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6 Reasons You Need To Buy Life Insurance

6 Reasons You Need To Buy Life Insurance Alberta


Here are 6 reasons I always share with clients why they need to buy life insurance.

Did you know that life insurance pays out tax-free to your beneficiaries usually within 30-60 days upon claim? Did I mention tax-free money to your estate?

1. To Pay Final Expenses

In my opinion, everyone needs to have a small permanent life insurance policy to cover off final expenses.  These expenses can run from $5,000 to $25,000 or more. Besides burial or cremation costs, there are also final tax returns and legal obligations or probate or tax owing that are required to close your estate. Here’s the thing, don’t be a burden to your family or friends – consider having a small paid up whole life or universal life or Term100 that will pay out tax free to your chosen beneficiaries to help ease the immediate burden of final expenses.

2. To Cover Children’s Expenses

If you have children under age 18, I firmly believe it is your responsibility to help provide for those children if you were to pass away prematurely. This is something I’m very passionate about because it’s so inexpensive for people of child-rearing ages to afford a decent sized life insurance policy of even $500,000 to $1,000,000 at minimum. Everyone knows a million dollars doesn’t go far these days, not to mention if you want to help contribute to your child’s secondary education costs, then you will really need to take a good hard look at getting the proper amount of life insurance.

3. To Replace Your Partner’s Income

If you depend on your partners income to run your lifestyle and housing costs, then this is a no brainer, obviously if you didn’t have insurance and your partner passes away you may be forced to radically change your lifestyle. The question becomes, is this something you are willing to do during the hardest days of your life? Any amount of life insurance will help ease this burden so you aren’t forced into making rash decisions at inopportune times.

4. To Pay Off Debts

Like I said about the insurance for your children, I also will say that it is your responsibility to cover your debts in the event of your passing. You were the one who made the decision to take on the debt in the first place, don’t you think that you should also not leave that debt to your loved ones to deal with your messes? Time to ADULT now and make sure you have proper coverage to handle all your debts, from mortgage to credit cards to car loans to business agreements.

5. To Cover Business Expenses

Buying life insurance to cover Key Employees or to fund a buy/sell agreement or just to cover outstanding debts in the business, it is so important to look at life insurance for your business. Make sure to talk to a CFP to make sure all the angles of your business are covered.

6. To Pay Off Estate Taxes

Although Canada doesn’t have estate taxes per se, they do have probate fees and final taxes on deemed dispositions of assets on the date of your death. This can be a massive blow to your estate. For example, a million dollars in RRSPs would be worth $600,000 or less after all the taxes are paid on your final tax return. That’s a huge win for the government and a huge loss for your family. This is where permanent insurance is important, such as whole life or universal life or Term100. Probate fees are minimal in some provinces, but in other provinces can be very costly.

Okay, now ask yourself if you have enough or you have enough on your partner.

Let me ask you this, in your darkest of days – losing your best friend, lover, partner – do you want to be financially stressed on top of your loss? OR, on that note, if he’s a schmuck who owes you money and never pays up on time, wouldn’t it be better to have a policy in place to make sure you get what is contractually yours in the case he dies and leaves you high and dry raising kids… just more food for thought… cause you will curse his name for getting off scot-free one last time! 🙂

Either way, I’m happy to get you a quote or put you in touch with someone in your jurisdiction who can help you get some proper risk management and life insurance in place! Don’t wait… I will write another blog on the people who came to me and said they wished they had put some life insurance in place before their partner passed unexpectedly.

Grim, I know. Real Life – Yes, unfortunately.

Bottom Line: You’re still gonna need money, honey.

xx Lisa



Owning Your Own Life Insurance

Owning Your Own Life Insurance by Lisa Elle, Financial Planner Calgary, Alberta

We’ve all grown up with someone somewhere telling us to own our own homes versus rent and the benefits of that.

It’s no different when it comes to life insurance.

You need to be the owner of your own life insurance policy.

Many people think that because they have coverage through their employer for life insurance or through their mortgage that they have proper coverage.

