Introducing Manulife Vitality life insurance - Engrace Financial

How Life Insurance Can Take Your Wellness to a Healthier Level

What if life insurance could inspire you to live your best life? We often think of making healthy choices as something that only benefits us in mind and body, but that can even translate into financial benefits these days. Consider this: choosing to be active and making healthy food choices can help you lower your “vitality age.” Not only will you feel better — and younger! — but this also puts you in an entirely new bracket when it comes to insurance policies.

I offer Manulife Vitality as a life insurance policy option for its overall wellness benefits. The personalized program is designed to help you make the most of your life — while you’re still living it. It quantifies your “vitality age” through a few simple questions that address your overall health, and then gives you an action plan on how to improve it. This includes daily tips and suggestions, as well as a free wearable activity tracking device and mobile app so you know how you’re building healthy habits. That’s encouragement and support that’s easy and fun to use, right in your pocket.

The Manulife Vitality program works with you to increase your “vitality status” which translates into discounts on next year’s premiums, among other benefits. Manulife Vitality helps you Live Healthy, Earn Rewards, and Save Money. For the first time, your life insurance could reward you for living well!

That’s something we can all appreciate in the modern age of too much screen time, crazed schedules, and other pressures. Health matters, and needs to be a focus instead of a byproduct of lifestyle. If the Manulife Vitality program sounds like it could be the incentive you need to live healthier — sometimes, we all work better with a goal tracker! — then please contact me or your financial advisor to discuss your life insurance options and if this product is appropriate to help you with your lifestyle and financial planning goals.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and tell me about your financial or investment questions! If you live in British Columbia, and have a question about this topic or on other financial matters, you can connect directly with me via email.

***This content was prepared by Taayla Mark, a Financial Advisor with Engrace Financial Solutions Inc. This information has been obtained from sources we believe are reliable but is not guaranteed and may be incomplete. Please note the information contained herein is not tailored to any one individual and is general in nature. For specific recommendations, please consult directly with Taayla Mark.***

Leaving Your Legacy - Street Smarts with Taayla

Leaving Your Legacy

How Do You Leave a Financial Legacy for Your Family?

A legacy often seems to imply something grand, like a charitable foundation or our name on an important public building. But for most of us, our legacy will be small, intimate, and priceless to those we love.

When I think of a legacy, I think of the intangible things that my parents left me. It’s the small, personal things, like how I sound like my mom when I say “hello”; how my brother looks more like my dad with every passing day; and how my sisters have my mom’s calm demeanour.

Life insurance as a legacy: protecting your family in the event of untimely death.

My parents taught me the value of hard work with the way they lived and the decisions they made. They moved to a new country for better opportunities and though they didn’t know about insurance when they first arrived in Canada, they were concerned about their family should something happen to either of them.  A financial advisor gave them life insurance options to address that need to provide for my siblings and I in the event of their death.

My parents’ reason for holding a life insurance policy was to help their loved ones and protect us not only from the loss of their income, but the loss of lifestyle and financial security in the event of their untimely passing. This is the primary reason why anyone would hold an insurance policy or other investment with a death benefit: You have the privilege to create a layer of protection for those you love.

Their forethought and future planning made a difference in our lives that carries on to this day. The proceeds of their insurance policy were important to building our futures, and we remember the sacrifices they made to make that possible. That is one part of their legacy to us.

Life insurance options tailored to your needs?

Think of the essential people in your life; the people that you love the most. With Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday, our families and children are forefront in our minds! Protecting them and their future can be as simple as a life insurance policy or as complex as a family trust. There are different options to implement your financial legacy, no matter what your economic means are.

If you live in British Columbia and have a question about this or other financial matters, you can always connect directly with me via email. Otherwise, feel free to leave your investment questions in the comments below!

This content was prepared by Taayla Mark, a Certified Financial Planner with Engrace Financial Solutions Inc. This information has been obtained from sources we believe are reliable, but is not guaranteed and may be incomplete.

Please note the information contained herein is not tailored to any one individual and is general in nature. For specific recommendations, please consult directly with Taayla Mark.

