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May/June 2010

Commentary - Hans H. Mathisen

I'm sorry, but until further notice, my usual commentary will not be available. However, I can still provide you the valuable benefits and financial insight of LIFE LETTER and LIFE LETTER MATURE:

This advice could save you a fortune- LIFE LETTER for May covers an important topic. It discusses identity theft and some of the steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming a fraud victim.

Get it when you can - There is no guarantee from disaster, and June's LIFE LETTER talks about the different types of insurance as a way to protect ourselves from the financial loss a tragendy can bring.

LIFE LETTER MATURE - May's entry discusses our nutritional needs as we get older. LLMature for June looks at one of the top retirement goals of many individuals - Travel.

Hans Mathisen





This advice could save you a fortune

Most people mistakenly believe that they will never fall victim to financial or identity theft. The sad reality is that billions of dollars are lost each year to these crimes, and the losses are only getting bigger. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming a fraud victim:

Keep it thin. Don't carry extra credit cards, birth certificate, social insurance number card or passport with you unless absolutely necessary. This minimizes the information a crook can get about you when your wallet or purse is lost or stolen.

Destroy it. Never discard credit card receipts or statements, cancelled cheques or bank statements, or other documents containing any personal information in a public waste container. Shred these items and stir up the paper pieces.

Reconcile it. Review all items on your credit card and bank account statements as soon as possible. Challenge any transactions you don't recognize, no matter how small. Some crooks will try a small transaction first to see if they get away with it, and then go for the jumbo purchase.

Memorize it. Passwords and PINs should be memorized, not written down. That sticky note on the back of the card makes it too easy for a crook to clean out a bank account or max out a credit card.

Copy it. Keep a list of your credit card and bank accounts, and utility and telephone accounts in a safe place separate from your wallet or purse. Record the contact phone numbers for these accounts on the list as well. When a wallet or purse vanishes, this will make the protection process easier.

Hide it. When using a credit or debit card, be aware of what's going on around you. Block the view of the key pad when entering a PIN. A guy innocently on his cell phone? Could actually be taking pictures of your transaction.

Safeguard it. Never leave your wallet or purse unattended at work, at the store, in a shopping cart or at a restaurant. Not even in church. Parties and health clubs can also be easy pickings for a fraudster. Don't leave your wallet or purse in plain sight in your vehicle, even if it's locked.

Report it. As soon as you are aware that you may be the victim of fraud or identity theft, notify local law enforcement authorities. Report any attempts as well. Provide as much information as you can about the incident, including time, place and description.

Cancel it. If a bank or credit card is lost or stolen, report it to the financial institution immediately. This is why you keep a copy of the account and contact numbers separate from your wallet or purse. Inconvenient, certainly, but much less of a headache in the long run.

Keep an eye on it. You can have either or both of the national credit agencies monitor your credit for fraudulent activity. Equifax Canada 1-800-465-7166 or TransUnion Canada 1-800-663-9980..

Want help protecting your lifestyle?

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -

Copyright © 2010 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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Get it when you can

We've all read or heard about the unlucky family that is wiped out by a house fire and didn't have any fire insurance. All too often, people mistakenly believe that it won't happen to them. The reality is bad things will happen and there is nothing that guarantees they will be immune from disaster. Insurance is simply an economical way to protect ourselves from the financial loss a tragedy can bring.

There are a number of factors that can determine if we can even get coverage. Just as it would be impossible to get fire insurance while the house is on fire, other types of insurance can be difficult to get after something has happened:

Life Insurance - For several decades, there has been constant downward pressure on life insurance premiums. This has caused the companies to be choosier on whom they insure. Because all life insurance policies have the potential to pay out some day and premiums are the lowest in history, life insurers take a much closer look at the risk. It is becoming more common for policies to be issued with extra premiums or even not issued at all because of an applicant's health and family history.

As the Canadian population, on average, becomes more rotund, a number of issues arise that can make it more difficult to obtain life insurance. Height and weight is becoming more of a factor as well as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also a common practice to consider family history and how it may affect your longevity. Load up on coverage when you are young and healthy. Insure your kids.

Critical Illness Insurance - If you are diagnosed with one of the diseases or conditions listed in your critical illness insurance policy and survive a certain number of days, you receive the lump you chose. Critical illness insurance pays a benefit even if you are still able to work and can cover a long list of illnesses and conditions.

Canada is the only country in the world that offers guaranteed premium critical illness insurance. This means that once a policy is issued, the premium cannot be changed. Everywhere else, the premiums can be adjusted if claims are higher than expected. Because the premiums are locked in, insurers take a much closer look at who they will insure. Again, get the coverage while you still have your health and before guaranteed premiums are no longer available.

Disability Insurance - Like many industrialized nations with aging populations, the ranks of the disabled are growing. In 2007 in Canada, there were three quarters of a million more individuals with disabilities than in 2002. A little more than fourteen percent of the Canadian population reports having some form and level of disability.

Again, factors like height and weight, and family history can make it more difficult to get coverage. Many mistakenly believe that group disability insurance at work will be adequate. With the average worker changing employers more frequently, the likelihood of having gaps in coverage increases. Personal disability insurance can have a guaranteed premium and you can take it wherever you go.

Want help with your insurance needs?

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -

Copyright 2010 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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