The excerpted article was written by Lawyers Financial
Your hard work is paying off and your legal career is taking shape. The sacrifices you made are beginning to bloom and your personal goals might include buying your dream home, getting married, and starting a family. This is the time for imagining everything that’s possible. As you look forward, ask yourself what you want to build and how you will protect it so that your loved ones will enjoy security, comfort and peace of mind if anything happens to you.
Growth and protection go hand in hand as your assets grow, your income rises, and you begin to establish yourself in the legal community. Understanding your options is step one.
Mortgage insurance may be one answer
Your bank may have offered you insurance when you took out your mortgage. If you accepted it, you know that your entire outstanding balance will now be paid off in the tragic event of your death. You can take comfort in that decision but now may be the time to cross-examine the benefits of that coverage and consider the limitations and drawbacks:
- No money is paid to your family. The bank is the owner and beneficiary of the insurance policy. That means the proceeds go straight to the bank to pay off your mortgage, regardless of how little is owed.
- Coverage declines but your payments do not. Your insurance coverage pays off the outstanding balance on your mortgage so the less you owe, the smaller the payout.
- Little underwriting is done so healthy homeowners may be paying more than necessary for insurance.Worse still, your claim may be denied later based of your medical history. In the case of a large claim, there may be added incentive for the insurer to dig deeper into your health status.
Achieving greater peace of mind
Term life and permanent life insurance coverage such as Term 80 Life Insurance and Non-Par Whole Life Insurance are guaranteed to pay full benefits to your beneficiaries. The money is theirs to use as they see fit. They may choose to:
- Pay off part of the mortgage to lower the monthly payment.
- Top up education savings accounts.
- Take some time off to plan their next steps.
With cash in hand, they have options. That’s why many people in the early stages of life and career choose the flexibility of life insurance over mortgage insurance.
What’s right for you?
We can help you decide. Contact your Lawyers Financial Advisor and explore your options for protecting your loved ones should anything happen to you.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
The excerpted article was written by Rebecca Lake | SmartAssest
If you can afford to pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule, you’ll save some money on your loan’s interest. In fact, getting rid of your home loan just one or two years early could potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But if you’re planning to take that approach, you’ll need to consider if there’s a prepayment penalty, among
Basics of Paying Off a Mortgage Early
Many homeowners would love to fast forward to when they own their houses outright and no longer have to worry about monthly mortgage payments. As a result, the idea of paying off their mortgage early could be worth exploring for some people. This will allow you to lessen the amount of interest you’ll pay over the term of your loan, all while giving you the ability to become the home’s full owner earlier than expected.
There are a few different methods by which you can go about paying early. The simplest method is just to make extra payments outside of your normal monthly payments. Provided this route doesn’t result in extra fees from your lender, you can send 13 checks each year instead of 12 (or the online equivalent of this). You can also increase your monthly payment. By paying more each month, you’ll pay off the entirety of the loan earlier than the scheduled time.
If you’re considering paying off your mortgage ahead of time, make sure you avoid these five critical mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Considering All of Your Options
It can be very tempting if you come into some extra money to put that toward paying your mortgage off ahead of time. However, getting out of debt a little bit earlier may not be the most remunerative choice to make. To illustrate this, let’s look at an example.
Let’s say you’re considering making a one-time payment of $20,000 toward your mortgage principal. Your original loan amount was $200,000, you’re 20 years into a 30-year term, and your interest rate is 4%. Paying down $20,000 of the principal in one go could save you roughly $8,300 in interest and allow you to pay it off completely 2.5 years sooner.
That sounds great, but consider an alternative. If you invested that money in an index fund that represents the S&P 500, which averages a rate of return on 9.8%, you could earn $30,900 in interest over those same 10 years. Even a more conservative projection of your rate of return, say 4%, would net you $12,500 in interest.
Everyone’s financial situation is unique, and it’s very possible that the notion of being out of debt is so important to you that it’s worth a less than optimal use of your money. The important thing is to consider all of your options before concluding that paying off your mortgage earlier is the best path for you.