Life insurance for your business

Life Insurance for Your Business

If you’re not physically present to protect your business, who is? In the latest Street Smarts with Taayla video, I explain your options that allow you to protect your business by using life insurance.

Financial planners are always considering the possible risks to your business, and assessing how to best manage those risks with insurance. Here’s how life insurance can serve as a solution, in four ways.

“Key Man” Insurance

This is important in the case that your key person is not able to be there for your business, and their absence affects productivity and profit margins. This insurance covers the key man whether it’s you, the business owner, or your valuable employee or employees? Life insurance on this crucial person or persons will help cover the loss of revenue as well as the cost to re-train a replacement worker.

Securing Bank Credit

In many cases, banks require the principal of the company to be covered with life insurance to secure a loan. This is like key man insurance –but from the bank’s perspective.

Funding for A Buy-Sell Agreement

A buy-sell agreement, otherwise known as a buyout agreement, is a legal written document stating how its stakeholders are to conclude business in the event of death or a leave of absence. When death occurs to one of the partners or shareholders there is usually a typical need for immediate cash to fulfill the terms of the buy-sell agreement. This is when a life insurance policy comes into play.

Funding for Tax Liability

Death and taxes are unavoidable and usually go hand-in hand. In business, there are many ways that taxes can take a toll on more than you can imagine. It is recommended that you consult with a tax accountant to work out the numbers, and then place life insurance on the members of the business with their expected tax obligations. In setting up this contract, it is common to use the company as the owner and beneficiary of the policy, however it is not necessary.

There is so much more to learn and consider in the organization and protection of your establishment, and in this video we’ve only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Keep an eye out for more videos to come! One of the best things about using life insurance to protect your business is that life insurance policies are usually paid out within two weeks after the claims requirements are met. That will also alleviate the need to liquidate assets in an already stressful situation.

I’d love to hear your feedback, or if you have a similar story, please share with us in the comments below! I will do my best to help support you through it. Please like and share this video, and subscribe to our channel: Engrace Financial Solutions, financial success made simple.

Critical Illness for Families with Children

Financial Planning: Critical Illness for Families with Children

In the latest Street Smarts with Taayla video, I’m discussing the ways you can take preventative measures to protect your family in the instance that your child falls ill with a critical illness. Parents will do everything they can to protect their children from harm. But most times, that doesn’t include envisioning a future where their child falls critically ill. While this is an uncomfortable topic, it’s an important one, as the repercussions of a critical illness can significantly impact your family in many ways.  

The Impact of Critical Illness

It’s hard enough to imagine ourselves in this situation, so how can we even entertain the idea that it could happen to our children? When I talk to parents about critical illness insurance for their young ones, they don’t usually see the need for it. However, with over 900 new cases of children being diagnosed with cancer each year, I believe it is important to help families prepare for the worst case scenario.

Some of the challenges that can result in financial stress include:

  • Alternative medicines that can add up to hundreds of dollars each month.
  • The need to hire extra help to help around the home.
  • Loss of income revenue or the ability to work due to emotional or psychological distractions.
  • Having to take time of work to be with your child at home, or in the hospital.
  • Putting retirement or travel savings plans on hold to pay for medical expenses.

Consider Critical Illness Insurance for the Family

The emotional and financial strain for families with sick children can go beyond a few months into years of hardship. This is why I urge parents who have coverage for themselves to consider getting critical illness insurance for the rest of the family. Critical illness insurance for your children is valid for the rest of their lives, even as grown-ups. While it may not lessen the heartache of the situation, a critical illness insurance plan can help parents focus on what’s most important – the health of your child.

Thank you for trusting me to speak on this difficult subject and I hope that you are encouraged to make the best decision for your family; to cover all your bases and focus on living an excellent, secure life!

I’d love to hear your feedback, or if you have a similar story, please share with us in the comments below! I will do my best to help support you through it. Please like and share this video, and subscribe to our channel: Engrace Financial Solutions, financial success made simple.


