As Canada deals with a global pandemic and rising household debt, Goose Insurance warns that most Canadians can’t afford further financial setbacks caused by a life-threatening illness.
VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 9, 2020 /CNW/ – Goose Insurance, a new player in the life and health insurance market warns Canadians could be out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars while undergoing treatment for any life-threatening illness.
Goose Insurance recently conducted a survey of over 1000 Canadians, yielding some eye-opening results. The company found that less than 5% of respondents have critical illness insurance or cancer insurance and majority of the people wrongly believe that Canada’s health care system covers all costs associated with cancer treatment or any other life-threatening illness. Overwhelmingly, women are under insured in Canada, with over 70% of the women that responded to the survey have never purchased life or critical illness insurance.
According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In fact, the CMAJ estimates that 225,000 people will be diagnosed with, and 83,000 people will die from, cancer in 2020 alone.
While Canada’s health care system covers many costs associated with life-threatening medical treatments, many patients still face out-of-pocket expenses while undergoing treatment, including some drugs not covered, childcare, rent or mortgage, and other household bills and responsibilities. This comes at a time when Canadians are dealing with COVID-19, a global pandemic; whilst battling an all-time high household debt ratio of 176.9% according to Statistics Canada.
So why aren’t Canadians buying life and health insurance? Of those surveyed by Goose, the two most common reasons were accessibility and affordability. Specifically amongst young Canadians aged 25 to 35, over 50% didn’t know where to buy it from and over 70% found it too complicated.
“Goose is tackling the accessibility and affordability of insurance, and addressing the underserved market,” says Dejan Mirkovic, President of Goose Insurance. “We’re offering reasonable coverage limits at affordable prices, and the ability to buy policies in minutes without medical exams or the need to speak to an agent; all on the Goose app.”
Goose Insurance together with Industrial Alliance Financial Group, one of Canada’s largest Insurers, has made insurance accessible and affordable for anyone under 69 with a smartphone. On the Goose mobile app, Canadians simply become eligible by answering a few medical questions and can get up to $50,000 of Life Insurance for as low as $5 a month. Monthly premiums are based on age, gender, and smoking status.
“For decades, Special Markets Solutions (a division of iA Financial Group) has promoted voluntary insurance programs using traditional methods. While these offerings provided valuable coverage, these methods were outdated and time consuming. We are very excited to be partnering with Goose Insurance in offering voluntary products on a revolutionary digital platform. This will allow the user to have an easy to understand, seamless and instant application experience . The future is now,” said Ed Bender, National VP, Special Markets Solutions at iA Financial Group.
Established in 2018 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Goose Insurance Services takes the confusing parts out of buying insurance and makes it easier than ever to get the right coverage. And it all happens in seconds, from a single app. Goose currently serves British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia in Canada as well as Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas in the US. For more information about Goose, or to download the app, visit www.gooseinsurance.com
SOURCE Goose Insurance Services Inc.
By Melissa Lambarena Of Nerdwallet
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Great Recession demolished jobs across the U.S., and it eventually came for mine, too. After graduating in 2009, I worked four months as an entry-level executive assistant at a non-profit before being laid off.
I had limited financial knowledge, a short work history and a lot to prove to break into the field of journalism, my ultimate goal. Along the way, I picked up valuable lessons that might help you manage your finances during the coronavirus-related recession.
1. SAVE WHAT YOU CAN
My short work history disqualified me from receiving unemployment benefits, so I relied on my savings account. Even a small emergency fund of $500 can prevent you from falling into debt, and I had socked away enough to cover a few months of expenses.
If you’re still employed, “pay yourself first,” said Samuel Deane, a financial planner at Deane Financial in New York. “Even if it’s $20 every time you get paid, make sure you put that $20 away first and then live your lifestyle with the remainder.” Automate it with direct deposit if you can.
If you’ve lost your job, saving will obviously be tougher. Apply for unemployment if you qualify, and contact your landlord, creditors, area nonprofits and family members to seek relief. If you’re still employed but have had your salary cut, consider a side gig and work on trimming expenses.
2. THINK TWICE BEFORE REJECTING JOB OFFERS
After many interviews and dead ends, I applied for an administrative role at an accounting firm and got hired in December 2009. It paid about $7,000 less than my previous salary. I knew it wouldn’t put my career on track, but it would cover most of my bills, so I took it.
Amanda Grossman, now a certified financial education instructor in El Paso, Texas, made similar compromises after being laid off as a market researcher in Florida in 2008. She took a career counsellor’s advice and relocated to Texas for a lower-paying job in the environmental industry.
“(The counsellor) said, `Look, the economy is not doing well. You need to take that job, it’s going to keep going down; you’re not going to be able to find work,”’ Grossman said.
If your sector is hurting and unemployment benefits or savings are lacking, even a less-than-ideal role can help you ride out a recession.
3. GET SMART ABOUT MONEY
You’ll find a myriad of financial literacy resources online and at your local library, assuming it is open and safe to visit during the pandemic.
I struggled to save money on a lower salary. Credit cards became my emergency fund. I don’t recommend this approach, but times were tough. Had I learned about financial hardship programs, student loan repayment options or balance transfer credit cards, I would have saved heaps on interest and ditched debt faster.
4. ESTABLISH MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME
I still wanted journalism experience and extra income, so on top of my new full-time job, I learned to shoot and edit video. I began freelancing in 2010. A year later, I also launched a small social media consulting business.
Grossman, too, had other goals. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I love, love, love talking about money,” she said.
While she was unemployed in Florida, she launched the blog “Frugal Confessions.” She learned new writing skills from books and sought feedback from editors at newspapers. In 2013, she left her environmental job in Texas to run her blog full time.
5. PROTECT YOUR CREDIT BUT PROTECT YOURSELF FIRST
In a crisis like COVID-19, many normal financial rules don’t apply. You may need to carry a credit card balance to buy groceries or address an emergency. You may need to make only the minimum payment to cover rent. You may even need to contact your card issuer and ask for relief options like payment deferrals.
Even with three jobs, I struggled at times to make the minimum payments on my credit cards due to high balances and interest rates. I never defaulted, but I did stress and scramble over it. I wanted a record of on-time payments and the good credit they build so that I could qualify for future low-interest rate offers.
That’s a worthy goal, but in times of emergency, prioritize getting back on your feet first. Once you do, you’ll have time to address your credit scores.
6. MAKE CALCULATED MONEY MOVES
Eventually, I left my apartment and moved in with roommates. I also read the post-recession climate and, in successive jobs, learned how to ask for a raise. Every year that my workload and responsibilities increased, I made a case for a higher salary. Asking is uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier. The extra money eventually paid off my debts.
A recession’s impact is largely out of your control, but your reaction isn’t. With strategic steps, you can insulate yourself and create new opportunities.
This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena?nerdwallet.com. Twitter: ?lissalambarena.
NerdWallet: COVID-19 and your money: Our guide to getting relief and managing your finances http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-covid19-guide
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: An essential guide to building an emergency fund http://bit.ly/consumer-finance-start
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Money Smart Online Tools https://fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/learn.html
By Gregory Karp Of Nerdwallet
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Lots of people have more time than money nowadays. If you’re one _ maybe you’re taking a staycation or you freed up commuting hours by working from home _ optimize that extra time by making smart financial moves that won’t cost a dime.
“If you have time but no money, it’s time to become the best version of yourself,” says Ryan J. Marshall, a financial adviser in Wyckoff, New Jersey. “What separates successful people from people who struggle financially is often how they spend the time they are given each day.”
From the quick-and-simple to the more-involved, here are ideas to create your personalized money to-do list when you have more available hours than dollars.
This is the obligatory recommendation to develop a household budget, perhaps using the 50/30/20 method to divvy up needs, wants, and savings or debt repayment. But creating a budget should be about liberation, not deprivation _ about finding money to spend on things you care about and cutting ruthlessly on things you don’t.
_ More free money moves: Calculate your current net worth (all you own minus all you owe); calculate a nest egg amount for retirement.
Recurring expenses are the black hole of regretful spending. Examine your credit and debit card statements to identify subscriptions and re-justify them. When a recurring expense makes the cut, try to get a better price _ we’re looking at you, cable, internet and cellphone bills.
One big potential payoff? Compare auto insurance premiums by yourself or with help. “It can be a pretty painless process, by just forwarding your current insurance to a broker and having them shop it with multiple carriers,” says Autumn K. Campbell, a certified financial planner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some brokers work on commission only and don’t charge a fee.
_ More free money moves: Plan a “spending fast” (no spending for a number of days); learn about online cash-back shopping portals; decide on an allowance for children (you don’t have to begin until you have the cash).
PLAN DEBT PAYMENT
Develop a plan for paying down debt. Two popular strategies: Pay extra toward debt with the highest interest rate (debt avalanche) or pay extra toward the smallest debts to wipe them out quickly and get a sense of accomplishment (debt snowball).
_ More free money moves: Refinance your mortgage; refinance your student loan; transfer debt to a lower rate.
DEEPEN MONEY SMARTS
Money knowledge is the gift that gushes benefits over your lifetime.
Money advice online is abundant, but don’t forget about at-home digital access at your unsung public library. Beginners can check out the book “Personal Finance for Dummies.” Or you can consult Consumer Reports to get better products for the money you spend.
And while not everyone enjoys investing topics, you should have a basic understanding. “There are countless wonderful free resources such as Morningstar’s free investment classroom and Vanguard’s free articles hosted on their website,” says Avani Ramnani, a financial adviser in New York City.
_ More free money moves: Spend one hour every Sunday night researching an unfamiliar money topic.
Your creditworthiness matters to your financial life, far beyond qualifying for a new loan. People with better credit live easier and less expensively. At minimum, learn about the main factors that affect your credit: payment history, credit utilization, credit history length and credit mix.
_ More free money moves: Check your credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com; check your credit scores (numbers that summarize your credit reports, available many places online); initiate a credit freeze if you’re worried about credit identity theft.
RECONSIDER HOUSING AND CARS
Where you live and what you drive steer your money life more than most money decisions. Think critically about how your mortgage or rent, along with the cost of your vehicles, fit your financial life.
New cars lose value like they drove off a cliff, while used ones can be bargains. That’s why you can buy a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan for the same price as a new Kia Forte. If your mortgage or rent is more than 28% of your gross monthly income, it’s time to ask hard questions about where you choose to live.
_ More free money moves: Renegotiate rent; create a next-car account and plan to fund it; consider moving/downsizing.
After you make a good money decision, put it on autopilot. That way, you won’t forget to stash away money or pay bills. And ultimately, you’ll have more time and money.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Gregory Karp is a writer at NerdWallet.
NerdWallet: What factors affect your credit scores? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-credit-scores
Tips from Coast Capital Savings
Cars are expensive—sometimes really expensive. And it’s rare to have cash ready to go in the bank when your old car dies or you need an upgrade. That’s was auto loans are for. But while they’re one of the easier kinds of credit to be approved for, qualification isn’t 100 percent guaranteed.
However, there are simple steps you can take to help level-up your application to be a better shoo-in for approval even if you’ve been rejected in the past. Here are a few things you can do to yourself the best chance of success.
Why applications are denied
It’s possible, although rare, for applicants to be denied an auto loan. When it does happen it’s most often for one of two reasons:
- The applicant doesn’t have enough credit history to base a decision on
- The applicant’s monthly debt obligations, including requested loan payment exceed the maximum allowable percentage of monthly income
If you’re worried that either of these may apply to you, there are several credit-boosting tips you can use to help you qualify more easily for an auto loan.
4 credit-boosting tips
1. Make sure you have good credit
By law, you can check the details held on your files with the major credit reference agencies Equifax and TransUnion. Use this ability to see exactly how your credit rating stands.
If your credit is good, you know you can probably apply successfully. But if it’s less than perfect, it’s not the end of the world.
2. Work on your credit before applying
If your credit rating is a little below its best, do what you can to clean it up before you apply. For example:
- Check your file for any mistakes, such as debts listed which you’ve previously paid off and write to the agencies asking for any errors to be corrected, no matter how small.
- Look for any old, small debts you can clear without too much trouble
- Make sure any regular credit repayments you’ve been making are shown in your report so that your score will get the benefit
Working on your credit is worthwhile even if it’s already good, as even small improvements in your score could mean you’re offered a better rate on your loan.
3. Have a solid source of income
Your income level is key to qualification for any kind of credit. You may not be able to do much about the money you have coming in, but it’s essential to have a reliable main source of income. It’s also beneficial to gather solid documentation showing proof of all the income you receive in case they are requested. Tax documents and current paystubs are some examples
4. Consider a pre-approval
Lastly, if you’re worried about your chances of qualifying, testing the water with a pre-approval is a sensible step to take. It will let you see how much you could borrow and under what terms, and will let you look for your next car with full confidence you can finance it.
Talk to us today
Taking these steps before applying will give you the best chance of qualifying but if you’re ready to apply or have questions, talk to us today. We can arrange auto financing for people with a wide range of circumstances.
Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union
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.
By Christopher Reynolds
THE CANADIAN PRESS
John Shmuel knows firsthand what financial openness and secrecy can do.
By the third date, his fiancee knew his income and savings. A year later they’d agreed to focus on saving for a condo before getting married.
“We were quite transparent from the start,” said Shmuel, a 33-year-old Toronto-based content strategy director who cites financial honesty as an essential ingredient in the couple’s relationship.
“My dad had debts and he didn’t disclose his financial situation. It created conflict in the household,” he recalled.
His parents are much more open about money now, but only after he sat down with them to stress full disclosure, he said.
“The money conversation is one of the toughest conversations in a relationship, one of the biggest conflict points.”
Amid soaring real estate prices and persistently high household debt levels, financial transparency plays a bigger role than ever in solidifying romantic partnerships, experts say.
A recent survey by Credit Canada, a non-profit credit counselling agency, found that financial dishonesty is the leading money-related reason Canadians would or have cut ties with their partner, with more than 70 per cent citing the sticking point as a potential deal breaker.
Dishonesty can include making secret purchases and hiding debt, income or bankruptcy. But transparency means more than the absence of deceit and requires putting numbers as well as goals and priorities on the table.
“It’s almost taboo to talk about money,” Shmuel said. “So what ends up happening is a lot of people just keep the status quo and maybe don’t mention that massive credit-card debt that they’re carrying.”
A hefty debt load or sagging credit score can lead to a rude awakening at the car dealership or the mortgage broker’s office.
“There’s no guide posts for when you should have these conversations,” Shmuel said, adding that there’s no set point in a relationship, but that a discussion before moving in together seems sensible.
About 85 per cent of Canadians with partners said that similar financial goals and habits were a prerequisite to a healthy, long-term relationship, according to a Royal Bank of Canada poll last month.
“It’s not always an outright deception, it’s just that one might want to spend a whole lot and…one might be a big saver. So how do you resolve that tension?” asked Amy Dietz-Graham, a portfolio manager and investment adviser with BMO Private Wealth.
“That tends to be the trickiest one.”
An approach to avoid is spying on your beloved to see if they’re concealing cash.
“I don’t think it’s going to be very productive to go snooping around in your partner’s credit card statement and try to old, ‘Ah ha, I got you,”’ Shmuel said. “That’s going to be a source of conflict.”
Instead, concerned spouses can watch for red flags _ spending sprees or an aversion to discussions of debt, for example.
“Those should be a catalyst to say, ‘Hey, I just saw this new set of golf clubs you have in the closet. You didn’t tell me you were buying this. I know it’s your money, but we have this decision to buy a car together in two years. I really want to make sure we’re on the same page. Can we talk about our finances?”’ Shmuel advised.
A common budget spreadsheet is a basic way to keep track of spending. Many spouses set up joint chequing accounts or combine virtually all of their finances, while others keep them totally separate, Dietz-Graham said.
“There’s no right way. It’s more important just to understand what you’re doing with money and who’s responsible for what.”
Sitting down with a financial adviser offers a “more comfortable setting so that it doesn’t feel like you’re judging your partner or putting them on the spot,” she said.
Topics that often get overlooked even by diligent couples include insurance, wills, retirement savings and secondary properties, she said.
“So sit down and just have a conversation,” Dietz-Graham said. “It will make you feel a lot less of a burden about money.”