Warning Signs – Time to see the big picture…

I just finished reading the front page article of the Surrey Leader about people who are outraged that seniors are being vacated from their long term care beds at the Newton Regency Care Home.


I understand the political argument by Carold James, and I too believe that it would be great if the government could provide the kind of care that the public would like to see… 

The harsh reality however is that our government cannot afford to operate the services that the public would like to see them provide.

Health care costs are expected to rise significantly in the next 10-15 years, and the situation will not be getting any easier.  As individuals we must start taking our health insurance, retirement planning and financial security into our own hands.  The days of the lifetime retirement pension are quickly fading into the past.  I am not trying to be all doom and gloom, but taking corrective action is easier to do when you have time to do so.  Don’t wait until the ship is about to hit the iceberg before you start trying to steer around it.

The warning signs are everywhere… So take action now.  Talk to your financial planner about what you can do to avoid being stuck in this situation yourself.

  • Start Saving Now – Even a small amount of money set aside each month now will have a large impact on your future
  • Protect your family – There are numerous ways to ensure that your family will be taken care of in the event that something tragic were to happen.
  • Protect yourself – Talk to your planner about Long Term Care and Critical Illness Coverage.  Don’t let a heart attack put financial strain on your family
  • Spend less than you Make – I know people whose sole income earned is by collecting interest on loans that people have taken out.  Stop living on credit.

Your planner can help you with all of the above situations.  If you want any advice on what to do, feel free to contact me. 

We are fortunate to live in the most beautiful place in the world, and are SO lucky to have the resources that we do have, but that doesn’t mean that we should rely on the government to take care of us.  Become accountable for your own future and sucecss.

As always I welcome any comments and feedback.


As a sole proprietor, you are indispensable

When you own and run your own business, you’re responsible for all aspects of the business. What would happen if you became seriously ill or died? Your business would lose its key person and your income source may disappear. There may not be enough income to manage all the business liabilities if you died. Creditors would press for immediate payment, and accounts receivable might become uncollectible.

If you die or become ill, your family would face three alternatives:

  1. They could continue the business, requiring family members to have the ability and experience to run your business, sufficient cash after debts are paid and the ability to retain your customers.
  2. They could liquidate the business. A forced sale attracts bargain-hunters and with “goodwill” gone, the value of the business may be drastically reduced – by as much as 40 to 90 per cent.
  3. They could sell as a going concern. However, finding a qualified buyer may be difficult; the cash for purchase may not be readily available and the agreement on a fair price may be difficult to reach.

Alternatively, you could protect your business and family if you chose business life, disability and critical illness insurance. These products could help you and your family carry out your plans for the business if you were to become critically ill or die – for example, life insurance can provide funds to buy the business under a purchase agreement, and disability insurance can provide income if you become disabled. Critical illness insurance can help you pay off debts, stabilize your credit position, offer cash values or loan options or establish a fund for personal income at retirement, independent of the business.

I can offer you an array of life, disability and critical illness insurance products to suit your needs. Please call me and I can help you develop a solution that best fits your family and business needs.

Heart Disease – How is it different in women?

The following excerpt is from Sherry Torkos’ book Live Well: A Woman’s Guide to Optimum Health, published by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd., Copyright 2007.

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to diseases of the blood vessels and heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Canadian women. However, there are many ways to keep your heart healthy and to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Years ago it was thought that heart disease was the same for women and men. Today we know that there are unique factors in women:

  • Symptoms of a heart attack can be different for women. They may include fatigue, nausea, or pain in the shoulder, neck, or stomach, rather than the typical chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • Heart disease more often affects women later in life than men. Nonetheless, younger women who have heart disease often do less well than men because it can be unrecognized by both the woman and her doctor.
  • Women often delay going to the doctor, or fail to seek treatment altogether.
  • Women are often treated less aggressively than men, and women’s symptoms may be dismissed as related to anxiety or emotions.
  • Women are more likely than men to die after a first heart attack.
  • Standard testing (angiogram) may not pick up heart disease in women due to differences in the formation of plaque. In women, plaque may form more smoothly against the artery walls, whereas in men it clumps up and is more apparent with testing. In addition, in some women the plaque buildup may be in the small vessels of the coronary arteries, which cannot be seen by the angiogram.
  • Women have been under-represented in the studies used to set the standards for detection and treatment of heart disease.
  • Women are more affected by stress, which is one of the common risk factors for heart disease. Stress causes the arteries to go into spasm and can trigger a heart attack. Women today have increased responsibilities— managing careers and taking care of the family and the home—and often put the needs of others ahead of their needs.

Taking It to Heart
While heart disease is the greatest health threat that women face, there is much that we can do to prevent it. The majority of the risk factors are under our control, so we can take the necessary steps—eating healthily, exercising regularly, not smoking, and reducing stress—to cut our risk of heart disease and improve our health.

Good health includes good financial health
Along with making healthy lifestyle choices, a financial plan is also important for your future. Part of that financial plan can include being prepared in case of a critical illness This part of your plan can help you recover financially and move past an illness. Critical illness insurance is one way to help you recover without financial pressures and without tapping into savings.

More information about women’s health issues is available in Sherry Torkos’ book Live Well: A Woman’s Guide to Optimum Health, available free of charge from www.toLiveWell.caLink to an external website. On the website you can also learn more about the importance of good financial health and creating a financial recovery plan should you become critically ill.

Sherry Torkos, Bsc Pharm (www.sherrytorkos.comLink to an external website) is a pharmacist, author, and certified fitness instructor. The website www.toLiveWell.caLink to an external website and Sherry Torkos’ Live Well Tips are brought to you by Sun Life Financial.

For further information contact me: Derek Strokon 604 649-1185