CDN’s are in the dark about managing the care & finances of their aging parents

CDN’s are in the dark about managing the care & finances of their aging parents

While the vast majority of Canadian adults with a parent over the age of 65 feel it’s important to discuss elder caregiving and financial support, nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) admit they have not yet had that conversation mainly because it makes them uncomfortable, a new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll finds.

“Families shouldn’t wait for a health emergency or unexpected event to force a hurried conversation about caregiving and financial planning,” says David Nicholson, Vice-President, CIBC Imperial Service. “These can be tough conversations, but creating a family playbook with clear plans and expectations can help reduce the emotional and financial strain to ensure everyone feels well-prepared for the years ahead.”

Key poll findings:

  • One in four (26 per cent) of all Canadians are concerned about helping to manage the finances of their aging parents. That jumps to a third (31 per cent) for those aged 35-54.
  • As many as 42 per cent of all Canadians are worried about losing their independence due to illness or aging and 31 per cent worry about becoming a financial burden to their loved ones.
  • Among the 45 per cent of Canadians with a parent aged 65+:
    • 90 per cent say it’s important that parents discuss how they’d like their finances managed in case they’re not able to do so themselves
    • Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) have not had a conversation with their parents about how to manage their financial affairs in case they aren’t able to do so on their own
    • Two-in-five (40 per cent) say they’re uncomfortable discussing it, or worry about appearing disrespectful or only ‘after their money’
    • 73 per cent believe it’s really up to their parents to start the conversation
    • One-third (33 per cent) say their parents rely on them regularly for some kind of assistance.

With nearly one in six Canadians at least 65 years old in 2015 and the growth rate accelerating as the baby boomer generation ages, elder care and financial planning is becoming a growing issue for Canadian families, says Mr. Nicholson.

Aging boomers expect their adult kids to step in

The poll results also reveal that 46 per cent of boomers aged 55+ expect their spouse and 31 per cent look to their children to manage their financial affairs if they became incapacitated due to advanced age, illness or disability. That said, the vast majority (89 per cent) with children, who expect their spouse to take care of them, also want their adult kids to be prepared to step in to provide care and financial support if needed.

Yet, only two in five (43 per cent) of boomers have actually discussed it, and even fewer (22 per cent) have taken any steps to formalize their wishes because they haven’t made time for it, don’t think they need to, or feel they don’t have enough wealth to warrant planning ahead.

“An outside expert or professional can help facilitate a family dialogue around what can otherwise be a tough conversation and help you create a financial plan that meets your needs and ensure your have the proper documents in place,” says Mr. Nicholson. “You don’t want anyone to scramble trying to find important documents, pay bills, or be unsure of what their mom or dad would’ve wanted.”

“Now is the time to have that heart-to-heart and put the right documents in place. A little bit of planning early on goes a long way and will help you provide your parents with the care and support they provided you,” he says.

A will won’t cover everything

The poll also finds that some Canadians with parents aged 65+ know they already have the power to provide financial or personal support, and others don’t. Less than half (43 per cent) of adult kids say their parents have either a Power of Attorney (POA) or Mandate in Quebec, or a personal care POA in place, compared to 68 per cent who say their parents have a will.

While a will is often the initial step and an effective tool in your estate plan, the planning shouldn’t end there, adds Mr. Nicholson.

With Canadians on average living longer, the likelihood of needing some help with banking, health or personal care is something many families will need to consider, especially for those at risk of debilitating cognitive diseases which could leave them vulnerable to fraud or abuse.

“It’s important to appoint someone you trust to tend to your health, personal care and finances,” says Mr. Nicholson. “Providing them with instructions and a financial plan for your senior years, will help you age with confidence knowing your needs will be met.”

Five steps to creating your family playbook:

  1. Have a conversation – include all or key family members to minimize any confusion or family conflict later
  2. Know where to find key documents and financial assets – Build a file with contact names and key documents, such as medical, legal and financial documents, including bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, investments, insurance, recent income tax returns, business interests, assets, liabilities, financial and personal care POAs. List your monthly bills/expenses.
  3. Write down plans and expectations for caregiving
  4. Create a financial plan that considers caregiving arrangements and costs
  5. Seek financial and legal counsel about building your estate plan

Click here for more information about creating your family playbook.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units – Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Capital Markets – CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at www.cibc.com/ca/media-centre/

SOURCE CIBC

 

Lawyers Financial is new brand of CBIA, providing insurance and investment products for busy lawyers

Lawyers Financial is the simplified and updated go-to-market brand for high quality insurance and investment products, created specifically for the needs of lawyers, their families, and law firm staff across Canada. Lawyers Financial is a trade mark of The Canadian Bar Insurance Association (CBIA).

“Outside of major national law firms, there are thousands of lawyers across the country who don’t have access to group insurance coverage for life insurance, critical illness, and disability insurance, as well as financial products such as group RRSPs and pension plans,” says Henry Kugler President and CEO of CBIA.

