Decision-Making


How to focus on the choices that matter the most…

Each and every one of us makes countless decisions every day. Some don’t matter much, like what to wear or what to eat for lunch. Others carry a little more weight. Last week I talked about the general weight of decisions in our lives, go back an re-read it here [Cast Your Burdens].  This week I want to focus a bit more on the specific and unique decision making needs of business owners. Business owners make decisions about how to manage cash flow, how to protect the company (with insurance mostly), and which benefits plan to choose so that they can attract and retain the best employees.

Have you ever found it difficult making important decisions? You’re not alone.

As I talked about last week, researchers have found that we only have limited decision-making power. So called, “decision fatigue” effects us all as the day progresses. Check out this article from the New York Times to back me up. As the day rolls along and the number of decisions we need to make pile up, our brains get tired and start to look for an easier way out. That can mean delaying decisions, paralysis by analysis or it could lead to reckless decisions made primarily just to get it over with so that we can move on.

One option some entrepreneurs have found to help manage decision fatigue is to eliminate, or create a habit around certain choices. I’m currently reading Charles Duhigg’s 2012 book “The Power of Habit”. At one point in the book he talks about what he calls the Keystone Habits that can shape entire organizations and remove a cumbersome layer of decision making, streamlining processes and leading to increased efficiencies and ultimately higher profits. Case in point, two of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs simplified some of their decisions by wearing the same clothing every day: Steve Jobs was famous for his black turtlenecks, and Mark Zuckerberg favours grey T-shirts. I have even taken on a modification of this habit myself, I line up my pants and shirts in my closet on laundry day and simply put on whatever is at the front of the line every morning. Granted, not quite a streamlined as wearing the same thing every day but it is one less decision I need to make in the morning, freeing my mind up for more important things later.

Another idea is to devote more time to important decisions earlier in the day, that way you are fresh and can devote better energy to things before the relentless piling on of minor choices makes it harder to concentrate and make the best decisions. Consider scheduling an hour or so every morning to contemplate some of the bigger choices you need to make that day.

It’s important to start by identifying which of your regular decisions are most important. Most business owners agree that decisions related to cash flow management are the highest on their list of priorities. A recent survey showed that over half (59 per cent) of small business owners were concerned about cash flow with 20 per cent saying they are seriously concerned. This would seem to point to the fact that they are likely to get the most outside advice in this area but over a third of them (38 per cent) said they were dealing with their cash flow issues alone, without any help from an external advisor.  Know to be clear, I am not an accountant but one of the biggest advantages that I can bring to the table for my clients is help with decision-making around cash flow management. For example, I can help put together an optimal mix of bank accounts, lines of credit and investments to maximize returns mitigate risks and cushion your business from cash flow crunches.

And speaking of risk, another important area is risk management. Having a clear risk management goal like, building a diversified customer base or multiple revenue streams helps you make better business planning decisions and move the business forward. But keep in mind that when it comes to insurance, any delays in decision-making actually increase your exposure. Business owners must make it a top priority to finalize insurance policies as soon as they are financially able. This includes all forms of general liability and business interruption insurance to critical illness, disability and key person insurance for the owners and employees.

Lastly, there’s another area of risk management decision-making that most business owners forget about until it’s too late. If you have employees, you know how much your business relies on the productivity and loyalty of all of your people. And you’re probably also aware of how much turnover can cost. That’s why it’s so surprising to me that according to the research cited above just 17 per cent of business owners consider group benefits including health and retirement savings plans when building a risk management strategy. Even a simple, entry-level benefits plan for as few as 2 or 3 people can do wonders for moral and help to retain and attract better employees.

Postponing important financial decisions may mean missing out on opportunities to grow, develop and protect your business. So if you’ve been mulling without deciding, consider what you need to move forward. Are you considering all of the options? Do you have enough information to make an informed choice? Can a financial advisor offer any input? What other barriers are standing in the way?

Small business owners are busy people, I get that. Anything that can help streamline your decision-making process and make it more efficient is of great value. I am here to help. I can provide clarity and give you a big-picture perspective on decisions that benefit you, your company and your employees in both the short and long term. Contact me any time.

Lauren C. Sheil is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for over 25 years. His latest book “Meekoethics: What Happens When Life Gets Messy and the Rules Aren’t Enough” is available on Amazon.com.

He can be reached at themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com or by calling 613-295-4141.

