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September/October 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:

Do you suffer from Affluenza?- LifeLetter for September addresses a "condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of obtaining more".

Will you put your parents' retirement at risk? - Unexpected injuries can create financial burdens that drastically change life plans. LifeLetter for October looks at what you can do to help ease that financial burden.

LIFE LETTER MATURE - July's entry looks at a few of the methods that scam artists will use, aimed at taking your hard earned money, and October's LLM gives us the basics of Estate Planning.

Hans Mathisen





Do you suffer from Affluenza?

Affluenza - a painful, contageous, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of obtaining more.
Take the quiz to find out if this condition may be affecting you. Choose the most appropriate answer to the questions below, go to and search "Affluenza" to learn more.

1 - Disagree
2 - Somewhat Disagree
3 - Somewhat Agree
4 - Agree

1. My life would be happier if I had more money.
1 2 3 4

2. I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have, and the amount of time it takes to pay for, maintain, and store it all.
1 2 3 4

3. My partner and I have different views on spending and saving, it's hard to talk about these subjects without arguing.
1 2 3 4

4. My children seemed more materialistic than I was at their age. (If you have no children, answer this from your experience with the children you know)
1 2 3 4

5. I never seem to have enough "quality time" with my family and other loved ones.
1 2 3 4

6. Our family loves clothing with the fashionable logos on it, and we're usually among the first on the block to see the latest hit movie.
1 2 3 4

7. I hardly know my neighbors, I feel disconnected from my local community.
1 2 3 4

8. I very often feel rushed, with too much to do and not enough time to do it all.
1 2 3 4

9. I don't enjoy my job, I would quit if I didn't have to work for money.
1 2 3 4

10. I don't feel that I live my life in total alignment with my values and beliefs.
1 2 3 4

11. When making buying decisions, I seldom consider whether the items are environmentally or socially friendly (e.g., union made, organic, recyclable, etc.).
1 2 3 4

12. I could use public transportation or carpool to work at lease part of the time, but do not do so on a regular basis.
1 2 3 4

13. I don't know what the interest rates are on my credit cards or exactly how much debt I have.
1 2 3 4

14. I pay only the minimum monthly payment on my credit cards.
1 2 3 4

15. I do not put money into savings regularly.
1 2 3 4

16. I recycle on occasion, but we don't recycle regularly at home.
1 2 3 4

17. I spend much more time shopping each month than I do being involved in my community.
1 2 3 4

18. I grocery shop at the last minute, don't have time for coupons, and have a hard time sticking to my list.
1 2 3 4

19. I sometimes buy something because it's cool or fashionable, not because I loved or need it.
1 2 3 4

20. I know I have more "extras" in my life than my parents and grandparents did, but I don't feel as satisfied with my standard of living as I think they did with theirs.
1 2 3 4

True wealth is not measured by what we own, but rather by what we own that generates income. What we own is simply a measure of our consumption.

Want help with your wealth building?

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

Copyright © 2010 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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Will you put your parents' retirement at risk?

Sarah was texting while driving and lost control of her car. Fortunately, she was alone in the vehicle when she hit the ditch, and no other vehicles were involved. Unfortunately, the car rolled several times. Sarah was left paralyzed and brain injured.

Sarah had just started her new job and had not satisfied the waiting period to qualify for group benefits. Her auto insurance policy may cover hospitalization costs, but this varies from province to province. Sarah's road to any kind of recovery will be long and very expensive. High costs are attached to her mobility and care needs. Sarah will never be able to return to work.

Tom and Grace, Sarah's parents, felt they really had no choice but to step in and help as much as they could with the costs. Government benefits are not adequate, and the community and friends helped a bit by running a fund-raiser. Tom and Grace cashed in most of their RRSPs to help their daughter. Tom took on a part-time job to help cover the costs of Sarah's ongoing care, and reluctantly accepted that their retirement plans are no longer achievable.

Even though car insurance is mandatory, Sarah wouldn't have dreamt of driving without it. She insured her personal property with a tenant's policy, and even bought extended warrantee insurance on her new TV, laptop computer and cell phone. Sarah mistakenly believed that her "things" were her most important belongings and willingly insured them. She learned too late that her most valuable asset was really her ability to earn an income.

Workers Compensation pays a benefit to someone who has a work related injury or illness. But most injuries occur off the job and very few illnesses are actually work related.

Perhaps the best source for income in case of disability is a Disability Income Insurance policy. This type of insurance pays a benefit, usually monthly, after a disability has lasted a certain length of time, called the waiting period. The policy chosen will state how long a benefit will be paid. Some policies even pay if you are only partially disabled.

Another way to deal with the financial turmoil that arises when someone suffers a serious illness like cancer, heart attack or stroke (many policies also cover paralysis) is called Critical Illness Insurance. It helps people get on with their lives by giving them the financial resources to maintain the lifestyle and independence they had before they became ill.

There are no restrictions placed on the use of a critical illness insurance payout. It's entirely up to you. Sarah and her family could have used the funds to cover the costs of mobility aids and vehicle modifications for wheelchair access. Recently, many insurance companies have added a long-term care option to these policies which would pay out a monthly benefit to help cover these costs.

At a time like this, money should be the least of your worries. The last thing Sarah wanted was to be a financial burden on her parents. And she certainly didn't want to destroy their retirement plans.

Want to know more about disability and critical illness insurance?

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

Copyright 2010 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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Mutual confidence is the power that binds together all harmonious human relationships.

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