The reality is this.

You don’t own your life insurance policy through your mortgage lender (or such as Manulife Protection Plan) and you definitely don’t own your life insurance policy through your employer.

The reality that 2020 taught us is this: there are zero guarantees when it comes to employment.

This means if you are laid off, fired, quit your job OR if your employer decides they no longer can afford your benefit plan, you will have no coverage and no say in the matter.

Now, yes, you can go and apply, however note it’s best to be young and healthy when you apply for life insurance.

If you have any pending surgeries, medications or chronic health conditions, you may be rated (paying a higher premium) or declined for life insurance, after all, life insurance companies take the gamble that you are going to live a long time and don’t want to insure ill health – that’s why it’s best to lock in your rate when you are young and healthy.

Important to note: if you have only mortgage insurance, that only covers your mortgage. Nothing else. No credit cards, loans, car loans, funeral or final expenses, not to mention leaving anything extra behind for your family to maintain their lifestyle. You can’t break off a piece of your paid off house to buy bread, you will need to refinance if you require money to pay for the other debts and expenses.

Did I mention most people don’t even know the exclusions on their mortgage insurance?

Here’s the other thing.

When you own your own life insurance policy you are in the driver’s seat. You control the policy.

This means you control when it cancels (unless it expires, but that is an upfront contractual obligation) and you also control if you want to convert your term coverage to permanent life insurance as well.

Traditional Underwritten Life Insurance, that you own, will pay out for almost all types of deaths. There are very few exclusions. Even suicide pays out after 2 years owning the policy.

When you depend on your mortgage insurance (which typically expires when your mortgage term expires and you will need to reapply) or when you depend on your employer’s life insurance policy (which is also typically very small amounts of life insurance) you are giving financial control over to the “hoping gods” – hoping that you will have coverage when you will need it most.

Don’t take that chance.

Own your own life insurance policy, own your own critical illness policy.

Make sure you have coverage in place when you need it most.

Because the second you need the coverage, it’s already too late to buy it.

~ Written by Lisa Elle, BMgmt, CFP, FCSI, CHS, CPCA, EPC, CEA, CCS, RIS

PS. If you want to review your life insurance coverage, book a FREE 15-minute call directly into my calendar HERE or go to


Is Your RESP Going To Save You?

Is Your RESP Going To Save You by Lisa Elle, CFP

I see this all the time and it’s DETRIMENTAL to you and to your family’s wealth & future!

You need to start your financial journey off by taking care of you.

Yes. You.

It seems so counterintuitive because we are so programmed to take care of our families first, but when it comes to building wealth and in specific, the risk management part of your life (preparing for the unexpected financially), then you need to start making sure you have your financial priorities in alignment with your values.

So many loving parents are putting away hundreds of dollars a month for their children’s future – namely, their education or into their RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan).

And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’ve already taken care of you.

What do I mean by that?

I see so many families that are putting $100, $200. $400 per month away for their children, when they don’t even have their own financial basics in place, risk management basics.

Financial basics in place to cover death, disability, massive health care expenses. (Critical Illness Insurance would help cover those expensive treatments.)

And while saving for your child’s future is important, don’t let it interfere with you taking care of yourself first.

The reality for many of us is that we have to take responsibility and take care of ourselves first.

How are you going to help your family if you pass away, get disabled, or can’t work if you don’t have a proper risk management plan in place?

Is your RESP going to save you?!

HINT: No it’s not. You can barely touch that money anyways.

I only say this because I’ve seen this more than once in my career of 20+ years. In fact, too often.

Clients with money going into RESP plans before the parents even have their own savings thought about, or even a proper emergency fund established, or even basics like owning their own personal life insurance policy or critical illness or extended health care plans for drugs, dental, etc. (Do you know how much diabetes will cost you per month if diagnosed without a plan?! or Cancer Therapies?! That will rip through any savings plan very rapidly.)

I am the first to cheer you on in saving for your children’s future, however, don’t let that get in the way of making sure you can take care of your kids when the unexpected happens.

