Sun Life Financial announces appointment of Helena Pagano

Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Helena Pagano as Executive Vice-President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, effective June 11, 2018.

Reporting to Dean Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Helena is responsible for leading Sun Life’s enterprise-wide human resources and communications strategies, programs and governance. It is a critically important role as we drive for a disproportionate share of top talent, wrapped in a diverse, inclusive and engaging culture.

Helena Pagano (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

“Since joining Sun Life, Helena has had a big impact, enhancing our approach to global wellness, data and analytics, and our employee agile program,” said Dean Connor, President and CEO, Sun Life Financial. “She demonstrates the leadership and forward-thinking that will continue to support our Client For Life strategy and purpose of helping Clients achieve financial security and live healthier lives.”

Helena brings deep global human resources expertise, with more than 20 years in financial services supporting retail and institutional businesses. Prior to joining Sun Life, she held several senior roles in financial services. She joins an Executive Team committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, which includes strong female representation in leadership roles. Helena succeeds Carrie Blair who announced her retirement from Sun Life earlier this year.

Helena is a Board Member of the Artists’ Health Alliance and is a member of the United Way’s Major Individual Giving Cabinet.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canadathe United States, the United KingdomIrelandHong Kongthe PhilippinesJapanIndonesiaIndiaChinaAustraliaSingaporeVietnamMalaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2018, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management of $979 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:
Irene Poon
Manager, Media & PR
Corporate Communications
T. 647-256-2596
irene.poon@sunlife.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Greg Dilworth
Vice-President
Investor Relations
T. 416-979-6230
investor.relations@sunlife.com

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.

Stressed-out working CDN’s want to invest in themselves but can’t afford it

Working Canadians are stressed. According to a recent TD survey, two thirds say they experience moderate to high levels of stress at their job. An overwhelming majority of them (95 per cent) consider it important to invest in themselves, but over half (53 per cent) don’t do it as frequently as they’d like.

Canadians working in health care and social assistance, or finance, insurance and real estate are more likely than average to say they experience high or moderate levels of stress at their job. While it’s clear working Canadians want to devote time to themselves, two thirds (67 per cent) of those who don’t invest in themselves as much as they’d like to say they don’t because they can’t afford it. Furthermore, 82 per cent of working Canadians said they would invest in themselves more if they had the financial resources to do so.

“Canadians recognize the importance of taking a break and doing something good for themselves, but often don’t because of the associated cost,” says Jennifer Diplock, Associate Vice President, Personal Savings and Investing, TD Canada Trust. “It’s important to strike a balance in life, and one way to do that is for Canadians to view these expenses as an investment in their well-being.”

While investing in yourself can mean something different to everyone, most working Canadians (81 per cent) say they’d prefer to take a vacation. Millennials, however, are more likely than average to want to start or continue a hobby (54 per cent), further their education (29 per cent) or start a new business or side hustle (17 per cent). Ideally, three quarters of working Canadians (74 per cent) would invest in themselves a minimum of twice per year, and say their top motivators are relaxation (66 per cent), refreshing themselves (62 per cent) and improving their mental health (49 per cent).

“Whichever way you choose to find balance in the daily grind, whether it’s a family vacation or starting a new hobby, investing in yourself doesn’t have to break the bank,” says Diplock. “It’s about setting a goal and managing your savings to ensure you have enough to refresh and re-energize yourself. Try setting up a “me” fund and make regular contributions or, if you will receive a tax refund, use it as a starting point to help you achieve your goals.”

For those looking to strike a balance in life, TD offers the following tips on how to help invest in yourself:

  • Find your passion: Life should be about more than just work, we need play too. Think about the activities you love doing and schedule time in your calendar to do them weekly or monthly. Don’t know what your passion is? Experiment by trying new classes, joining a new team or rec league, or organizing a group of friends to try new activities.
  • Use your tax refund: If you’re fortunate enough to receive a tax refund this year, like the 54 per cent of Canadians who expect to2, why not use it to invest in yourself? Taking a vacation or going back to school can be expensive, but your tax refund can help provide the start you need. For short-term savings goals, consider investing in a safe but flexible product with a guaranteed rate, like Cashable GICs at TD, which will help you achieve your saving and investing goals, or reach your goals faster with a TD High Interest Savings Account, which can help encourage you to save more.
  • Take a staycation: You don’t have to leave the country to experience a relaxing vacation. Plan a vacation closer to home to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but have never gotten around to. For example, book a relaxing afternoon at a local spa, have a leisurely lunch at your favourite restaurant or explore the latest buzzed-about art exhibit. Plus, staying close to home can be a more affordable option if you’re looking for something to help fit within your broader strategy.
  • Start a “me” fund: Investing in yourself should be treated like other items you’re saving for, like a car or new computer. Open a Tax-Free Savings Account that can help build your savings faster with tax-free growth and contribute to it regularly3. You can also set up automatic transfers using any one of TD’s Automated Savings Optionsto help you reach your savings goals sooner.

For more information, please visit www.tdcanadatrust.com.

Bank accounts can be used to teach kids basic financial literacy lessons

By Craig Wong

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Omar Abouzaher remembers going to the bank with his daughter so she could make her first deposit into an account that was opened for her when she was just a toddler.

The regional vice-president for the Bank of Montreal’s daughter was four when they took her piggy bank to deposit the coins.

“She’s a banker at heart,” he said.

While RESP accounts can help parents save for a child’s education, opening a savings account for a child can be the first step in teaching basic financial literacy, Abouzaher said.

“I believe sometimes we wait too long until the kids are a bit older and try to cram all this financial information and throw it at them,” he said.

Abouzaher recommends starting with teaching what it means to save and then build on that foundation.

“The older they grow, they’ll understand as well the other components or the other pieces that are maybe a little bit more complex when it comes to understanding debt, understanding what it takes to pay tuition, what it takes to manage your credit,” he said.

Parents hoping to teach their children the power of compound interest on their savings today will have a harder time than parents in the 1970s and 1980s, when interest paid on savings accounts soared above 10 per cent compared with rates today, when even the highest-paying savings accounts sit in the low single digits.

But earning interest isn’t the only reason parents would want to help their children open a bank account of their own.

Abouzaher said children can start to learn the basics of budgeting and saving for something down the road.

Kids can be given a choice, he said, such as, “Do you want to spend it right now and buy whatever you want to buy … or do you want to save it and maybe look at something else in the longer run?”

Parents should keep an eye on fees, just like they would with their own account, or else their children may learn an unwelcome lesson about having a bank account. While accounts for children often do not have a monthly fee, banks may charge for other services such as using a non-bank ATM, depending on where the account is opened.

The amount of interest paid on savings accounts for children also varies by institution. According to rate-tracking website Ratehub.ca, youth accounts at Tangerine, the online bank owned by Scotiabank, pays the highest interest rate for young savers at 1.2 per cent compared with typically less than one per cent at the country’s big banks.

At Tangerine, children hold their accounts jointly with a parent.

If a parent is already a Tangerine customer they can open up an account for their child online by entering the information on the bank’s website, said Oliver Small, a senior manager at Tangerine.

Small said you will need to have a social insurance number as well as one of several different pieces of ID to open the account such as a Canadian passport, a permanent resident identification or Secure Certificate of Indian Status.

For children age 11 or under, parents may also use a birth certificate or a citizenship card or certificate.

Small, who remembers his grandparents and parents teaching him early lessons of money management when he was a boy, said it is never too early to open an account.

“Money management and financial literacy are really critical life skills and we know that if you instill good behaviours early on they can last a lifetime.”

When your parents die broke

By Liz Weston

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Blogger John Schmoll’s father left a financial mess when he died: a house that was worth far less than the mortgage, credit card bills in excess of $20,000 and debt collector s who insisted the son was legally obligated to pay what his father owed.

Fortunately, Schmoll knew better.

“I’ve been working in financial services for two decades,” says Schmoll, an Omaha, Nebraska, resident who was a stockbroker before starting his site, Frugal Rules. “I knew that I wasn’t responsible.”

Baby boomers are expected to transfer trillions to their heirs in coming years. But many people will inherit little more than a pile of bills.

Nearly half of seniors die owning less than $10,000 in financial assets, according to a 2012 study for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Meanwhile, debt among older Americans is soaring. It used to be relatively unusual to have a mortgage or credit card debt in retirement. Now, 23 per cent of those older than 75 have mortgages, a four-fold increase since 1989, and 26 per cent have credit card debt, a 159 per cent increase, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest data from the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances .

If your parents are among those likely to die in debt, here’s what you need to know.

*YOU (PROBABLY) AREN’T RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR DEBTS When people die, their debts don’t disappear. Those debts are now owed by their estates. Some estates don’t have enough assets (property, investments and cash) to pay all of the bills, so some of those bills just don’t get paid. Spouses may have the responsibility for certain debts, depending on state law, but survivors who aren’t spouses usually don’t have to pay what’s owed unless they co-signed for the debt or applied for credit together with the person who died.

What’s more, assets that pass directly to heirs often don’t have to be used to pay the estate’s debts. These assets can include “pay on death” bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans and other accounts that name beneficiaries, as long as the beneficiary isn’t the estate.

“You take it and go home,” says Jennifer Sawday, an estate planning attorney in Long Beach, California.

*YOU NEED A LAWYER Some parents hope to avoid creditors or the costs of probate, which is the court process that typically follows a death, by adding a child’s name to a house deed or transferring the property entirely. Either of those moves can cause legal and tax consequences and should be discussed with a lawyer first. After a parent dies, the executor must follow state law in determining how limited funds are distributed and can be held personally responsible for mistakes. That makes consulting a lawyer a smart idea _ and the estate typically would pay the costs. (The costs of administering an estate are considered high-priority debts that are paid before other bills, such as credit cards.)

At his attorney’s advice, Schmoll sent letters to his dad’s creditors explaining the estate was insolvent, then formally closed the estate according to the probate laws of Montana, where his dad had lived.

A lawyer also can advise you how to proceed if a parent isn’t just insolvent, but also doesn’t have any assets at all. In that situation, there may not be a reason to open up a probate case and deal with collectors, Sawday says.

“Sometimes, I advise clients just to lay the person to rest and do nothing,” Sawday says. “Let a creditor handle it.”

*YOU NEED TO TAKE METICULOUS NOTES The financial lives of people in debt are often chaotic _ and sorting it all out can take time. As executor of his dad’s estate, Schmoll dealt with over a dozen collection agencies, utilities and lenders, often talking to multiple people about a single account. He kept a document where he tracked details such as the names of people he talked to, dates and times of the conversations, what was said and required follow-up actions as well as reference numbers for various accounts.

*YOU SHOULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT DEBT COLLECTORS TELL YOU Some collectors told Schmoll he had a moral obligation to pay his father’s debts, since the borrowed money might have been spent on the family. Schmoll knew they were trying to exploit his desire to do the right thing, and advises others in similar situations not to let debt collectors play on their emotions.

“Just don’t make a snap decision, because it’s very easy to say, ‘You know what? I need to think about it. Let me call you back,”’ Schmoll says.

_______

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet.

The not so golden years – 1 in 4 Canadian retirees living with debt

A worry-free retirement may be a thing of the past as Canadians struggle to manage debt. From living with a mortgage to unpaid credit cards, retirees can find themselves facing financial challenges in their golden years.The Sun Life Financial Barometer, a new national survey, found that one-in-four (25%) retirees are facing such challenges and living with debt.

  • 66% have unpaid credit cards;
  • 26% are making car payments;
  • 7% have unpaid health expenses;
  • 7% owe money on holiday expenses or vacation property; and
  • 6% haven’t paid off home renovations.

“Through our national survey, we took a moment to check-in with Canadians and gauge how they are stacking up when it comes to their finances,” said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. “From credit card debt to a mortgage, retirees are faced with a list of expenses in life after work. We recognize that managing finances can be overwhelming, particularly for those who are no longer working. Seeking sound advice and working with a financial advisor can help you reach your goals.”

At the same time retirees face lingering debt, almost one-quarter (24%) of working Canadians are dipping into their retirement savings. Canadians pulled cash for the following reasons:

  • 63% did so because they needed to (e.g., health expenses, debt repayment);
  • 24% as part of the First Time Home Buyers’ Plan; and
  • 13% because they wanted to (e.g., vacation, car purchase).

“Our survey results highlight the importance of getting ready for retirement,” explains Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial Canada. “Although it can seem far away, retirement creeps up faster than you think – building a financial plan and making meaningful contributions will pay off in the long run. There are helpful tools and resources you can tap into to get on the right track to building the income you want and need to retire.”

The following tips can help Canadians save for a bright retirement:

  1. Start now. Begin saving and investing as early as possible to set yourself up for success.
  2. Don’t leave money on the table. If your employer offers a pension plan and will match your contributions, contribute the maximum amount possible.
  3. Invest wisely. If you do not have access to a defined contribution plan, RRSPs and TFSAs are other great vehicles to consider.
  4. Have a plan and stick to it. It’s never too late to build a financial plan that will get you where you want to be.
  5. Seek valuable advice. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan, set achievable goals, and guide you through each life stage.

Ready to get started? Find a Sun Life Financial advisor who can support you on your journey to achieve a lifetime of financial security and well-being.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

About the survey
The Sun Life Financial Barometer is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 13 and October 19, 2017. A sample of 2,900 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel: 2,900 Canadians from 20 to 80 years of age. The data for Canadians surveyed was weighted to ensure the sample’s regional, age, and gender composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population.

The precision of Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.1% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canadathe United States, the United KingdomIrelandHong Kongthe PhilippinesJapanIndonesiaIndiaChinaAustraliaSingaporeVietnamMalaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2017, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management (“AUM”) of $975 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars except as otherwise noted. 

Media Relations Contact:
Kim Armstrong
Manager, Media & PR
Corporate Communications
T. 416-979-6207
kim.armstrong@sunlife.com

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

The Top 10 Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Excerpted article was written, by

Wade Stayzer is Meridian’s Vice President, Sales & Service

Taking time this spring to get your house and finances in order will benefit you and your family in the long run. Following are 10 tips for spring cleaning your finances.

1. Take Stock. Now’s the time to take a long hard look at your where your money resides, and what it’s doing for you. Ask yourselves the following questions and make sure you’re able to find the answers: What do I have? Where are my investments? What investments are making money for me and my family, and what ones are not? How are my funds dispersed? At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most “bang” for your buck so make sure to find out all of the details regarding your money so that you can determine if there needs to be any changes made.

2. Review Your Budget. Do you have a budget and if so, do you stick to it every week? If the answer is “no,” you’re not alone. If the answer is “yes,” it’s always good to prioritize the time required to find out where your money is going to every month. How family dollars are being spent is a key part of getting your finances in order.

3. Credit Where Credit is Due. Do you know what’s on your credit report? Did you know that one incorrect or negative item can make a considerable difference in how much money a bank could lend you, or whether you get a preferred rate on a loan or credit card? Order your credit report and get down to business — is everything correct? Are there mistakes? Are outstanding items still appearing, e.g. bankruptcy, etc.? Find out what’s said about you financially and make sure that there are no costly mistakes listed.

4. Commit to Saving More. It may seem difficult to do but taking stock of the amount of money being saved per year then committing to saving just a little bit more will make the world of difference to your finances of the future. Double check the amount of money in your emergency fund and/or savings account and commit to increasing it by a small percentage per year. An incidental amount that won’t be missed in the short term can make a considerable difference towards your long-term retirement funds.

5. Automate. If you haven’t already, get online and automate your monthly payments, wherever possible. Doing so will saves you the worry about paying your bills on time and will allows you to keep track of your debits and credits easily.

6. Pay it Down. Make a plan to reduce or eliminate your debt altogether for the coming year. This will need to be done by taking a long hard look at how money is spent and coming up with a plan for how you can effectively pay off money owed while still saving. Though it may seem counter-intuitive at first, it is possible, and will ultimately result in your having more disposable income to reinvest.

7. Better Safe Than Sorry. Do you have a place for your important documents? Outside of your home, are there backup documents elsewhere, such as in a safety deposit box or digital backups in a Cloud-based account? If not, it’s important to do so right away as we can never be sure of when a situation may occur where important information is, unfortunately, lost or destroyed. Having a back up plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Options for doing so include giving copies of important information to a trusted friend or family member to store in another location, or providing copies to your lawyer.

8. It Will Be Done. They say that there is nothing certain in life but death and taxes, and this is found to be no more true than when a loved on dies. As part of your financial spring cleaning, make sure to get your will in order so that there are no surprises or disputes in the event of an untimely death. Details regarding your kids’ guardianship, allocations of funds and related items should be clearly outlined in this important document.

9. Review Your Contracts. Take this time to review your supplier and vendor contracts such as your phone/TV and internet service providers. Take this time to review your contracts and ask your suppliers for a better rate or package.

10. Insure and Ensure Your Future. Do you understand all of the details of your insurance policy? How much are you paying, and what will you or your loved ones receive, in the event that insurance funds are required? Take this time of the year to review all policies, including Life Insurance, Home and Auto Insurance to confirm that you have the best policy and rates that suit your particular family situation.

Source: The Huffington Post

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