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July/August - 2000

Commentary - Hans H. Mathisen

 Is Group insurance a Rip-Off? Please read the July LIFE LETTER, and you’ll agree:
Group Insurance is a Rip-Off

LIFE LETTER for August, "The Cost of Glenda's Stroke",  deals with an equally important subject: A critical illness would most likely bankrupt many of us.
But now insurance is available if such a disaster should strike.

If you receive our newsletter via the post office, then, in addition to the information contained in LIFE LETTER for August, you'll find a pamplet that gives you additional information about a specific Critical Illness Recovery Plan.

Many Canadian insurance companies offer this type of coverage. The material enclosed in our posted newsletter comes from UNUM, which is the world leader in this kind of insurance. For further information about the Critical illness Recovery Plan, please phone me at (306) 242-7042, or on the toll free line: 1-877-531-1847.

(NOTE: The fact that Mathisen Financial, Inc. sends you information published by UNUM means that we have researched the industry and found that UNUM is the best insurer through which to get Critical Illness insurance).

THE STOCK MARKETS — The markets have been choppy during the past few months, to put it mildly. But the key to the long term growth of your portfolio is to choose value from the outset. And to have your investments as diversified as possible. Remember: Canada only constitutes 1.8% of the world’s equity markets. That leaves another 98.2% of opportunities for you to diversify your investment, As Gordon Pape says, "the broader the base ofyour investment portfolio, the lower the risk". In other words: Diversify your portfolio and reduce the risk,while increasing your profits.

Hans Mathisen


Is Group Insurance a Rip-Off?
Grant is offered a 10% to 15% discount on his term life insurance if he gives up a few policy features:

• He can’t have a policy, just a slip of paper telling him that a policy exists;

• He can’t convert it when he chooses;

• He can’t assign it as collateral on a loan;

• He can’t transfer its ownership;

• It can be cancelled at any time;

• The premium can be increased at any time; and,

• He will lose it when he changes jobs or retires.

That’s what he gets with group insurance. A group insurance policy is a contract with an employer, union, or association to provide coverage to a specific group of employees, or members. The insured individuals are not parties to the contract so have no rights under the policy other than naming their beneficiaries. Their principal evidence that they are insured will be the deductions from their paychecks, or extra union dues.

The policy can be changed at any time without Grant’s approval. The employer, union, or association executive may decide to switch insurance companies. Or reduce the coverage. Or cancel it completely. Even though he is the insured individual, Grant has no voice in such decisions.

As group insurance is just year-to-year coverage, the insurance company can change the deal on any anniversary. It can increase the premiums, reduce the coverage or even refuse to renew.

Group insurance is cheap because it covers us when we are least likely to die, while we are still able to work. The main reason employer group seems cheap is the boss pays part of the premium, but it’s taxable to you.

If you quit, get fired, or retire, most group insurance stops. Some firms may continue some of it for a few years after retirement. You usually get a chance to convert it to higher premium permanent life insurance when your employment ceases. But if you’ve just lost your job, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel you can afford it.

The answer is to view group insurance as a temporary job-associated perk, and get personal life insurance now. Then you will have a policy that YOU control; one YOU can convert, assign, change the plan or amount, or cancel, when and if YOU choose.

Want life insurance that you control? Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -


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The Cost of Glenda's Stroke
Glenda, a 30-year-old mother of two, was felled without warning by a stroke that left her a quadriplegic.

Besides the trauma to her and her family, the financial costs were enormous. $4,500 for a wheelchair, $8,000 to $10,000 for a communication device, $3,000 for a computer, costly renovations to their home to enable Glenda in her wheelchair to move about, a customized vehicle for her transportation, are just the beginning.

Disability income insurance doesn’t cover such expenses. It is there to provide the income needed to pay for day to day expenses, not the heavy costs of a critical illness such as Glenda’s. Most of us have it in some form, a group plan, a personal plan, or a combination of the two. But only if an injury or sickness prevents you from working will such insurance provide an income. And then, only for as long as you are unable to work.

So Glenda was forced to rely on the charity of her neighbors. The residents of Leduc, Alberta organized a "Walk, Run or Wheel" fundraiser to help pay for the special tools she needed just to be able to function.

There didnt used to be, but now there is a better answer. An answer that allows you to maintain your dignity, and not rely on the charity of strangers. It’s called Critical Illness Insurance. Here are just some of the reasons it’s needed:

• There are 200,000 stroke survivors in Canada.

• The incidence of cancer has increased 31% since 1970.

• 50,000 Canadians are stricken by stroke each year.

• Canada has the second highest rate of breast cancer in the world.

• One in nine Canadian women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

• 48% of home foreclosures are due serious illness or disability.

• Over half the people diagnosed with common cancers will survive five years or longer.

• $800 million in RRSPs were cashed in last year because of major illnesses.

People are living longer now, often with a life-altering illness. Modern medicine can save the patient but can cause a huge financial drain on family resources.

If you contract one of the diseases or injuries specified in a Critical Illness Insurance policy, you receive between $25,000 and $2,000,000 tax-free. The exact amount depends on the policy and the insurer. But, unlike your disability income policy, Critical Illness Insurance pays a benefit even if you are still able to work.

There are no restrictions placed on the use of the insurance money. You decide how to spend it. If you don’t need it for new or unexpected expenses, maybe a cruise or other vacation will help you recover from your ordeal quicker. Or you may decide to invest the money for your future use.

There are a number of plan choices you can make - basic or comprehensive protection; premiums on a 10 year renewable or level basis; additional benefits like Waiver of Premium or Return of Premium.

Want to avoid relying on charity should a critical illness strike you? Call today:
Mathisen Financial, Inc. 242-7042 or email Hans at


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Mathisen Financial, Inc.
335 Redberry Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4W5
Bus. (306) 242-7042 Fax. (306) 242-4314