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Weathering Stormy Seas


stormatseaI start a lot of my initial client meetings with the following a metaphor.

Picture yourself on a sea voyage to a place called “retirement island”.  Our job today is to make sure your ship is sea worthy, that you have adequate supplies for the journey, (including life preservers) and that you bring enough cargo with you to survive once you get there.  As we all know,  retirement island, is a desert island and apart from the monthly visits of the S.S. Government Pension, everything you will need to live on retirement island will need to brought with you.

A lot of Canadians are jittery about investing. And who can say they’re wrong to worry? Between slumping oil prices, and the Canadian dollar’s dramatic ups and downs, the economy has taken a big hit in recent years. So has investor morale. Market volatility, along with economic uncertainty seems to be the new normal. The sea we are traveling on is choppy to say the least.

But even in a harder investment climate, diversification, with at least some stocks and bonds, is in my opinion the only way to beat inflation. This is specifically why today’s stormy conditions are leading some investors to consider taking a look at included segregated funds as part of the investment portfolio in the cargo hold of their ship.

A recent issue of “Solutions for Financial Planning” the client periodical from Manulife Financial, contained a fantastic article on the features and benefits of segregated funds. Much of the following information has been gleaned from that article and my personal experience in the financial planning industry.

What is a segregated fund? I’m glad you asked.

moneylifepreserverOne way to look at it is to say that a segregated fund is a way to put a life preserver around your money.

A segregated fund incorporates the potential for growth offered by a broad range of investment funds with the particular wealth protection features of a life insurance policy. Segregated fund contracts can help reduce vulnerability to loss through a number of different guarantees. These guarantees include things like income levels, death and maturity, potential protection from creditors, and estate planning, all from one product.

For most investors worried about market risk and volatility, a segregated fund’s most attractive features are it guarantees. After all, there are very few in guarantees life.

With a segregated fund contract, you will positively receive at least 75 per cent of your deposits (up to 100 per cent in some cases), minus any withdrawals, when the contract matures. This is called the maturity guarantee, and it applies on a set date. The maturity date occurs after a minimum number of years have elapsed or when the owner attains a certain age, (usually age 100). Even if markets decline during the period you will still receive the minimum guaranteed amount. If markets rise, your savings grow. Some contracts will even allow you to reset your maturity date so you can lock in growth.

One important detail about segregated fund contracts is that they are actually life insurance policies. Only life insurance companies can offer them, and only licensed life insurance representatives can sell them.

Segregated fund contracts vary widely. They can offer a diverse range of guarantees, features and fees. We are here to help and can explain the differences and recommend the various options that are available to you.

smoothsailingSegregated funds commonly suit more conservative investors, especially during stormier seas and more volatile markets. For investors who don’t want to lose sleep over the market ups and downs, the guarantees that come with segregated funds can provide some peace of mind and help offer smoother sailing. They also appeal to people for whom estate planning and the potential for protection from creditors is a top priority.

Segregated fund contracts also include a death benefit guarantee, similar to the maturity guarantee, if you die while the markets are down your estate or named beneficiary will receive a pre-determined percentage of the original deposit, regardless of the market value of the fund at the time. The guarantee can be up to 100 per cent, depending on the type of contract selected and the age of the purchaser. Your named beneficiary gets the death benefit in the event of your untimely passing. You can name anyone as your beneficiary, family member, friend or even your favourite charity.

Keep in mind that the guarantees are a type of life insurance, which you are going to pay for. Segregated fund costs are similar to the fees charged for comparable mutual funds and include management fees, insurance fees, operating costs and applicable sales tax. A contract might also include a charge for early with drawl. We can provide you with an itemized list of all fees prior to making any investment decision.

retiredcoupleonabeachGiven all of these advanced features a segregated fund contract could be just the answer for investors looking to minimize their exposure to risk and still take advantage of the upside potential of stock based investing. So that when you finally arrive at retirement island, your ship is intact and you can relax on the beach for the rest of your days. Given the ups and downs of today’s markets, they certainly deserve a closer look. Why not give me a call to discuss whether segregated funds are right for you?

Lauren C. Sheil is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for over 25 years. He has operated a small farm, a recording studio and a music manufacturing plant, has written 3 books on Economics and Ethics and presented his ideas to business owners and leaders from all over the world. His latest book “Meekoethics: What Happens When Life Gets Messy and the Rules Aren’t Enough” is available on Amazon.com.