Food, clothing, shelter – those are far more important expenses to consider if something happened to you before you consider saving for college.

And here’s another thing… what about your retirement?

Unless you have plans that your child will be the one to go to university and become a doctor and save you financially, why are you not prioritizing taking care of you first?

The ol’ ‘put your oxygen mask on yourself first before your children’ rings true here.

Who is going to save you?

You must take care of yourself, put a proper risk management plan in place. It may only cost $100 or $200 per month to do so, but it’s extremely important to provide for your family in case of death or disability/critical illness (and don’t depend on your employer benefits because you never know when you will be laid off, fired, quit your job or if your employer simply can’t afford benefits anymore.. it happens…).

I value education too.

However, never at the expense of my family having no money or having to move or not afford food if I can’t work for whatever reason.

So I’ll ask again, are your investments/savings in alignment with your values?

Your RESP won’t save you.

~ Written by Lisa Elle, BMgmt, CFP, FCSI, CHS, CPCA, EPC, CEA, CCS, RIS

PS. If you want help with making sure your values are in alignment with investments/savings, I’d be happy to help. Book a FREE 15-minute call into my schedule HERE or go to and sign up and receive my FREE course: Financial Basecamp: Creating Your Unstoppable Unapologetic Financial Base!


How The Government Funded MILLIONS for My Kids Estate

I want to tell you THAT the government funded MILLIONS for my daughters and my future grandchildren.

AND for only $100/month.

AND only $100/month for like 20 years…

Seriously, most people totally don’t believe me, and even when I show them the contracts they still won’t believe me.

They will all say it sounds too good to be true.

But here’s the deal.

The government in Canada gives every child some money every month, regardless of your income. If you don’t need that money to get by, which most probably don’t, then I tell clients to invest it for their children, but not in regular investments.

I used to get $100 every month, now I think it’s like $60 per child, regardless I think most people can save $100 per month per child or at least $50 per month per child. This strategy can work with $50/month or $100/month.

I get why people are so negative and think its a scam, or why it may sound too good to be true. And time the word MILLION gets tossed around, it does sound scammy.

But it’s not. Not if you are investing $100/month over many years, and then leave it for many, many years of compounding tax sheltered (where the government is not taking tax off every year!). Did you not learn about the power of compounding? Do you remember the RULE of 72? Then this will make sense!

And this will even sound crazier to people who don’t understand insurance or have been sold crappy over-priced insurance policies (trust me – they are out there and I see them all time!)

Here’s the BIG DEAL though, and I really want you to consider this if you are wanting to create a real LEGACY for your children and generations to come, or if you want to leave something big behind or change the world and if you want to commit to something and you are OKAY with delayed gratification (okay this last one is HUGE – you gotta be okay with delayed gratification) and with this strategy, you need to NEVER touch these funds, no matter what (and besides they are creditor proof, so even if someone tries to sue you or if you go bankrupt, they can’t touch these funds, so there really is no excuse.)

This strategy works best for babies, or kids 0-5, however, if your kids are under 18, this strategy still works, and you can set these up for your children or if you are a grandma, for your grandchildren! In fact, grandma’s love setting these up for their grandchildren!

There are a few key things with this strategy that I want to share with you which is why you really need to work with an independent advisor, in other words, this strategy won’t work as well with BIG PUBLICALLY TRADED INSURANCE COMPANIES or BANKS – hint hint….. so if you are thinking of working with the BIG BIG companies, this may work, just not in your best interest. And well, here’s the bottom line…

My girls are each going to have over $1,000,000 (minimum $500,000 each guaranteed!) by the time they are 85 (ya, life expectancy) which will probably flow down to my grandchildren.

You see, I have a dream. YUP! I have a dream to see families financially independent in less than 3 or 4 generations! And, guess what, not just financially free, but our kids and grandkids being financially savvy too and smart to be able to grow that wealth and then pass that along for generations to come! It’s a life changer, it becomes generational wealth. And I think it’s pretty awesome.

