Gifting an Early Inheritance: Benefits & Questions

When we think about leaving a legacy, the thought of passing on wealth after we pass away comes to mind. Now, this is an entirely acceptable way to help your loved ones; after all, you won’t be around anymore to lend them a hand when they need financial help. But have you ever considered the option of passing on a legacy while still alive? Gifting an early inheritance is a great way to see your family benefit from your help and give yourself peace of mind at the same time.  (more…)

6 Tips About Teaching Your Children About Saving Money

When you have children, you want the best for them in every way. This wish is especially true when it comes to their financial security. As a parent, you can do everything in your power to ensure they have the financial means to achieve their goals and have access to every stepping stone they need to be successful. But you also need to lay the foundation to help instill in them the importance of saving money. Here are a few helpful tips about teaching your children about saving money and financial literacy.  (more…)

9 Ideas to generate income after retirement

After a lifetime of working, retirement feels like a blessing. 

It is a time to get rid of irrational fears and expectations, relax, and mainly enjoy the best things in life. From engaging in new hobbies to connecting with old friends, retirement is a phase that allows for rediscovering and reinventing oneself, without the pressures of the working life.

But there is another side to it that it is worth taking into account: how to get financially prepared for retiring.

While most people envision a steady source of income without the need to go to work each day, others worry that they won’t be able to meet all their needs. Further than that, many people need a sense of purpose and stimulation to keep mentally active, which leads them to search for part-time or freelance jobs.

If you fit into one of these last categories, you are surely wondering: How can I generate income after retirement?

Luckily for you, it has never been easier than now to generate income after retirement. Thanks to the new technologies, apps, and growth of remote working, it is now possible to find all sorts of side gigs on the internet - or even create a small, autonomous business.

If your goal for 2021 is to find a way to generate income after retirement, take a look at these nine ideas we have gathered for you:

1. Sell old items you no longer want

Look around your house. You have been accumulating all sorts of things for a long, long time. Jackets you haven’t worn for ages, furniture that has no real use, collections of old books, electronics that you don't even know how to turn on, and endless gadgets and tools just sitting around in boxes… Don’t you think it is time to let these things go? 

In a Mary Kondo style, look at all your possessions and sincerely ask: do I need all this?
If the answer is no (it will be no, we can assure you), consider selling the objects that no longer serve a purpose. You can join second-hand markets, use platforms like Facebook marketplace, or even handy Apps like Letgo, where you can list and sell your products as effortlessly as possible. Not only will you make some extra cash with these sellings, but also organize your belongings and uncover extra space in your house that wasn't there before.
Remember the proverb: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

2. Look into freelancing

The freelance world (also known as the gig economy) is booming, especially now that remote work became a widespread reality across the globe. This ‘new normal’ brings many job opportunities for those looking to make some extra cash and monetize their free time. For people with satisfactory computer skills, this is a great option to generate income after retirement.

But how can you take advantage of it? It is quite simple: just think about your talents and areas of expertise and put them to use! If you have a knack for spelling and grammar, you could make a great freelance proofreader. If, on the other hand, you have got experience improving businesses’ operations, profitability, and management, you can consider becoming a freelance consultant. The options are endless!

3. Participate in focus groups and surveys

These days, many companies conduct legitimate online paid surveys, virtual focus groups, and various other forms of online marketing research. For people in retirement, these are great tools to make extra money effortlessly.

Focus groups can pay up to a few hundred dollars for a few hours of your time, while surveys tend to take up less time and pay less. Platforms such as Survey Junkie, Google User Research, and User Interviews can pay you up to $100  per survey or $75 per hour.

4. Rent your space or car

The extra space you have lying around in your home could become a very convenient way for you to make extra income with little effort. Nowadays, it is easy to rent a place (or even just a bedroom) online. You can either use social media to promote your space or rely on a popular tool such as Airbnb, HomeToGo, or Cottages in Canada.

The same goes for your car or other vehicles. Similar to Airbnb, there are many apps that can help you rent your vehicles periodically. Right now, Turo is the most popular platform for this end, allowing you to earn an average of $620 per month.

Finally, if you have an empty garage, parking spot, or warehouse, you could also consider renting these spaces. If you are not using your extra storage space, make it available for people in need and earn some extra monthly income! According to Neighbor’s site, you can make around $800/year for renting out your garage, for instance.

5. Become a local guide

You don’t need experience as a tour guide to find yourself a little gig in this area. In fact, you just need to have the right type of personality (outgoing, communicative, and so on) and passion for your region’s architecture, history, or nature. Gathering these little ingredients, there is no question that you can land on a part-time tour guide position - both independently or within a private tour company.

If there is an area in which you consider yourself an expert, that is a good place to start. Gather all the knowledge, work on a nice and interesting script, and make yourself a website with information on routes and prices. Then, you just need to promote your services (social media, for instance, a great way to do so) and find curious tourists!

6. Sell handmade products online

After decades of trying to climb the corporate ladder, most people regard retirement as an opportunity to do something relaxing and that brings them joy. That is why arts and crafts are very popular amongst retirees. But what about taking it to the next level and trying to sell these handmade products online?

Perhaps you love to make luxurious handmade creams and soaps. Or maybe you have a special talent for ceramics, sewing, or painting. No matter your hobby, you can easily turn it into a source of income after retirement. Sites like Etsy or Shopify are an excellent option for small creators, as they allow you to set up an online store and sell your products in a hassle-free way. These platforms also offer great tutorials, marketing support and access to a community of like-minded sellers that can help you grow your business and even make friends.

If you feel like you still have to sharpen your skills before starting a business, you can use sites like Craftsy to access an endless array of projects and tips. From embroidery to knitting, on this website, you will find a great source of inspiration!

7. Tutor

For those that want to feel useful and make a difference, tutoring can be a great option. Depending on your circumstances, you can do it both in person or online.
The online world has the advantage of enabling you to connect with clients from all around the globe, and educate people of all ages on many different subjects, including languages, writing, accounting, maths, and more. Besides, online tutoring allows you to work from the comfort of your home, which is ideal if you want to avoid a stressful commute.

You can either use websites like FlexJobs to find companies and people requesting online tutors, or simply use social media platforms to advertise your tutoring services. From elementary school students to adults, the online world allows you to find and share your knowledge and make some extra income in the process!

8. Babysit or petsit

Taking care of kids requires many valuable skills, time, and patience. But if this is something you feel prepared to handle, babysitting can be an excellent part-time job for you!

Many parents question whether younger nannies are responsible enough to look after their children - and that is why many prefer to have an older person doing it. If you think you are up for the challenge, you just need to promote your services and (ideally) get some people to recommend them. In today’s world, having good feedback on your skills and reliability is a must for this sort of job.

Similarly, if you have a great love for animals and pet care, whether it’s dog walking, or pet sitting for friends, this could be a great idea to generate income after retirement.

9. How about a life insurance policy with a cash value component?

After a certain age, most people start thinking about getting a life insurance policy, especially if they worry about final expenses and outstanding debts. If this is your case and you are interested in applying for a life insurance policy, there is a little component you should take into account if you want to make some extra money: cash value.

Whole life insurance, also known as permanent life insurance, offers a death benefit and also accumulates cash value you can borrow against or use for other purposes.

Cash value grows at different rates for different insurers and with different types of life insurance policies. So before choosing a policy, ask about this component and clear all your doubts. Depending on your goals, you may find that it is more appropriate for you to choose a universal life insurance policy or a whole life insurance plan, for instance.

Since personal situations are unique, and the details of accessing cash value funds are intricate, we strongly recommend you to talk with an advisor to understand how you can make the most of this component.

How Insurance Supermarket can help you

Besides worrying about generating income after retirement, most people also try to find an insurance plan to keep their families financially safe in the face of adversity.

At Insurance Supermarket, we know how hard it is for most people to find the perfect insurance policy without struggling with endless requirements and paperwork. From face-to-face meetings to medical exams, many factors can make getting insured long and stressful, especially for older people. That is why we decided to make things differently and simply the process as much as possible.

For that purpose, we offer simplified plans that don’t require medical exams, in-person meetings with advisors, or complicated paperwork to fill out. You can go through the whole application from the comfort of your home and get your plan in as little as 24 hours.

If you wonder how our life insurance plans could benefit you and your family, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We will be happy to show you what our products can do for you and the people you care about the most.

On the other hand, if you want to apply for our plans, complete this quick form to get a free quote. Our friendly advisors will be delighted to walk you through your options and find the perfect solution.

 

Written by Diane Taes

Financial new year resolutions: what actions to reach your financial goals for this new year?

The 1st of January is here, and you probably had time in recent months to take stock of your financial goals. Last year was overwhelming for everyone. And here is a lesson you probably learnt the hard way: everyone needs some savings to endure the worst. Job loss, layoffs, career change... these are the moments when you realize the importance of good budget management. Just like your car or house needs daily maintenance, your personal finances also need to be assessed to run smoothly and get you where you want to go.
So, for this new year's resolutions, here is your financial January to-do list. These New Year's resolutions should be about finances first. In this article, we'll give you some useful tips for financial wellness this year. We will see how to budget and set savings goals. We'll also teach you how to prepare for the future and what financial resolutions you should make and keep for the New Year.  Obviously, you don't revolutionize everything in a day. Managing your money better is a little everyday job that produces long-term positive results.  From the start of this new year, you should make a long-term plan to stick to bettering your finances. We'll show you how to make this year smoother from a financial perspective. So here are our 12 New Year's financial resolutions.

New Year's Financial Resolution N1: review your contracts.

As we explained in our article on when to review your insurance policy, the start of the year is a great time to review your coverage to ensure your beneficiaries are up to date and that your insurance policy is suitable for any recent changes in your life. So do the update for your beneficiaries on:
- Your life insurance policies,
- Your annuity contracts,
- And other retirement accounts.
If you are in a relationship, talk to your spouse about their group insurance plan.
Have you checked to see if your spouse's insurance plan is better than yours? Perhaps an attached coverage would be more beneficial for you. Also, update postal addresses and ways to contact you.

New Year's Financial Resolution N2: take Stock

Doing a financial report for January 1st is the best way to prioritize your savings and plan your spending this year. If you've kept your receipts and invoices, review them. What expenses could you have avoided? What expenses can you reduce? What expenses have actually been investments? What are your sources of income, and what is your average income?
You need to add up your income and subtract your expenses. It is by doing this that you can have your bottom line.

New Year's financial resolution N3: review your needs

First, look at your spending on contracts you rarely use. If you only use them infrequently, then they aren't necessary.
- How much time per week do you spend watching television? There are a lot of free movies on Youtube - both fiction or documentaries.
- Are you going to the gym? How about putting on a pair of sneakers and going for a 30-minute walk or, even better, a run? You can also find training videos on the internet to practice at home when it is too cold.
- Also, look at your phone usage: how many minutes per month do you spend on the phone? Do you really need a plan with unlimited data? You could very well go for a 1 GB plan and use the Wi-Fi in public places.
- For lighting, have you ever thought of LED lights to replace your bulbs? They can cost $5 and last up to 10 years!
- To reduce your water bill, remember to turn off the tap when you brush your teeth! Small actions can help you to build your financial security!
For other contracts, those that are not essential, close them immediately if possible. If you are bound by termination dates, prepare letters and emails to send them on time. And note these dates in your calendar. You will only have to post them on the agreed-upon day.
Then call the service companies to take advantage of New Years' specials. And even if they don't make any offers, negotiate, ask for a discount!

New Year's financial resolution N4: pay off your debts

Paying off your debts should be your other priority at the start of this year. On the one hand, it is a psychological burden that takes a toll on your mind. Then, if something happened to you, you wouldn't want your family to inherit your debts. But we will talk about this further.
Start by paying off your credit cards. Interest rates on credit card debt are so high that they often exceed student loans' interest rates. Your credit card is an expense in itself and is costing you too much. Pay off the one that costs you the least and close that credit card. Paying off that small debt will give you even greater motivation. You can then continue to pay off your next credit card debt at a higher amount. Likewise, close that credit card once you've paid it off. Do not listen to your banker, who will try to convince you of the need for this card. In a few months, when you are down to one, you can then compare credit cards to choose one free of charges or one that provides you with some beneficial rewards.
If you have no debt, consider how you can cut spending using the points on your card: movie tickets, restaurants, gas, cashback points for travel. Take a good look and take your time to compare and make the right choice. Every dollar counts.

New Year's financial resolution N5: automate

Automatization is essential in managing your money better. Automate the debit of a part of your salary on your credit card. You should automatically deposit in your credit account the sum to comfortably repay your credit. By doing this, you avoid accumulating debt again as of late fees.
Then automate the money transfer to your savings account.
At the end of the month, you should be able to sleep comfortably knowing that you paid all your bills, without costing you anything.
Managing your personal finances well also means knowing that you have saved a small amount that will generate interest as soon as you receive your salary.

New Years Financial Resolution N6: pay in cash.

You can pay for groceries with your credit card as it will earn you cashback. But for other expenses like home decorations or meals at restaurants, in which your credit card doesn’t provide you with additional benefits, pay in cash instead. How do you get used to it? Withdraw a sum at the beginning of the month and keep that amount in your wallet.
Having cash on hand will help you take more control of your spending. When you open your wallet and see the cash decreasing, you realize your spending, and you spend less. You can better visualize how long you can last with this amount. You become more thoughtful in your shopping.

New Year's financial resolution N7: optimize your resources

Do you know what government benefits you could receive from your employer? If you have recently changed jobs, you may have the right to receive a pension from your former employer. Now is the perfect time as long as you plan for the future with supplemental retirement plans called annuities. If you are nearing retirement age, learn about the best time to apply for Social Security and retirement benefits. Now is also the time to calculate the retirement you will have: will you have enough for your retirement?

New Year's Financial Resolution N8: talk to loved ones about your goals

Take a moment with your partner to talk about your finances, goals and the lifestyle you want to live. Including your kids in your meeting about your financial goals can also benefit them and act as a great introduction to proper financial planning. Your family are the people you enjoy life with and who are always by your side. They are also the people you want to protect most in this world. So please include them in your discussions. You will all be cheering each other on, and this support will help you keep the goal in view. You could even make a chart to show your financial goals and let your kids add to it when they make financial improvements.
If you are single, find someone among your friends who will be a real support to you. Tell that person about your financial goals: communication is a form of commitment. Sharing your financial resolutions will force you to stay engaged and persist in managing your budget well.

New Year's Financial Resolution N9: create an emergency fund

Finally, start building your emergency fund. It will protect you from both unexpected and great moments in life: loss of a job, the joy of a new child, a move, etc. Only you can decide to be as prepared as possible. Here's how you can get started: First, start with an emergency fund of $1,000 this January. This amount will cover you for unexpected small accidents of life such as a flat tire, your car breaking down, a fine, etc. This account will help you break the cycle of accumulating new debt when trying to eliminate the old one. Then, from February, save at least 10% each month from your income to create a larger emergency fund as the year goes on.
Sometimes, depending on your situation, even this emergency fund may not be enough in the event of a severe blow. In case of an accident, life or disability insurance comes in to support you. Do you have a mortgage? Do you still have debts from your college studies? If something happened to you, would your loved ones have enough to keep the house and their quality of life? Take life insurance into consideration to cover any unexpected event.

New Year's Financial Resolution N10: organize your papers.

Tax season will soon be here, so for good management of your finances and to avoid unnecessary stress, prepare your tax documents. Keep your records in order. Organize them in chronological order, and delete the documents you no longer need after a year.
Find out what documents you can keep for a few years and which ones you should keep for life. Keep these documents in an insulated storage box or, even better, a fireproof cabinet for added security. For your receipts and bills, classify them by month: place all these documents month by month in a pocket in a dedicated binder.
The more you organize your paperwork, the easier it will be to complete your tax return.

New Year's Financial Resolution N11: stick with your good resolutions

After making all of these resolutions and making a few changes, you will probably have a more challenging time sustaining your efforts around March. You might think to yourself what good comes from all this planning? You might say to yourself: Things are better now, I can stop my efforts.
Ignore these thoughts and keep your pace. This commitment you made is not only to yourself but also to your family, and your future. So, persevere.
- Keep recording your expenses to see how you spend your money.
- Keep your family budget up to date on your fridge to convince you to keep up your efforts.
- When you need cash, resist the instinct to dip into your checking account or savings. Think of it as stealing from yourself.

New Year's Financial Resolution N12: increase your income

If you have good financial management, and yet you're short of money, it means your income is too limited. To avoid taking in your savings and ruining all your previous efforts. Instead, consider undertaking a side activity. You need to diversify your sources of income.
- Make a garage sale to sell unused items.
- Take on easier-to-do work such as dog sitting or supervising children.
- Consider starting a small business simultaneously, whether for consultancy work or on the internet.
It can also help you pay off debt and build up your emergency fund faster.
So, come back to the beginning of this article and apply all these tips that we have given you. We are delighted to help you manage your finances better and create more security for you and your loved ones. However, no one should act without a thorough review of their situation with a professional advisor regarding protection and investments. Your situation is unique and requires speaking with professional advisors to determine which coverage options are best for you. Please complete our short free quote form to speak to an advisor who can offer you a plan adapted to your situation. We will be happy to answer your questions and to provide you with the most suitable solution!

Do's and Don'ts of Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a handy financial tool and an easy way to accumulate and carry unnecessary debt. When properly managed, credit cards can make building credit and covering emergency costs much more manageable. But on the other hand, you can quickly become overwhelmed by your card’s interest rate if you mismanage your debt. 

Whether you've had a credit card for many years or are just getting your first card now, there are certain do's and don'ts that everyone can learn from to ensure you are using them responsibly. This week, we're taking a look at some of the best practices of getting and using a credit card as well as what you want to avoid to keep your credit score up. (more…)