For mid-sized and small law firms as well as solo practitioners, the demands of running a practice are huge. It is often a case of the ‘cobbler’s children’ that lawyers don’t look after their own needs first with adequate insurance coverage should the unthinkable happen.

“Our target markets are sole practitioners and lawyers from small- to mid-size firms because they are the least likely to have access to sufficient employee group benefit plans. And, all of our individual insurance products are completely portable, they stay with you wherever you go,” says Kugler.

CBIA is a not-for-profit organization; any surpluses are funnelled back into programs. Programs are open to all lawyers across Canada, including their families and law firm staff – there is no membership requirement.

“However, membership in the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has its benefits,” says Mr. Kugler.

For RRSPs, account balances between $50,000 and $499,999 enjoy an investment management fee (IMF) reduction of 0.15%. Account balances of $500,000 or greater enjoy an IMF reduction of 0.25%. On top of these already significant savings, CBA members receive an additional discount of 0.40% off IMF fees.

Underlying insurers for Lawyers Financial products include Manulife, Desjardins, and The Personal. There is a network of about 30 Authorized Independent Advisors who serve lawyer clients for insurance and investment products.

“The time was right for a makeover. But our core values and benefits to our lawyer clients remain constant,” says Mr. Kugler.

For decades, CBIA and CBA Financial Services (CBAF) operated as separate entities with separate websites and go-to-market strategies. [CBIA’s roots go back to the 1950s; CBAF was formed in 2002.] In December 2016, the two entities were amalgamated into CBIA that continues to operate as a not-for-profit.

Currently, CBIA has more than 30,000 lawyer clients across Canada. There are about 85,000 practicing lawyers across the country.

Lawyers Financial offers 10 insurance products and four investment products specifically for lawyers; additional insurance products are planned for 2017.

SOURCE Canadian Bar Insurance Association (CBIA)

What to know when shopping for financial advice in a sea of titles and credentials

By David Hodges

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Choosing a financial adviser is a big decision, yet few investors realize that in most provinces there’s a lack of specific, harmonized regulation of professionals who provide that type of service.

An expert panel set up by the Ontario government has made several recommendations to deal with major concerns, including the myriad of confusing titles and credentials and the lack of an explicit obligation to act in a client’s best interest.

However, that hasn’t stopped investors from increasingly relying on financial advisory services.

A 2016 study by the Canadian Securities Administrators found that 56 per cent of respondents were working with an adviser, up from 43 per cent a decade earlier.

For those considering working with an adviser, experts recommend taking these steps before making a choice:

Check registration

Marian Passmore, director of policy for investor advocacy group FAIR Canada, says securities regulators will only register firms and individuals if they are properly qualified. So check an adviser’s registrations.

“A lot of people don’t do that,” Passmore says. “If they had done so, they may have not lost their money.”

A good place to start, says Passmore, is the CSA’s AreTheyRegistered.ca site, which allows you to search for any licensed investment adviser. Keep in mind, however, that insurance and financial planners won’t be on that site unless they’re also licensed investment advisers.

The CSA website also allows you to see if your licensed adviser has ever been disciplined for misconduct.

___

Ask about products and services offered

Not all advisers offer the same products and services and not all have the same expertise, so it’s important for consumers to understand the differences.

For instance, most investment advisers are licensed by either the Mutual Fund Dealers Association or the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. But while most MFDA-licensed advisers deal only in mutual funds, IIROC advisers can also offer other products including stocks and exchange-traded funds.

In the case of financial planning services whether that’s to reduce taxes, save for a big purchase or to retire in comfort there are dozens of designations and investors will likely have a hard time distinguishing between them.

“IIROC has over 30 credentials that people have but that doesn’t really tell you how difficult or onerous those credentials are,” says Passmore.

The certified planner certification is a reputable designation for those who want a combination of sound investment advice and financial planning know-how, says Ken Kivenko, an investor advocate who is also chairman of the Small Investor Protection Association’s advisory committee.

“They can go beyond the straight investing phase,” Kivenko says. “They do holistic plans.”

___

Assess the cost of advice

Because advisers can be paid by salary, commission, a flat fee or a combination of methods, it’s important to make sure you understand how your adviser is paid, how much their services will cost, and how this may affect the advice you’re given.

For instance, many advisers are paid a commission for every product they sell, which may influence an adviser to recommend one investment over another, according to the CSA.

But keeping fees and other investment-related costs low has been proven to be one of the best and easiest ways to help your savings grow.

A fund with low fees, such as indexed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, has an automatic head start over higher-cost rivals for returns and compounded over years the advantage can grow even more powerful.

B.C. emergency programs receive $80 million for protection efforts

VICTORIA _ The British Columbia government will spend $80 million this year in emergency programs, up from the $65 million it spent last year.

Naomi Yamamoto, minister of state for emergency preparedness, says $32 million will go to the Union of B.C. Municipalities to establish a fund that supports disaster response and recovery programs, including mapping evacuation routes.

She says the government will provide $10 million to numerous public safety groups, including Vancouver’s heavy urban search and rescue team, to support skills training and purchase equipment.

Yamamoto says the $80 million comes from the government’s budget surplus and money in its emergency preparedness fund.

She says spending in community emergency programs will help the province cope with floods, fires and earthquakes.

Bill Adams of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says there are estimates that a major earthquake in southern B.C. could cause damage valued at $75 billion.

Alberta insurance broker accused of defrauding $540K from employer

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A former insurance broker in southern Alberta has been charged with defrauding his employer of more than $540,000 over a period of almost nine years.

Police in Lethbridge say an investigation began last October after an employee at Schwartz Reliance noted discrepancies in accounts managed by one of the partners.

Investigators allege that between January 2008 and last September someone created fake accounts and altered existing accounts to generate higher commissions for personal gain.

Police say no clients suffered any losses.

Stephan James Evanson, who is 36 and from Stirling, Alta., is charged with fraud over $5,000 and money laundering.

He has been released from custody and is to appear in court on March 27.

Banks and Insurance Companies Announce Canadian Business Growth Fund of up to $1B

Canada’s leading banks and insurance companies today announced their intent to create a fund to invest up to $1 billion in Canadian businesses over the next decade to bolster growth and innovation.

The Canadian Business Growth Fund will make investments in small- and medium-sized Canadian companies seeking long-term, patient, minority capital to finance continued growth and to allow the scaling up of existing operations. Typical investment amounts in each company will range between $3 million and $20 million. Importantly, the fund will facilitate mentorship and access to talent pools to help these businesses achieve their full potential.

The fund is expected to have initial capital commitments of over $500 million, with the possibility for future contributions of up to $1 billion in future years, depending upon both demand for investment and the fund’s performance. Initial participants include: BMO Financial Group, CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Manulife, Sun Life Financial, Great-West Life, National Bank of Canada, HSBC Bank Canada, ATB Financial, Laurentian Bank of Canada, and Canadian Western Bank. Other institutions are considering involvement and a broad range of financial institutions will be able to invest in the fund when it is formed.

The fund will operate as an independently managed entity, supported by its investors with its own board of directors and management team, with an objective of having offices and personnel across Canada. The board will be comprised of independent directors and representatives from the initial investors. The Fund will begin a search for an independent chair, along with a chief executive officer, with the intention to have an executive team in place to start deploying capital within the next 12 months.

The executive team will also be tasked with developing an advisory network to provide mentorship, thereby closing some of the knowledge gaps preventing many mid-sized companies from achieving their full growth potential at home and globally. The aim is to help business founders maintain effective control of their companies to execute on their vision as they grow and expand.

This announcement follows the publication of the second report from the Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council for Economic Growth, which identified a gap in the Canadian market for long-term capital and recommended the creation of a private sector-led growth fund for minority equity stakes in companies. One of the goals of the Fund is to ultimately help Canadian companies grow outside of Canada, creating a vibrant, innovative and diversified economy that will spur the creation of jobs and growth for our country.

A further announcement will be made in due course.

BGF Board Representatives: ATB Financial – Curtis Stange, Bank of MontrealNadim Hirji, Scotiabank – Philip Smith, CIBC – Stephen Forbes, Manulife – Vipon Ghai, National Bank of CanadaMark Mulroney, Royal Bank of CanadaJamie Anderson, Toronto-Dominion Bank – Barbara Hooper.

SOURCE CIBC – Corporate

For further information: For media inquiries: ATB Financial, Glenn Kubish, GKubish@atb.com, 780-408-6529; BMO Financial Group, Ralph Marranca, Ralph.Marranca@bmo.com, 416-867-3996; Canadian Western Bank, Matt Evans, Matt.Evans@cwbank.com, 780-405-0198; CIBC, Caroline Van Hasselt, Caroline.VanHasselt@cibc.com, 416-784-6699; Great-West Life, Tim Oracheski, Tim.Oracheski@gwl.ca, 204-946-8961; HSBC Bank Canada, Sharon Wilks, Sharon_Wilks@hsbc.ca, 416-868-3878; Laurentian Bank of Canada, Louise Bergeron, Louise.Bergeron@BanqueLaurentienne.ca, 514-284-4500 ext : 4840; Manulife, Sean B. Pasternak, Sean_Pasternak@manulife.com, 416 852-2745 ext: 222745; National Bank of Canada, Claude Breton, Claude.Breton@bnc.ca, 514 394-8644; Royal Bank of Canada, Paul French, Paul.French@rbc.com, 416-974-3718; Scotiabank, Heather Armstrong, Heather.Armstrong@scotiabank.com, 416-933-3250; Sun Life Financial, Catherine Melville, Catherine.Melville@sunlife.com, 416-408-7826; The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Maria Saros, Maria.Saros@td.com, 416-983-4093

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