If you want to learn more about this, and seriously want to teach your kids about money and invest $100 a month for them and change the financial trajectory for your family – you need to contact me.

That’s the bottom line.

I don’t even know why I rarely share this with people. It’s a huge disservice on my end! To the bloody world! And, I need to apologize for not showing up in the world to tell you this. I should have been yelling it from the rooftops for the last 17 years, but I didn’t have the confidence, or was too scared to – SILLY, right?


If you want a quote for your beautiful child or children, give me a shout. Also, just a quick note, this does require your kids to be healthy – yes, that does suck if your child is uninsurable – however, on that note too, I do have some policies for most uninsurable children – depends on the condition. But just to let you know upfront! I’ve been doing this for 17 years and represent every company, and I’ve hunted some of these policies out for my children, so I take this seriously! AND, I really do want to see families create generational wealth – so this I probably take more seriously than most! It’s what my next book and future TED talk are all about…. 😉


Start creating yours today! If you want to know where to start, I’m here to help!



Dumb Ways To Die

Dumb Ways To Die


One of the insurance companies I am affiliated with, Empire Life, put out these great commercials called “Dumb Ways to Die” on you tube, so I had to share.  I guess I don’t watch enough TV. Maybe you saw these; either way they are great marketing and a good laugh.  🙂



My $10,000 Day in San Francisco

I left my money in San Francisco


I’ve sold travel insurance for years. 15 years to be exact. And I’ve never needed it….. until……

I’m at my annual work conference in San Francisco this week (actually I’m writing this post from my beautiful hotel room). It was amazing. 5 star all the way. Wined and dined at all the classiest iconic places in town. My 35-year-old body is fast realizing it’s not 18 anymore and 4 days of rich foods and wine start to kick in – like my credit card statement will kick in after this whole US/CND exchange rate fiasco – as I typically don’t eat or drink like that at home (I’m a pretty healthy girl for the most part!).

I get back to my hotel room at midnight. Can’t sleep. Think I have indigestion or food poisoning. Perhaps it was the shrimp. No, maybe the oysters. No, maybe the steak. Geez. The cheese platter? That last Gin & Tonic. (Honestly, we start at 5 pm and go till midnight – a lot happens in 7 hours of eating and drinking – for days straight) Then it hits me. Must have been the pork belly on that cute crouton with the yummy aioli sauce shaped like a heart…..

As I’m contemplating what foods I ate, I realize my pain is increasing and it’s like nothing I’ve felt before. Okay lies. It felt like the end stages of child labor – been there, got the T-Shirt!

So, with no sleep, at 5 am in excruciating pain, I call my Canadian travel insurance company’s phone number and ask them where I should go to seek medical attention. They give me the name and address and off I stumble down through the lobby, grab a taxi to the hospital emergency.

They were waiting for me at the California Pacific Medical Centre. They knew I was coming.  It was quite nice. Like checking into a hotel. (I have to say, minus my pain, they whole experience was rather quite enjoyable.)

8 hours later after a page long of pain medication I can’t pronounce, a CT scan, an ultrasound, blood work and all diagnostics completed, I was diagnosed with a gall bladder attack, which subsided hours later. Honestly, I was terrified that it was a heart attack, because symptoms for both are similar – thankful that it was not.  However, told to stay off fatty foods and on my way I went back to the hotel feeling a million times better.

And the happy part of the story is that they billed my emergency medical travel insurance directly and the only time I had to open my wallet was for my prescription medication, however they will be reimbursing me for that too.  (I could go on about private health care and what a wonderful experience it was, no queue and the customer service was amazing. Ohhh – I did have a hot Doctor too {Hi Dr. Dan 😉 } – that helps.  I felt like I was in my own episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  And I digress….)

I’m so happy that otherwise all the tests showed I’m in great health (huge blessing), feeling great, and reminding everyone who travels out of province and out of country to purchase travel insurance. It’s relatively inexpensive if you are under 65, however, all it takes is one tiny incident and you could be paying for it big time or cashing in investments you have worked hard to save up or remortgaging your home or worse.  I’ve heard all the horror stories over the years.

Funny enough, I’m staying at the hotel where Tony Bennett sang his famous song, “I left my heart in San Francisco.” I’m just glad I had travel insurance to cover this or I’d be singing, “I left my money in San Francisco.”




Death By Dishwasher

Critical Illness


Apparently, death by dishwasher has increased 100% since they invented the diswasher. Beware, those crazy dishes can pile up and wreak all sorts of trouble on your life, even relationships (specifically the marital type), sometimes resulting in an “accident”, disability or as already alluded to, death. What advice I’d like to give you is to avoid those pesky things all together, however, in life we know that dishes, taxes and death are certain, and for the most part unavoidable. Sadly, there is one more certainty to add to that list that will likely affect everyone at some point in their life: Critical Illness.

I’m not going to go into statistics, but everyone knows someone or multiple people in their life with a critical illness right now. And here’s the thing, most people do survive their critical illness, be it cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc. and for many years after go on to live completely normal lives. Life after a critical illness is becoming more common thanks to medical technology and health care advancements and fabulous support groups.

Critical Illness Insurance, I believe, is an important part of your financial portfolio (because I’ve seen it financially distress families many times). If it’s not in your portfolio, I really think you should take a serious look at it, regardless what age you are at!

Keep in mind, it’s probably not part of your benefits plan at work (if you are lucky to have one).  There are very few companies that do offer Critical Illness Insurance as part of their benefits, so make sure to read and know what your benefits cover.

There are even return of premium options (so you get your money back at age 75 for example) and although Critical Illness Insurance premiums are more expensive than Life Insurance, still typically less expensive than Disability Insurance.

But what I really want to tell you today is what Critical Illness Insurance really does for people. I’ve handed out a few critical illness claims myself (all to people under age 50 by the way!) and found it had a very positive effect on those families.

I think when handed a large lump sum of money when you are diagnosed with a critical illness is a mindset game changer – keep in mind, you can do whatever you want with this money (oooh, and I forgot to mention the best part: It’s TAX FREE!) I think it goes unsaid, but I know in my clients’ situation that there was no financial stress on the families during that difficult time, there were financial options available to them to go seek medical attention at the best places in the world if they wanted to, and they felt they were more in control of their situation, rather than having their situation control them. Plus, they didn’t dip into their life savings, and came out in remission financially unharmed years later.

I’m also a firm believer that a positive mindset will overcome anything. And when you have financial resources available to you to, you are less likely to get depressed or feel like a burden to others, because still one of the top reasons for divorce and depression is financial difficulty.

I could write a book about Critical Illness Insurance and why I’m so passionate about it (oh wait, I am….), but for today, just remember to stay clear the dishwasher, and if anyone in your family asks, just tell them I said so*.

*This advice is not real legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice. Liability for not doing dishes is at your own risk, and you should NOT not do dishes without first seeking legal and other professional marital advice. If you were injured as a result of not doing dishes or your life was otherwise negatively impacted by not doing dishes, you are advised expected to shrug it off and be more careful next time.



Bite the Bullet



Ever been to Costco and said you were going to ‘grab it later’ although to realize later it wasn’t there – like I’ve done 100 times.

Enter: The World of Insurability.

Insurability, in Lisa terms, is an insurance company’s opinion of you, your health, lifestyle and family history at a certain point in time, typically when applying for insurance.

Here’s the thing. When applying for Individual Health, Critical Illness, Disability or Life Insurance you NEED to get it while you are healthy. It’s this crazy thing where insurance companies don’t want to take on your smoking, drinking, diabetic deep fried Oreo habits (all the things that make for a great, GREAT stampede week!)……I think it has something to do with their business model emphasizing profits.

I had a client call me yesterday. He told me he just had a stroke and in the next breath mentioned how glad he was to have purchased his life insurance last year (and I have hundreds of stories like this). It’s so important because you just don’t know what tomorrow brings, and you have the power to take simple planning steps today. The only thing any of my clients who have had living benefits claims say the same thing; they wished they had more insurance.

So, what do you do? Get your insurance while you are young and healthy and apply preferably before Stampede.

If you are uninsurable, there are policies available, however premiums are higher.

Find an insurance broker/agent/advisor who specializes in traditional underwriting (the kind where you have to take medical tests and have a nurse come over – preferable if you are in good health) or non-traditional underwriting (policies that only ask you healthy questions and base underwriting decisions instantly on your answers). The non-traditional insurance market offers insurance products for EVERYONE…although again higher premiums and smaller payouts, however most people don’t even know that’s an option AND most insurance brokers don’t either!

Lucky for you I specialize in both. I can answer any of your ‘boring’ insurance questions. Leave a comment below or email me. I slept with an insurance textbook under my pillow for 15 years.

You never know what tomorrow holds for you and your family. I still laugh when people say, ‘well my parents lived to 100 kicking and healthy’. If that’s the story that keeps you warm at night, then I wish you sweet dreams. Reality is this….

49. That is the AVERAGE age of all Critical Illness claims in Canada (yes, average meaning half younger and half older)
56. That is the AVERAGE age of widowhood in Canada (meaning your man should not be your retirement plan).

So, do yourself a solid and get a few million dollars of life insurance on good ol’ hubby, because that story will keep you warm at night. When God takes hubby he will leave behind a Golden Gucci Purse to cuddle with.

I poke fun, but bear with me and forgive my lame-lisa-humour; I sell life insurance for a living.

What I mean to say is this. You may not die tomorrow but your insurability might, so get the proper coverage today while you are healthy.

So why not bite the bullet, before it bites you (or your husband and secure your Golden Gucci today!)


Protecting Your Babies

Have you ever thought about getting Critical Illness Insurance or Life Insurance on your babies?!

Well, truth be told, as horrible as it seems to “profit” off your child’s illness, or worse, death (yes, I’ve had this talk with many parents, many times!) – it’s something to consider for this simple reason:

If your child had to be at the hospital everyday or needed plenty of care for the foreseeable future, and you couldn’t work (remember, disability is only if you can’t work, not if your kids can’t), how would that affect your family financially?  If you are a single parent, it’s probably even more important, or if you are in a partnership that requires both of you to pay the bills every month.  And if the worst case scenario happens, then do you want the option to go back to work right away or not.  Don’t think of it as insuring your children, think of it more as insuring your job if you can’t work.

Well I found a way to make the “uneasiness” of buying critical illness and life insurance on your children less terrible!

There is an insurance company that I use that offers a 3-In-1 policy – it’s the best I have found, and yes, I have these on my girls (I hunted for the best when I had my babies – so naturally I share that with you!  I’m quite passionate about these policies.)

For whatever your selected face value, say $50,000 or $100,000 (very typical face amounts), if your child is diagnosed with a critical illness (the policy will pay out for a number of critical illnesses), or if your child dies prematurely, then it pays out the face amount upon death.  So you get one or the other.  However, if you are like me and you pray, hope and expect your children to grow up healthy and happy, then guess what – 20 years later you get all the premiums back!  This is a lovely little lump sum of money you can gift to your child for university, perhaps a wedding, or a new home or just keep it for your next shopping trip after all you just spent 20 years having to raise that child – well deserved shopping money!  Also, important to note, after 20 years, the policy becomes ‘paid up’ meaning you don’t need to make any more payments every month, and then your child has a critical illness/life insurance policy for life, just in case he/she is uninsurable at the policies 20 year mark – so you don’t have to cash it in for refund of premium.  That’s like a 4-in-1 policy.

By the way, this is a great policy for grandparents to buy on their grandchildren who want to help, so if you can’t afford the premiums, ask OMA or BABA or NANA to help.

So ask me for a quote – it’s free and I will email it to you. EASY PEASY and ZERO obligation!  I want to arm you with the best information to make an informed decision for your financial situation.  Oh, and on that note…maybe it’s time you look at your own critical illness policy!