Mistake #2: Not Putting Extra Payments Towards the Loan Principal
Throwing in an extra $500 or $1,000 every month won’t necessarily help you pay off your mortgage more quickly. Unless you specify that the additional money you’re paying is meant to be applied to your principal balance, the lender may use it to pay down interest for the next scheduled payment.
If you’re writing separate checks for extra principal payments, you can make a note of that on the memo line. If you pay your mortgage bill online, you might want to find out whether the lender will let you include a note specifying how additional payments should be used.
Mistake #3: Not Asking If There’s a Prepayment Penalty
Mortgage lenders are in business to make money and one of the ways they do that is by charging you interest on your loan. When you prepay your mortgage, you’re essentially costing the lender money. That’s why some lenders try to make up for lost profits by charging a prepayment penalty.
Prepayment penalties can be equal to a percentage of a mortgage loan amount or the equivalent of a certain number of monthly interest payments. If you’re paying off your home loan well in advance, those fees can add up quickly. For example, a 3% prepayment penalty on a $250,000 mortgage would cost you $7,500.
In the process of trying to save money by paying off your mortgage early, you could actually lose money if you have to pay a hefty penalty.
Mistake #4: Leaving Yourself Cash-Poor
Throwing every extra penny you’ve got at your mortgage is an aggressive way to get out of debt. It could also backfire. If you don’t have anything set aside for emergencies, for example, you could end up in a tight spot if you get sick and can’t work for a few months. In that case, you may have to use your credit card to cover your bills or try to take out an additional loan.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, your best bet may be to put some of your extra mortgage payments in a rainy day fund. Once you have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved, you may be able to focus on paying down your mortgage debt.
Mistake #5: Extending Your Loan Term When Refinancing
Refinancing can save you money in multiple ways, as it allows you to convert to either a shorter or longer loan term, depending on what’s best for you. So if you’re 10 years into a 30-year mortgage term, you could potentially refinance to a 10-year term and shave off 10 years. On the flip side, you could go for another 30-year term to lower your monthly payments.
However, loans with shorter terms tend to have lower interest rates, allowing you to both save on interest and reach full ownership much sooner. In some cases, though, refinancing could cost you more in the long run, especially if you’re planning to extend your loan term. Before you refinance, it’s a good idea to crunch some numbers and figure out whether having a longer mortgage term really makes sense.
Don’t forget closing costs either. If your lender agrees to let you roll those costs into your loan, you could end up paying more money. After all, you’ll now be on the hook for interest on a larger loan amount.
Whether you should pay off your mortgage early ultimately depends on how much money you have to spare, what your alternatives are and other factors that are unique to you. But if it’s something that’s legitimately on your radar, make sure to seriously consider all of your options.
Although often known for their expertise in investing and financial planning, many financial advisors are knowledgeable about mortgages and home purchases. So if you’re struggling to make a decision on your own, consider consulting with a local financial advisor.
Tips for Buying a Home
- To guide you through a major financial decision like the purchase of a home, you may want to talk to a financial advisor. Luckily, SmartAsset’s advisor matching tool can help you find a suitable financial advisor in your area to work with. Get started now.
- Securing a mortgage can be a stressful and confusing process. For starters, you need to figure out what term is best for you, whether you want a fixed or variable interest rate and where to get the best mortgage rates.
By Liz Weston Of Nerdwallet
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Stock market crashes don’t just test investors’ mettle. Abrupt downturns also can reveal what kind of financial adviser you have.
Some people will discover, to their horror, that they’ve been dealing with outright crooks. Ponzi schemes are among the cons that fall apart when markets do, as investors try to pull their money out and discover it’s gone.
More commonly, people learn that their advisers didn’t put the clients’ best interests first. The adviser may have recommended investments that were unsuitably risky or hard to sell, or failed to adequately diversify clients’ portfolios.
Even if you dodge the worst, your adviser may not deliver the value you expected. It’s reasonable to assume you’ll get some degree of hand-holding, reassurance and personal service when you choose a human adviser over less expensive options, such as a robo-adviser or investing on your own. The answers to the following questions could help you decide whether it’s time to look for an adviser willing to live up to those expectations.
HAVE YOU EVEN HEARD FROM YOUR ADVISER?
