For more than 20 years Lighthouse Wealth Management, and subsequently Lighthouse Private Wealth, has been providing corporate and personal, life, health and group insurance recommendations to our clients. We pride ourselves on our personal contact, hands on approach, and the ability of each and every one of our team members to provide knowledgeable and professional insurance advice and service. Before ever beginning to set up an insurance policy, our team members will first develop an understanding of your unique needs and circumstances, and in most situations will complete a comprehensive needs analysis process. We will discuss the results with you and help you determine what options may be best suited to provide for your needs. Some of the most common insurance planning needs that we work on for our clients are as follows:
Tax-Exempt Life Insurance Planning
We can help you to protect your family and loved ones in the event of a death or disability. In addition to protecting the people you care about, we can help you to significantly enhance the value of your estate by passing along more assets than you could otherwise achieve through a purely investment-driven strategy. One of the main ways we can help you do this is through tax-exempt life insurance.
Like a pension or non-registered account, tax-exempt life insurance serves as another asset within your overall portfolio—with some unique advantages.
Under the federal Income Tax Act:
- Assets accumulate within a tax-exempt life insurance contract free of annual accrual taxation
- When you pass away, any proceeds of the policy distributed to beneficiaries, including the initial insurance coverage and any accumulated assets, are done so on a tax-free basis, outside the scope of your estate
What’s more, tax-exempt life insurance also provides:
- The potential for tax-free income during retirement
- Funds for paying the tax liabilities incurred within your other pools of capital
- Funds for supplementing family spending needs and covering the costs associated with final arrangements and estate settlement.
Living Benefits Insurance Planning
Living benefits products not only protect your wealth, they give you the financial freedom to maintain your lifestyle or obtain the care you need in the event of an injury or illness.
- Disability Insurance
Personal disability insurance helps protect one of your greatest assets –your ability to earn an income. If sickness or injury keeps you at home for a sustained period of time and you are unable to work, this insurance can replace the majority of your income. Disability insurance is an ideal way to help ensure that you and your family can continue to maintain the lifestyle you desire without eroding your portfolio or other assets and undermining your financial future.
- Critical Illness Insurance
Upon diagnosis of a serious illness such as cancer, stroke or a heart attack, critical illness insurance provides a lump sum benefit that may be used in any way you wish. For example, you might use the funds to seek advanced private care to aid in your recovery. If you own a business, you could also use the benefit to keep your business running smoothly until your return.
- Long-Term Care Insurance
With people living longer and longer and considering the high cost of private care and support, this type of living benefit is an excellent way to protect your retirement savings and other assets. Long-term care insurance is designed to provide the necessary funds to pay for additional health care should you need assistance caring for yourself for an extended period. Funds are paid as a daily benefit to cover the cost of either home visits from a qualified individual or a room at either a public or private care facility.
Estate Protection Planning
Estate Protection Planning is designed to help you transfer more of your wealth to your heirs by protecting the full value of your estate’s assets from taxes. It allows you to leave a lasting legacy for your family and can significantly lessen the burden on your loved ones.
Estate Protection Planning helps prevent the erosion or forced liquidation of your estate by providing a life insurance benefits that can be used to:
- Pay the tax on your registered assets
- Reduce your capital gains tax
- Pay the tax on any U.S. assets
Executive Life Insurance Planning
Executive life insurance planning enables you to provide your managers and executives with a supplementary benefit package. In this instance, both you and your executive purchase a life insurance policy with your executive named as the insured. Both of you will split the benefits. This form of insurance provides protection for an executive’s family, while you benefit from an investment offering tax-deferred growth.
Key Person Insurance
The sudden loss of a key person can create a difficult and costly void to fill. If your company relies heavily on the skills and contributions of an individual, you may wish to consider taking out life insurance on this person (or persons) to help mitigate the costs associated with replacing them and the potential disruption to profitability through that period.
Insured Annuity Planning
Insured annuity planning helps you to transfer a portion of your wealth and can serve as an important asset protection and income enhancement solution.
An annuity is a contract that binds an issuer to provide you with a steady stream of income payments in return for a lump sum deposit. With an insured annuity, a portion of each of your annuity payments covers the premiums on an insurance policy, ensuring that an amount equal to your original capital is provided to your beneficiaries when your estate is settled. As with any annuity, an insured annuity is irrevocable once purchased.
Insured annuities provide the following benefits for your estate:
- Upon death, your beneficiaries receive an amount equal to your original deposit
- Proceeds avoid probate and can be issued directly to your beneficiaries without cost or delay
An insured annuity also allows you to:
- Maximize your after-tax retirement income without increasing investment risk
- Earn a pre-tax equivalent yield likely unattainable with most fixed-income investments
- Lower your amount of payable taxes
- Reduce the overall capital gains liability of your business.
Like mutual funds, segregated funds are professionally managed and invested in a portfolio of securities. However, segregated funds are also insurance contracts that offer additional benefits such as a guarantee of your principle investment on death or at maturity, and guaranteed lifetime income.
Segregated funds can help you insure your retirement and maximize your estate in the following ways:
Lifetime Income Guarantees
Many segregated fund contracts offer income guarantees that will ensure you have a predictable and sustainable retirement income stream that you will not outlive. They guarantee that you will receive 100% of your principal paid back to you over time and that payments will continue as long as you live.
Death Benefit Guarantees
Upon the death of the annuitant, a guarantee between 75 and 100 percent of your initial deposit, or the greater of your investment value, will flow directly to your named beneficiaries.
Estate Settlement Benefits
Proceeds of a segregated fund policy held in a non-registered account can pass directly to your named beneficiaries, without passing through your estate. Therefore, these funds are not subject to probate, lawyer’s or executor’s fees. However, your estate is taxed on any applicable gains.
Regardless of market performance, segregated funds guarantee 75 to 100 percent of your principle investment (less withdrawals) at the maturity date (a minimum of 10 years from the date of your deposit). At maturity, the greater of the current market value or the guarantee will be paid to you.
Potential Creditor Protection
When there is no reasonable expectation of bankruptcy at the time of your investment, and a “family class” beneficiary is named, a segregated fund can also potentially safeguard your assets from potential creditors in the future.