For many small business owners, what began as a bright idea or an innate desire to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit turned into a new enterprise with the promise to provide for them and their families. Even the most successful small businesses are significantly reliant upon the continued health, vision and skills of the business owner or a key person. Without the owner or key person, the likelihood of the business continuing is greatly diminished. It can mean instant death for the business with devastating consequences for the owner, employees and their families.
If you are between the ages of 35 and 65, it is quite likely that someone you know has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Hopefully, there is time for them to review and organize their estate to ensure their loved ones are properly taken care of.
To get the best out of your current financial advisor, you need to better appreciate what kind of advice is available to you today versus in the past. And more importantly, what the provision of advice now and in future may look like and how this may impact your ability to access quality advice. The rich do and will always have the ability to pay for the best advice available. The vast majority of Canadians have a more limited ability to access advice depending upon their personal financial resources.
Besides 'death' and 'taxes', the other certainty in life is that life is full of unexpected events. So why aren't we more prepared for financial stresses when they occur?
With the odds of an unexpected event such as a job loss, a medical emergency, a debilitating accident, or a death in the family fairly high when you consider them all together, many Canadian families are just one paycheque away from financial disaster. When these risks are considered as a whole, the question is not IF a financial shock will occur, but when.
Statistics Canada recently reported the ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income reached the highest level since the agency began tracking this figure. In 1990 it was 50%, rose to 110% in 2000 and jumped to 171% by the fourth quarter of 2017. This can cause some angst for those with children reaching post-secondary school age.
I am continually amazed at the number of people, who have high incomes and savings, that fail to take full advantage of the preferential tax treatment of RRSPs versus other types of investment or savings accounts. This is especially true for business owners who often have retained earnings in their corporations while also having massive amounts, sometimes $50,000 or more, in unused RRSP contribution room.