple on boarding and Simple to stay updated. Our built-in net worth tracker & alerts are intended to motivate you to stay up to date

2011 Investment Executive A New Focus on Financial Literacy by Keith Costello of CIFP     A new focus on Financial Literacy “What we have heard (The Canadian Institute of Financial Planners) is the need for unbiased but comprehensive learning materials. Consumers want content that will help them understand financial concepts in a more detailed way and that will guide their financial decisions. We should ensure that these types of materials are readily available” “there is no better marketing and brand positioning than investing in your customers”  LT: Providing tools and opportunities to enhance financial literacy will pay off for financial services providers-by way of better engagement and increased revenue opportunities and ultimately the success of their clients  

2011 Investment Executive Having the “talk” with your clients by Brent Jolly  As most clients have experienced lower investment returns over the past 5 years, it is becoming more challenging for advisors to demonstrate their value to clients. LT: Our online solution allows Advisors to offer a valuable tool to clients and their families, allowing them to safeguard financial assets and some assistance in facilitating discussions about estate planning. Advisors in effect are provided an opportunity to reach out to the next generation

 2013 21st Century PFM for a Mass Audience  Capitalizing on the power of personal finance management will first require the industry to break free of 1980s thinking about
who uses PFM and why. Today, 21% of U.S. consumers mix and match 1 or more of the 3 primary sources of PFM services:  1) desktop software, 2) bank PFM offered through online banking 2) bank PFM offered through online banking, or 3) web PFM offered through an explosively growing number of online and mobile players. That translates into 49.3 million adult users – and 191 million who use none of them.  Financial institutions are at risk of losing loyalty from PFM hungry customers.

We’re not exactly done. We’ll add to this list as we find the time. We’ve got lots more to add.

Emergency Prep includes Paperwork

Not many of us like to think about the types of emergencies that can occur without any warning in an instant like losing a loved one or meeting with a tragic accident or encountering a physical disaster that can take away everything you own.

Approximately 85% of Canadians agree that having an emergency plan and an emergency kit is important in ensuring safety yet only 40% have prepared one.

Make it a Bigger Priority – LegacyTracker can help 

Having an emergency preparation plan in place won’t necessarily lessen the shock or grief of meeting up with an emergency situation, but having one can help you recover and get your life back on track more easily.Suggestions for Emergency Preparation often talk about building an “Emergency survival kit” that includes Essentials & Supplies (food, water, medication, first aid supplies etc). But what about an emergency Kit that includes all of your information and important documents that make recovering from a crisis less difficult and can help you get back on your feet especially if accessing that information is made difficult?

It’s critical to be able to access your important information should you be away from home or should you have to flee your home as a result of a natural or physical disaster like a fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or flood.

LegacyTracker enables you to enhance your level emergency preparation by providing a safe, central & accessible location for all of your important information like

  • Personal Records (including birth certificates/passports/licenses)
  • Financial information (including bank, investment, credit card, Property details, Insurance and loan documents/information)
  • Medical Records (including insurance, medical history, medication records, ongoing medical conditions)
  • Contact Information (Including personal contacts, Advisors, Medical providers etc)

Good resources are available online 

Emergency Management Ontario 

GetPrepared.ca Website 

Pre-Packaged Emergency kits are available from St. John Ambulance and the Salvation Army as well as from Canadian Red Cross 

May 4-10 2014 is Emergency Preparedness Week,

Emergency Preparedness Week is a National awareness initiative that has taken place since 1996. During Emergency Preparedness week, Public Safety Canada along with many emergency management organizations and partners across Canada encourage Canadians to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies

Get Prepared 4 things