Mr. Sheil is currently a Financial Security Advisor and Business Planning Specialist with one of Canada’s premier financial planning organizations.  He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and everyday families to live life to the fullest while Eliminating Debt, Building Wealth and Leaving a Legacy.  

He can be reached at themeekonomicsproject@gmail.com or by calling 613-295-4141.

 

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Don’t Tax My Health Benefits!


taxRecent media reports suggest the Government of Canada is considering a new federal tax on the employer-paid portion of your health and dental plan coverage.

In 1993, a similar provincial income tax on the employer-paid portion of benefit plans was introduced in Quebec. It resulted in almost 20 per cent of Quebec employers (including up to 50 per cent of small business employers) terminating their group benefit plans. Under the proposed legislation, employee coverage would be considered a taxable benefit (additional income).  So that $500 visit to the dentist, would now have to be declared, not as an expense but as income on your T4.

So What?

Taxing the employer-paid portion of benefit plans may have the following implications:

  • As an employee, you would have to pay tax on the amount of the employer-paid portion of health and dental coverage, as it would be a taxable benefit. While it’s not clear how much such a tax could cost, the additional amount subject to tax might be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  • Termination of employer-paid health and dental benefit plans could lead to serious public health issues. According to a recent IPSOS poll, without coverage through group benefit plan, 84% of Canadians would end up delaying or forgoing treatment or medication if they didn’t have coverage. This will ultimately drive up treatment wait times and public health costs.mental-health
  • Among many other health outcomes, Canadians’ mental health will suffer as their covered access to needed psychological and other mental health supports will be reduced.

Take action

You can help protect the health care coverage that over 22 million Canadians rely on. Visit www.donttaxmyhealthbenefits.ca to tell your Member of Parliament and the Minister of Finance that you oppose a tax on your health and dental coverage. To ensure your voice is heard, use the hashtag #donttaxmyhealthbenefits on Facebook, Twitter.

 

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Quick Tip #27 – The Value of Planning Ahead


When you own your own business, you want to cover the risks that come with it and build employee loyalty. A financial security advisor can advise you on the right business and tax-efficient strategies, including the right benefits plan, future capital gains considerations and coverage for key individuals.

Are You A Survivor?


survivorLast night my wife and I watched the season finale of Survivor. I know we are a bit late to the party on this one but we tend to load up our PVR and binge watch things over a few days rather than invest an hour or two a week for several months. We miss the boat on some of the water cooler talk that way but in the long run it saves us lots of time so it works for us.

Usually when I watch Survivor I can’t help but wonder what the real survivalists think of this show. Forget the school yard games and the psychological game play, that’s clearly just for TV. What I want to know is how realistic are their attempts to build shelter and hunt for food? I’m guessing not very.

I am clearly not a survivalist. I don’t even have the recommended 72 hour emergency kit in my house. I know where my flash light is (I think) and the last time I used it the batteries seemed okay. I usually have at least a few bottles of water in the house but if there were to be a serious interruption of services, like a long term power outage brought about by a massive winter storm or the Zombie Apocalypse I’m pretty sure I would be one of the first to die.

All kidding aside though, all this talk of survival though got me wondering about how many of my readers would survive another type of emergency, a financial one.

emergencyLast fall Manulife Bank completed a homeowner debt survey. They found that half of the households polled have less than $1,000 in emergency savings. But considering the impact of a job loss or the cost of making a major repair like replacing a roof or a furnace, $1,000 clearly won’t go very far.

In addition to the more common unexpected expenses, consider a couple of others as well, like pet care and aging parents. Unexpected health care expenses for Fluffy the Cat can run into the thousands, $1200 for dental care alone. Provincial health plans rarely provide the level of care aging parents might need following surgery or any other kind of health crisis. Not to mention the cost of travel if you live a distance away and if you need to make a last minute trip to attend to their needs.

The survey found that while 73% of homeowners believe they are at least somewhat prepared to deal with the unexpected, 38% admitted that they were caught short when something did happen, 24% didn’t even know if they had any emergency funds at all and 13% admitted to having no money set aside for emergencies.

Click this link to my financial readiness quiz and see what areas could use some improvement in your life then call me to talk about your results and figure out what next steps you should take to boost your score.