Street Smarts with Taayla

What is a Registered Disability Savings Plan?

What is a Registered Disability Savings Plan?

Do you have a disability and have you heard of the Registered Disability Savings Plan?

Many people haven’t! In my latest Street Smarts video, I’m happy to share another option for people with disabilities. It’s a great way to add to your retirement and ensure you have more money for your future.

Maybe your financial advisor has told you about it. Maybe you’ve heard about it from your bank. Maybe your friends have talked about it.

But how much do you really know about RDSPs? I’m here to help explain more about this important savings plan!

Registered Disability Savings Plans is a program provided by the Canadian government

The government wants to provide more options for people with disabilities to have a more financially secure future.

This money is given through grants and/or bonds after an initial investment. There are a variety of options for that initial investment. There is a certain amount you can contribute and the government has a schedule for matching.

How much money can I get from an RDSP?

You could receive hundreds or thousands of dollars from these government bonds and grants.

For example, one of my clients named Mike initially invested $500. Within three months, he was already given $9,700 in grants and bonds.

Another example in an eight year old girl. Her parents started an RDSP for her with an initial $200. She received $6,000 in grants and bonds!

Nancy is another great example. She started with $2,500 AND ended up with $12,000 in grands and bonds.


What determines how much you receive from an RDSP?

RDSP amounts are based on specific qualifications. Each individual can receive a different amount depending on things like income and LENGTH OF DISABILITY.

What you receive initially may change year-to-year, depending on your income.

Your grant will be matched by your initial contribution. Your bond is qualified by a low income tax return.

How long does my money have to stay in an RDSP?

Another important detail is how long your money must stay in the plan. The money has to stay IN THE PLAN for a minimum of 10 years from the last contribution.

How do I qualify for an RDSP?

In order to qualify for a Registered Disability Savings Plan, you need a disability tax credit for when you file your tax return. This will be your first step in starting the process for an RDSP.

What if you don’t have a disability tax credit? Not a problem. Click here to find out more about disability tax credits and how to get one. 

Talk to a financial advisor to find out more details about RDSPs.

What’s the best age to start an RDSP?

Anytime! But if you’re under 50 years old and have a disability tax credit, having an RDSP is a great option to save for your retirement. Even if someone is under 18, getting the guardians to start an RDSP is a very smart financial decision.

Scroll to the bottom and let us know in the comments below if you want to know more about mortgage insurance or if you have any feedback on our new show.

Get in touch with us!

Let’s get in touch! We’d love to answer all your questions. Contact Taayla today to learn more about RDSP. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We post new video content once a month, so don’t miss an episode and get my financial tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox.

CBC Marketplace investigates mortgage insurance, Post claim underwriting for mortgage insurance

CBC Marketplace “In Denial” – Mortgage Insurance

CBC Marketplace takes a deep dive into mortgage insurance with the investigative report “In Denial”.

They take a look at what really goes on when someone decides to purchase mortgage insurance from a major Canadian bank.

CBC Marketplace poses an important question everyone should ask about mortgage insurance: how much are you really covered?

As I talked about in my latest Street Smarts video, mortgage insurance pays off your mortgage should you become sick or pass away.

That way, insurance payouts will go to you or your loved ones instead of going to the lender.

Medical questions and monthly premiums

CBC talked to two households who purchased insurance, which cost them somewhere between $20-45 a month. They showed the easy sign-up process. When they took out or renewed their mortgage, they answered a few simple “yes or no” medical questions and started paying monthly premiums.

However, when one woman’s husband suddenly died of a heart attack, and the other woman’s husband became sick with cancer, the insurance company denied their claim.

Why? How?

Post-claim underwriting

It’s all a part of a process called post-claim underwriting.

In some states in the U.S., it’s illegal. In Alberta, they made it mandatory to become licensed before you can sell mortgage insurance.

Post-claim underwriting is when they examine your medical records only after you file your claim.

Many people think they’re covered

This means the bank is collecting premiums from people who don’t even qualify – but because the questions on the medical questionnaire are confusing, it leaves many people thinking they’re covered when they really aren’t.

Jim Bullock, who has been in the insurance industry for 35 years and fights for families to get paid out for their mortgage insurance, says the questions are made to trip you up. “[There is] virtually no chance of doing it accurately. I haven’t seen anybody do it,” he says.

What should you take away from this program?

That buying mortgage insurance is very easy, but understanding if you’re actually covered is fairly difficult. Take your time filling out the medical questionnaire and ask questions if you have them. Make sure that when it comes time to file a claim, you have properly understood what is – and isn’t – covered.

To see a shortened version of the episode, watch below:

Get in touch with us!

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel! You’ll get all new episodes of Street Smarts straight to your inbox.

Make sure and let us know in the comments below if you learned something new. I’d also love to answer any questions about mortgage insurance or about any of my other blog topics!

Download our handy chart to see the differences between bank mortgage insurance and self owned mortgage insurance. Bank vs Personal Mortgage Life Insurance.

mortgage insurance

Let’s Talk Mortgage Insurance

Today I want to talk about the importance of mortgage insurance and why you should be discussing it with your financial advisor. Even if you don’t yet have a mortgage, it’s important to know for when you do start looking, or to inform your loved ones of what can happen if your mortgage isn’t insured.

What is mortgage insurance?

Mortgage insurance is the bank’s version of life and disability insurance. If a person becomes sick, injured, or passes away, the insurance will pay the mortgage to the lender on behalf of the individual.

Why is it important to have?

If you pass away, do you want your insurance to pay loved ones or have that money taken away to pay off lenders? Mortgage insurance ensures that mortgages are paid so that loved ones can still receive those financial benefits.

It’s also important because the insurance isn’t portable. This means that if you decide to renew your mortgage with another lender, you now have to prequalify for your insurance with that new lender. If your health has declined since then, that could be a huge problem.

In most cases, you’re actually paying a higher premium with less benefits. I highly suggest watching “In Denial” from CBC Marketplace. The story goes into detail about mortgage insurance and some important things to look out for.  If you have a mortgage or are looking to get one, it’s a must-watch.

Bottom line: talk to your financial advisor about mortgage insurance. Make sure you’re doing a needs analysis to make sure you’re seeing the big picture. Be informed and stay educated when it comes to mortgage insurance. It can make a difference between having nothing and having everything – make sure you’re covered when it comes to paying out lenders.

Scroll to the bottom and let us know in the comments below if you want to know more about mortgage insurance or if you have any feedback on our new show.

Get in touch with us!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We will be posting new video content once a month, so don’t miss an episode and get my financial tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox.

long term care insurance long term care coverage

When to Buy Long Term Care Insurance

This week, I’d like to share a story about my family. My grandma lived a healthy life: she exercised, ate well, and had a great attitude. We like to joke that she walked faster than all seven of her grandchildren!

In her 80s, however, she started showing signs of dementia. She was able to stay in her own house for four years. However, eventually she needed more care than staying at home could provide. Because of the 24/7 care she needed, she moved into a long term care facility. During the two years there, we had to hire a nurse to give her the care she needed.

Our family struggled with the cost of that care. Although my grandma was financially stable at the beginning of her illness, her assets and savings were quickly used up.

What is long term care insurance?

As a financial planner, I knew long term care insurance would be the best option. It provides a monthly income to ensure that you or your loved ones are taken care of during times of need.

When should you get long term care insurance?

The best time to get long term care insurance is when you’re young and healthy. If you’re in your 50s or 60s, you should get it right away. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get coverage. Premiums skyrocket.

A very important note to keep in mind:  Most Long Term Care Insurance providers are taking their stand-alone policy off the market by end of June, 2018. Talk with Taayla NOW, or get in touch with your advisor, to get the best long term care protection in place.

It is easy to go through your savings during illness or retirement. If that’s a concern, ask us about long term care.

Get in touch with us!

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel! You’ll get every new episode straight to your inbox.

Then let us know in the comments below if you learned something new about long term care insurance or if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer.