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10 Most Common and Costliest Small Business Claims

Four out of 10 small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years, according to an analysis of The Hartford’s small business claims. Topping the list for the most common claim is burglary and theft, however, the most costly claim for a small business is reputational harm, which includes libel, slander and violation of privacy.

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Fire Prevention Week

To help launch this year's Fire Prevention Week, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reminding people of its top10 tips for preventing fire and saving lives. 

"Data shows that, on average, home fires account for 30% of all fires and 73% of all fire-related deaths in Canada," said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "This Fire Prevention Week we are asking families to take a few moments to help prevent home fires – it could save a life."

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Many homeowners under-appreciating construction risks, even as renovation projects rise.

Too many homeowners don’t fully appreciate the risks involved with undertaking renovations to their homes, notes a new whitepaper out of the United States from ACE Private Risk Services.

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The loss of a life partner

With the loss of a life partner and coping with this loss is one of life’s biggest and often unplanned for challenge.

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7 Things Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover

A home insurance policy covers you for a wide variety of things; it includes coverage for liability, for your personal property, and for the house itself. Home insurance does not cover all property or eventualities!  There are some things which are generally excluded from a home policy, and it’s vital that you know what they are. These 7 things are not covered by your homeowner’s insurance, and some of them may require their own policy.

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The Tax Refund owed to you

Congratulations – you received a tax refund. The good news is you now have
money you did not have yesterday; and the reality of your tax refund is your own
money is now being returned to you. You loaned the government your hard
earned money for the past 12 months – free of charge- and they are now giving it
back to you after you filed your tax return.

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Happy to the very end

Once you decide to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving
happiness. Happiness is something we cultivate.

Why do we want to focus on being happy? Happy people live longer than
unhappy people and they have a better quality of life. The big plus is other
happy people want to be around you.

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Paralysis by analysis in the investment world

Consumers can be overwhelmed with investment advice, they sometimes delay making a decision for fear of not making the right decision. By the time a decision is made, they have not made any money or perhaps even fell further behind financially due to the cost of inflation.

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The April 30 tax deadline is approaching

The April 30th  tax deadline is approaching and it is our Canadian duty to get our annual tax return prepared and submitted before the deadline or face the financial penalty.

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Avoid probate the easy way

Do you hold your GIC's, mutual funds and stocks in banks or credit unions? Do you realize these assets will go through probate upon death when not held in joint ownership with right of survivorship?

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Divorce and Separation

Upon the breakup of a marriage or long term relationship, you need to have open communication with each other to resolve the issues. If you need an impartial third party, then a mediator or lawyer will provide independent legal advice.

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The financial blues of January

January has arrived. Along with the cold winter winds of January come the cold reality of the financial blues after the festive season.

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10 reasons brokers are better than direct insurers

So, what is the value of an insurance broker?

Here are a few things of which consumers may be unaware when it comes to the benefits of speaking with an insurance broker:

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Disability Insurance – Buy it before you need it

You should purchase disability insurance before you need it! Once you become disabled or are considered uninsurable, you cannot purchase disability insurance.

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Mortgage Insurance or Term Life Insurance

Life insurance is a consumer product we buy and hope we never have to use. Home and vehicle insurance coverage is purchased on the same basis. We purchase insurance to cover a catastrophic loss to ourselves or our family.

Life insurance covers the loss of life. There are many types of life insurance, example term, whole life and universal life.

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OAS changes for future seniors

The Old Age Security pension is a monthly benefit available to most Canadians 65 years of age or over. Old Age Security legal status and residence requirements must also be met.

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Spending Your Tax Refund Wisely.

This is the time of year when Canadians receive their annual tax refund.  After the tax filing deadline on April 30th, it only takes a couple of weeks to get a nice refund chq in the mail or deposited in your bank account.

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An Emergency Fund or Debt Repayment

Should you save money in an emergency fund or pay off your debt? 

When I discuss debt repayment or saving money in an emergency fund, the comparison is based on low interest rate costs.  The comparison is not based on high interest rate charges of 18% or 28% charged on department store credit cards.  The higher the interest rate costs, the more it costs you in financing the debt. 

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TFSA debate – Savings or Investment options

As of January 1, 2012, $20,000 is the total amount of available TFSA contribution room since the program started in 2009.

The TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) is a flexible registered investment available to Canadian residents over the age of 18. 

There is no tax deduction available when you put money in your TFSA.

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The life stages of RRSP investing

Investing in RRSPs is important.  It is especially important when employer pension plans are declining.  A personal RRSP can also top up a smaller company pension plan.

Putting money into a RRSP requires planning and discipline.  Planning how much to contribute is dependent on cash flow, your annual tax rate and other saving habits. 

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Separating and ending a marriage of many years

During a marriage breakdown, a couple will make a decision to co-operate to minimize the joint tax bill, or will make a decision to begin a dispute with each other. Separating and divorcing can be time consuming and expensive. Not agreeing is expensive.

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Banks are increasing fees customers pay...

Canadian banks are putting the pinch on some customers by charging higher and unexpected fees, along with tightening rules for lending, the CBC's Havard Gould reports. Very informative.

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Tips for setting your own financial goals

Financial planning involves many strategies. Buying a house, saving for a child’s education, retirement planning, and annual holidays involve financial planning. Money is the key component of the many aspects of financial planning.

Write down your goals and dreams on a piece of paper to get started on setting your personal financial goals.  Divide your list into realistic goals; then be specific for short term and long term goals. If you have a spouse or family, compile your list together.  The purpose is to set goals to allow you to reach your destination.

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The Spirit of Christmas

This is the time of the year when it is important to tell those we care about how we feel. It is a time of sharing and caring and a "season of giving".  

The Christmas season is a reflection of an individual's own past experiences from the time of being a child living under our own parents guidance through to adulthood, and then becoming parents ourselves.

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Thrive to be alive

I was part of the audience recently when Dan Buettner came to Kelowna as a guest of UBC in the Distinguished Speaker Series. There were many of us aging Baby Boomers in the audience to listen and learn from his words of wisdom.

Mr Buettner has travelled the world in search of answers on longevity and happiness. He has worked on assignment for National Geographic and has travelled the world searching for answers.

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Year end tax planning needs to get done

Year-end investment decisions can result in substantial tax savings. Now is the time prior to Dec 31, 2011 to get your financial record keeping in order.

Dec 31 is the deadline for clients who turn age 71 this year to convert your RRSP to a RRIF. If you have a younger spouse, and your goal is to keep your RRIF income paid at the lowest mandatory RRIF payment amount, choose to have your RRIF payments based on the age of your younger spouse.

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5% income bonus before year end

It is crucial to have guaranteed income in retirement. You need sustainable income that will last for your life and the life of your spouse.

Nearly half of Canadians have indicated they don't have a plan for turning their retirement income into an income stream. 51 per cent of households are at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

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Keep your retirement plan on track

Are you concerned you may outlive your money? Some people fear outliving their assets more than they fear their own death.

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Becoming Debt Free

One of the top financial priorities today for most Canadians is becoming debt-free. A recent Manulife Bank Consumer Debt Survey confirmed, 75% of the people said becoming debt-free is one of their top financial concerns. However, 41% people who participated in the survey increased or failed to reduce their debt in the last 12 months.

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Capri Advisor Newsletter - Vol. 1

In this issue we are talking about insurance for big kids toys - Boats, RVs, ATVs and Motorcycles.

Download volume 1 (pdf)

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Capri Advisor Newsletter - Vol. 2

Capri's Mortgage division, LendingMax, shares some great mortgage advice which can possibly save you thousands of dollars. You'll want to talk to one of our mortgage specialists after reading this.

Download volume 2 (pdf)

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Taking the mystery out of Equipment Breakdown Insurance.

A small but important part of your insurance coverage should be Equipment Breakdown Insurance, also known as Boiler Insurance.  A standard insurance policy or package will typically exclude coverage for Equipment Breakdown - something you should be aware of.  If a loss were to occur during harvest and production, it could set you back more than you may anticipate.

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Employment Insurance Maximum Change

Effective January 1, 2010, the employment insurance (EI) maximum insurable earnings will increase from $42,300 per year to $43,200. Accordingly, the new EI benefit amount will be $457 per week, an increase from the current $447 per week.

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