Results

0-38 points – Some serious improvement needed

39-60 points – Moderately ready

61-75 points – Financial readiness all-star

Mr. Lauren C. Sheil is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for over 20 years.  He is currently a Financial Security Advisor with one of Canada’s premier financial planning organizations.  He holds dual licenses from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) for Life, Disability and Critical Illnesses Insurance and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) for personal investments.  He is passionate about helping people to live life to the fullest while Eliminating Debt, Building Wealth and Leaving a Legacy.  

He can be reached at themeekonomicsporject@gmail.com or by calling 613-295-4141.

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Quick Tip #19 – The Value of Planning Ahead


When you own your own business, you want to consider the various ways to cover the risks your business faces as well as ways to protect your employees. A financial security advisor can help you plan ahead to protect your business. For example, using insurance can help:

  • Fund a future capital gains tax on the shares of the corporation at death of the owner
  • Fund a buy-sell agreement at the death of one of the co-owners of the business
  • Provide key person coverage
  • Provide long-term debt retirement coverage in the event of the death of an owner or key person

Democracy and Wealth


brandeis-quote

Louis Dembitz Brandeis was an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He graduated Harvard Law School in 1876 with the highest grade in the school’s history, a record that would stand for 80 years. After graduation he settled in Boston and opened his own firm. Although, like all businesses it has undergone a number of evolutionary changes, Brandeis’ firm is still practicing today under the moniker of Nutter McLennan & Fish.

Beginning somewhere in the early 1890s Brandeis began to make a name for himself as a champion of progressive social causes. In an article he wrote for the Harvard Law Review entitled “Right to Privacy” he all but created the notion of privacy now so enshrined in the laws of nearly every democratic nation. In 1914 he would publish the book “Other People’s Money and How The Bankers Use It.” The book was an exposé on how banks use investment funds to promote and consolidate various businesses and industries at the expense of smaller corporations and sole proprietorships to prevent competition. He harshly criticized investment bankers who controlled large amounts of money deposited by middle class customers and used it build monopolies like Rail Roads and large industrial manufacturers that prevented those same middle class business owners from rising too high up the economic ladder.

By 1916 Brandeis’ work had caught the eye of then U.S. President Woodrow Wilson who nominated him to the Supreme Court. For the next 23 years Brandeis would preside over human rights complaints, break-up monopolies and tirelessly work to maintain the democracy of wealth in America. Although appointed by a Progressive Democrat, Brandeis was not a social activist in the way we think of them today. He would be more accurately described as a free market stalwart who believed in open opportunity and sought to limit the power of corporations and the concentration of wealth.

Trickle Down Economics

eattherichIn the 1980s Ronald Reagan popularized the term “Trickle Down Economics.” It is the theory that says benefits for the wealthy trickle down to everyone else. These benefits are usually tax breaks for businesses and other high-income earners. In theory these people use the cash from these tax breaks to expand business growth and thus benefit the rest of society.

At least that’s the theory.

In practice Trickle Down Economics serves to increase economic inequality and concentrate wealth in the hands of a lucky few. In a social welfare state, like America and just about every other democracy worldwide, Trickle Down Economics places too much of the burden for funding government social programs on the middle and lower classes. By giving tax breaks to the wealthy, without cutting social programs the cost must be borne by the very people the programs claim to support. So when you give people free access to universal health care, to use one example, and then increase their taxes to pay for it, any gains they receive through so called Trickle Down economics are cancelled out. The middle-class are no further ahead, the poor feel the pinch and the rich, who could afford to pay for their own health care anyway, laugh all the way to the bank.

The Winner Takes All

The problem lies in the very nature of democracy itself. When the majority of people want free health care, they vote for it and the government is forced to provide it. But then everyone also wants to vote for lower taxes. This is where the power of wealth skews society and serves the real purpose of Trickle Down Economics.

americandreamEveryone is an optimist. The American dream is built on the premise that if I work hard enough, I too can become wealthy one day. The proponents of Trickle Down Economics know this so they wrap it in a form of patriotism saying that by offering tax breaks to the wealthy the government is actually promoting a form of national pride, motivating people to take risks, start businesses and build the economy. “It’s the American way.”

In 1995, economists Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook published the book “The Winner Take All Society” The sub-title of the book is a succinct description of their main thesis: “How More and More Americans Compete for Ever Fewer and Bigger Prizes, Encouraging Economic Waste, Income Inequality, and an Impoverished Cultural Life”. The practice of Trickle Down economics has created the winner take all society. Democracy has become nothing more than a selfish pursuit of personal gain that resembles a snake eating its own tail.

The society that Louis Brandeis envisioned in the 1930s has come to fruition. We no longer have democracy in the way it was originally intended in its place we now have something far more sinister even than a dictatorship. What we have now is a pseudo-democracy that serves the interests of wealth, not even wealthy people, just wealth. The human element has been completely removed. In the interests of self promotion, people have voted themselves out of the system. Now it’s all about money, my money, your money and most importantly, other people’s money, and how it can serve me.

Brandeis was right. But it’s not too late. The question now is what kind of society do we want to live in?

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“You Pay Your Bills With Cash”


Book Review –“How the Mighty Fall” by James Collins

I read a book yesterday.

That might not sound like a very big accomplishment and to be honest it’s not.

I read a lot. My goal is to read about 25 pages a day. That works out to an average of one book every 10-14 days or so. I read just about everything I can get my hands on. They can be books about business, philosophy, history, theology, biographies or even the odd novel, the type of book isn’t really the point.

I read to learn. Part of my personal mission as a writer and teacher is to always be learning.

Yesterday I started a new book and was so captivated by it that I read the whole thing, just over 200 pages, in one sitting.

“How the Mighty Fall” by James Collins is a study in failure. It’s a study in how once great companies go from good to great to gone and how some companies can recognize the onset of decline and reverse the trend while others can’t or don’t do the work necessary to bailout and repair a sinking ship.

Collins became famous for his first book, “Good to Great” which is a study in how companies break through mere success to iconic greatness. His follow up book “Built to Last” studied how these great companies are then able to maintain their status over the long haul but within that second study Collins began to notice that some companies, even after a long time of sustained greatness would collapse into irrelevance or disappear completely, sometimes with alarming speed.

Collins claim, based on extensive research, is that there are five stages to decline.

  1. Hubris Born of Success
  2. Undisciplined Pursuit of More
  3. Denial of Risk and Peril
  4. Grasping for Salvation
  5. Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

Companies can appear to be healthy industry leaders right up until they transition from Stage 3 to Stage 4 but in hind sight the writing is on the wall long beforehand as they arrogantly go about their business under the mistaken impression that they are and will remain invincible. In my work as a Financial Coach both to individuals and small business I see the same 5 stages over and over again. In my experience the tipping point comes in Stage 3, its’ how you avoid or manage risk that is the key to survival.

Towards the end of the book Collins tells the story of Professor Bill Lazier who teaches small business management at Stanford. He begins his course with a case study in failure and asks the class what the central issue was as the company collapsed. These are MBA students that are used to looking at macroeconomic forces and strategic planning so at first the answers he gets are a grand analysis of big schemes and outside forces.

“No! Think!” is Lazier’s response to these egg-head answers. Eventually a student will somewhat sheepishly venture what seems so simplistic that it couldn’t possibly by right, this is an graduate class at one of the most prestigious universities in the world after all. They will say something like “they can’t make payroll next week, they are out of cash.”

At that point Lazier will jump up and write in huge capital letters two-feet high, CASH. “You pay your bills with cash! Never forget, you can be profitable on paper and bankrupt at the same time.”

Cash is king. Everyone knows that, especially when you are first starting out in life or business, but as we become more and more successful we can get drawn in to the North American lifestyle of buy now, pay later, so we forget that. When available cash is replaced by access to credit and the whole system gets flipped on its head.

The key lesson I took from this book is the simple fact that we must pay our bills with cash.

We may be able to buy on credit, we may even be able to extend credit and pay off one card with a different one but all this is a fool’s errand! Eventually you will have to pay – in cash. Buy now pay later is always replaced with pay now or else.

To a large extent the North American way of life was built on what sociologists and historians have dubbed The Protestant Ethic. Max Webber literally wrote the book on it in 1904, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” originally published in Germany in 1905, put words to a sentiment that had been growing in western democracies for over two centuries. Simply put the Protestant Ethic says that time is money and there is honor in any work that contributes to the common good.  In addition, wealth comes to those who diligently work at their given task and spend less than they make.

But another social-economist, Daniel Bell would later note in the 1970s that the Protestant Ethic was dead due mainly to the invention of credit. Bell published his seminal work on the demise of the Protestant Ethic and the rise of capitalism, “The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism” in 1976 at a time when interest rates and inflation were on the rise, and for the first time since the Second World War people were spending less and going deeper into debt.

The Protestant Ethic is undermined not by modernism but by capitalism itself. The greatest single engine in the destruction of the Protestant Ethic was the invention of the installment plan, or instant credit. – Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

Now, according to Bell you can achieve the trappings of wealth quickly without completing the work previously required to get there. And that contradicts the basics of capitalism and capital allocation. Buy now pay later is just horrible planning and fundamentally wrong both ethically and mathematically.

And so, we come full circle. As a Financial Coach I see it every day. The Protestant Ethic, if not completely dead as Bell would have it, is indeed on life-support, put there by continued access to easy credit. Paying in cash is viewed as a curiosity at most retail institutions and downright discouraged at others. (Ever try to book a hotel room, or buy a car with cash?) In recent years central banks have continually lowered interest rates in order to encourage people to borrow ever more money so that they continue to spend money and keep this giant wheel called the economy moving.

People who refuse to take part in debt fueled spending are dismissed as “old fashioned” and even looked upon by their peers as a bit delusional, to be pitied as folks who just don’t know how to enjoy life. I know, I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of derision more than once.

But – At that end of the day, as Professor Lazier likes to so dramatically point out to his students – “You Pay Your Bills in Cash!” Staying on top of cash flow is the first, second and last thing every person interested in building wealth needs to get a handle on. Without it you become locked in a perpetual cycle of working for the things you’ve already consumed and continually mortgaging your future for the things you think you want now. You’re taking on more risk than you can handle and you’re teetering on the edge of Stage 4 decline. Once you start grasping at straws in order to stay afloat, the dominos start falling quickly and it’s a short trip to the bottom.

Contact me for more information on how we can help you return to the Protestant Ethic, work hard, save for the future, and get out of debt before you reach the tipping point to stage 4 decline and it’s too late do anything about it.

 

 

 

Self-employment – With Benefits


Health and dental insurance helps to protect your business’s most important asset: you.

Canadians are increasingly turning to self-employment as their means of earning a living. Over the past 25 years, the number of self-employment people in this country has risen from 1.8 million to 2.7 million. In March 2015, more than 15 percent of working Canadians worked for themselves. (These numbers according to Statistics Canada June 2015 historical summary of self-employment data)

Being your own boss comes with many benefits, including the freedom to manage your own schedule and make final business decisions. Self-employment doesn’t, however, come with “benefits” – such as paid vacation time, a retirement plan and a health and dental plan.

I have personally been self-employed my entire adult life. I know better than most that it can be a trade-off. Self-employed Canadians have to save up for their vacations, invest towards their retirement and hope with fingers crossed that their out-of-pocket health and dental costs stay manageable. But when unexpected things happen, like a long term illness with expensive maintenance drugs it can put a real crimp in your financial plans.

Such an Illness, and the more than $300 per month prescription drugs that came with it were partially responsible for my bankruptcy back in 2005.  However, solutions are available to help people in this situation get the health benefits they need.

Plan for routine costs and unexpected expenses

For some self-employed people, purchasing individual health and dental insurance may be a good way to cover routine costs that fall outside provincial health plans. Every year, many Canadians spend hundreds of dollars on dental visits, eye care, prescriptions and services such as massage therapy and physiotherapy. According to a 2013 Statistics Canada report, the average Canadian household spent about $1,662 annually on direct health care costs.

Perhaps even more importantly, the right package can help provide protection from the financial impact of unexpected expenses. You may need dental surgery. A child may need braces. A family member may require ambulance, home care or nursing services.

Having health and dental benefits in place that meet your needs can go a long way to help alleviate the stress of unexpected expenses. When choosing coverage, look for:

  • Affordable rates that fit comfortably into your monthly budget
  • A customizable plan that lets you choose different options
  • Easy claims processing so you don’t have to deal with more paperwork

Give us a call

Being self-employed doesn’t mean you have to do without health and dental benefits, like I did for nearly 20 years.  Talk to us about what’s available, what it covers and what it costs. You may be pleasantly surprised by the price of a package that provides effective protection for yourself and your family. Not the mention the extra loyalty you may be able to engender with your key employees by extending some benefits to them as well.

Individual health and dental insurance is a safety net – reassuring every day, and important in a crisis. It’s a valuable “perk” to add to the others more commonly associated with the freedom of self-employment. And it just might prove to be the difference between continued self-employment and bankruptcy.

Contact us for more information on how to incorporate a health plan into your business.