Demanding instant responses isn’t realistic at a time when advisers, like the rest of us, are grappling with pandemic-wrought changes. They may be working from home, struggling with unfamiliar technologies, trying to keep their pantry filled and home-schooling their kids. Family members may be ill or at risk. Plus, they may be busy responding to clients who are a lot more freaked out than you are, or at least more vocal about it.
Still, by now your adviser should have checked in with you _ and mass communications such as email newsletters don’t count. If you’ve called or emailed, you should be getting responses.
“We return emails and calls within 24 hours,” says Catherine S. Gearig, a certified financial planner with LifePlan Financial Advisory Group in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “We’re reaching out to every client on our roster via telephone to see how they are doing and talking through their concerns.”
IS YOUR ADVISER LISTENING?
Let’s say you have heard from your adviser. Was it a pep talk, a lecture or a conversation? Good advisers remind clients of their goals, encourage them to stick with their strategy and reassure them that markets always bounce back eventually. But good advisers also ask plenty of questions and pay attention to the answers.
“This is the time for collaboration and listening to how you feel, how you see yourself being impacted by a recession, or even personal or medical health concerns you have,” says Pam Krueger, CEO of Wealthramp, an online service that connects consumers with vetted, independent fiduciary advisers. “It’s not about portfolios and investments and mutual funds all the time.”
IS YOUR ADVISER LEANING IN?
If you’ve lost your job, you may need to find health insurance, file for unemployment, evaluate a severance package and figure out how to make ends meet _ all tasks that a good adviser should help you with, Krueger says. If you’re in or near retirement, you need to know how bear markets might affect your future spending and whether to tap other assets, such as home equity. Even if you’re decades away from retirement, you may want reassurance that your plan is still on track.
The stimulus package that Congress approved in late March, meanwhile, has a wide range of provisions to help individuals and businesses. Your adviser should be evaluating whether any could help you.
Even if you don’t have a pressing financial need, it might be a good time to do a Roth conversion, sell losing stocks to offset gains from winners, rebalance your investments or even speed up your retirement contributions. CFP Malcolm Ethridge, executive vice-president of CIC Wealth in Rockville, Maryland, is encouraging his younger clients whose job prospects are good to boost their 401(k) and IRA contributions now.
“That way, you get those dollars in there while the market is selling at a discount and take full advantage of the buying opportunity,” Ethridge says.
Bad markets and trying economic times are an opportunity to see how seriously advisers take their responsibilities to their clients, says CFP Brett A. Koeppel, president of Eudaimonia Wealth in Buffalo, New York.
“Our character is often determined by how we show up at times of adversity,” Koeppel says. “Now is the time to lean into it, and step up for the families that count on us to do so.”
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.”
ORONTO, Feb. 13, 2020 /CNW/ – Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. (“Sun Life Global Investments,” “SLGI”) today announced a risk rating change for Sun Life Real Assets Fund. Effective immediately, the risk rating for this fund has been lowered from “medium” to “low to medium.”
In accordance with the investment risk classification methodology mandated by the Canadian Securities Administrators, Sun Life Global Investments reviews the risk ratings of its funds at least once a year, as well as when a fund undergoes a material change.
The Sun Life Real Assets Fund’s risk rating changed following an annual review that was conducted as part of Sun Life Global Investments’ ongoing fund review process. While the fund will be renamed to “Sun Life Real Assets Private Pool,” effective on or about February 26, 2020, the investment objectives and strategies of the fund remain unchanged.
About Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc.
Sun Life Global Investments is a subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc. It offers Canadians a diverse lineup of mutual funds and innovative portfolio solutions, empowering them to pursue their financial goals at every life stage. We bring together the strength of one of Canada’s most trusted names in financial services with some of the best asset managers from around the world to deliver a truly global investment platform. As of January 31, 2020, Sun Life Global Investments manages $29.68 billion on behalf of institutional and retail investors from coast-to-coast and is a member of the Sun Life group of companies. For more information visit www.sunlifeglobalinvestments.com or connect with us on Twitter @SLGI_Canada.
About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,099 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
Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
© Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc., 2020. Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. is a member of the Sun Life group of companies.
Media Relations Contact:
Manager, Corporate Communications
SOURCE Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc.