Life Insurance

Ah, life insurance. It’s not a fun topic; it conjures up images of complicated paperwork and it sounds..boring. But if you’re dealing with estate planning, the issue of life insurance is always going to pop up. So let’s break this down over a virtual coffee (or wine, I won’t judge). To keep it simple, you can click on each link to below to read about the basics of life insurance.

Why do you need Life Insurance?

Rule of Thumb


Consider Assets

Adjusting for Inflation

Toss the Intangibles

How much do you need in the way of Insurance?

Future Obligations

The Smith Family

Current Assets

Grand Tally

Why Bother with Life Insurance, Anyway?

Imagine, for a moment, you’re the main character in a movie. Picture this: If you were to unexpectedly exit stage left (y’know, kick the bucket), what would the storyline be for those you left behind? Drama? Romance? Financial horror? Life insurance is basically your way of ensuring your loved ones get a feel-good, everything’s-going-to-be-alright kind of movie instead of a nail-biting thriller. Life insurance provides a financial cushion for your loved ones if something should happen to you. Let’s break down life insurance for you, in the form of a romance-horror thriller.

Rule of Thumb: The Classic 10x Salary Guideline

You might have heard financial wizards say, “Just get a life insurance policy that’s 10 times your annual salary.” Easy-peasy, right? If you’re earning $50,000 annually, you’re looking at a neat $500,000 policy.

But let’s be honest, life (and death) isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. So while this rule is a good starting point, there’s more to the story.

Digging Deeper: Future Obligations and Expenses

1. Debts: Think mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit card debt…you get the picture. Your life insurance policy should cover these so that your family isn’t saddled with your debts.

2. Funeral and Final Expenses: Funerals can be costly. And by costly, they could range anywhere from between $7,000 to $10,000 on average. That’s a lot of cheddar for a final farewell.

3. Children’s Education: Do you have kiddos? If you want them to get a degree without a side of student loan debt, factor in those future tuition fees.

4. Day-to-Day Living Expenses: Your salary might be gone, but daily expenses like groceries, utilities, and Netflix subscriptions (because, priorities) still roll in.

Considering Current Assets

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “I already have some savings and investments. Do they count?” Absolutely! If you’ve got a good chunk of change in savings, investments, or other life insurance policies, subtract these from your estimated needs. After all, you’re trying to fill a gap, not build a mountain of gold.

Adjusting for Inflation and Changing Circumstances

The future is as unpredictable as next year’s top hit single. Remember to add a buffer for inflation, especially if you’re looking at a 20- or 30-year term policy. And life is full of twists and turns: marriage, more kids, a bigger house. It’s worth revisiting your policy every few years to ensure it’s still a good fit.

Toss in the Intangibles

This is where it gets a bit emotional. Some folks want their life insurance to cover more than just the basics. Maybe you dream of leaving a chunk of money to your favorite charity or ensuring your spouse can retire without a worry. Or perhaps you want to leave a legacy fund for your kids and future grandkids. These aren’t definite expenses, but they’re worth considering.

So…How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

We’ve covered a lot of ground, haven’t we? While that 10x salary rule is a solid starting point, everyone’s number will be a bit different based on individual circumstances. Think of your life insurance as a safety net tailored just for you and your family.

Here’s a quick formula to get you started on calculating how much life insurance you’ll need:

(Annual salary x 10) + (Future obligations and costs) – Current assets = Rough estimate of how much life insurance you need.

Then, once you’ve got a ballpark figure, chat with a financial advisor or insurance expert. They’re like the directors of our life insurance movie – there to make sure everything goes according to script.

Case Study: The Smith Family

Let’s meet the Smiths: Sarah and John, both 35 years old, with two kids: Liam, 7, and Emma, 4. John works in tech and has an annual salary of $80,000, while Sarah is a part-time freelance writer, pulling in about $20,000 annually. Together, they’re contemplating how much life insurance they need.

1. Using the 10x Rule

  • For John: $80,000 x 10 = $800,000
  • For Sarah: $20,000 x 10 = $200,000

2. Future Obligations and Costs

  • Debts: They have a remaining mortgage balance of $250,000 and car loans totaling $30,000.
  • Funeral and Final Expenses: Let’s take an average and say $8,500 each.
  • Children’s Education: They want both of their kids to attend college. Estimating $40,000/year for a 4-year degree for each child (remembering inflation and rising education costs), that’s $320,000.
  • Day-to-Day Living Expenses: Monthly bills and day-to-day expenses are about $4,000. Without John’s salary, Sarah will need help for a few years. Let’s buffer for 5 years: $4,000 x 12 months x 5 years = $240,000.

3. Current Assets

  • They have a joint savings account with $50,000 in it, and investments totaling $30,000.
  • John’s current employer-sponsored life insurance policy is $100,000.

4. The Grand Tally

  • For John:
  • Needed: $800,000 (salary) + $250,000 (mortgage) + $30,000 (car loans) + $8,500 (funeral expenses) + $320,000 (education) + $240,000 (living expenses) = $1,648,500 (the funeral expenses can be put on the backburner)
  • Minus assets: $50,000 (savings) + $30,000 (investments) + $100,000 (existing insurance) = -$180,000
  • Total Life Insurance Needed for John: $1,468,500 (Rounded to $1.5 million for simplicity)
  • For Sarah (considering she doesn’t make as much as John):
  • Needed: $200,000 (salary) + $8,500 (funeral, again, this could be put on the backburner) = $208,500
  • Minus assets (Assuming they’d use joint assets first if John was still around): $0
  • Total Life Insurance Needed for Sarah: $208,500 (Rounded to $210,000 for simplicity)

While John and Sarah’s life insurance needs, based on their individual incomes, although vastly different, are both are essential.

Remember, these numbers are based on a case study and can change. John and Sarah (just like you, dear reader) would need to revisit their life insurance policies in a few years. This is particularly true as debts decrease, their kids grow up, and their circumstances evolve. The Smiths’ story underscores the importance of regular financial check-ins. But for now, they can rest easier knowing they’ve taken concrete steps towards securing their family’s future.

The final take: life insurance is one of those adult decisions that seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about ensuring your loved ones are cushioned from the financial what-ifs of life. So, grab another coffee (or that wine), crunch some numbers, and give yourself a pat on the back. You’re taking steps to protect your family’s future storyline, and that’s worth all the toasts in the world! 🥂📝💡

Casket at a funeral

It’s not the most pleasant thing to thing about: would a casket or burial look better at your funeral? People don’t like thinking about making arrangements for their own funeral. Just like Will creation, it is something that you shouldn’t put off. It will spare headaches and confusion for your loved ones if you have everything pre-planned. When a loved one passes away, the last thing one wants is the stress of organizing their final send-off. This guide sheds light on the top providers of funeral services in Canada.

Read about the top choices for funeral services in Canada in our list below.

Arbor Memorial

Mount Pleasant Group

Dignity Memorial

Park Lawn Corporation

Funeral Co-operative

McKenzie Funeral Services

Country Hills Crematorium

1. Arbor Memorial

This is a leading name in funeral and cremation services across Canada. Established in 1947, their comprehensive services range from pre-planning funerals to cemetery and memorialization facilities.

Standout Feature: Arbor Memorial offers ‘Reflections’ — a special ceremony that personalizes the memory of the deceased with anecdotes, pictures, and mementoes.

2. Mount Pleasant Group

Operating primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, Mount Pleasant Group has a heritage spanning over a century. Known for their compassionate and professional services, they cater to diverse cultural and religious needs.

Standout Feature: Their ‘Online Tributes’ allow families to create a digital memorial space where friends and family can pay their respects remotely.

3. Dignity Memorial

Dignity Memorial stands out for its vast network of funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries across Canada. Their services are imbued with professionalism and empathy.

Standout Feature: They offer ‘Bereavement Travel Services,’ assisting family members with travel arrangements to attend the funeral.

4. Park Lawn Corporation

A Toronto-based company, Park Lawn Corporation operates multiple funeral homes and cemeteries across Canada. Their approach is deeply rooted in understanding the uniqueness of each life and celebrating it accordingly.

Standout Feature: Their ‘Aftercare Services’ provide grieving families with essential resources and support post-funeral.

5. Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa

As a co-operative, this Ottawa-based provider ensures services are community-driven and reasonably priced. Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa takes pride in being transparent, ensuring families make informed choices.

Standout Feature: The co-operative model ensures that profits are reinvested into the community, ensuring continual improvements in services.

6. McKenzie Funeral Services

Vancouver’s McKenzie Funeral Services are known for their personal touch, ensuring that each funeral is a true reflection of the person’s life. Their services encompass various traditions, faiths, and customs.

Standout Feature: McKenzie offers ‘Eco-friendly Green Burials’ for those looking for environmentally sensitive options.

7. Country Hills Crematorium

Serving the Calgary region, Country Hills Crematorium specializes in providing dignified cremation services. Their compassionate approach is deeply valued by the communities they serve.

Standout Feature: They have a multi-faith chapel, accommodating various cultural and religious rites associated with cremation.

Making the Right Choice

Obviously, selecting a funeral or cremation service goes beyond the cost evaluation. It’s about understanding that the service provider aligns with the family’s wishes and the deceased’s preferences. Each of these funeral service providers brings a unique approach to end-of-life services.

Before making a decision, consider touring the various facilities, get an in-depth understanding of the services they offer, and gauge the costs offered by each provider. Grief is a challenging phase, and the right service provider can ensure that the journey is made slightly more bearable.

Life deserves a dignified closure. As you contemplate selecting a funeral or cremation provider in Canada, this guide should provide you with a basic understanding of the services these providers offer.


In today’s world, planning a funeral or a burial is a highly personal process that can reflect the unique life, beliefs, and wishes of the deceased. In Canada, a country known for its rich cultural diversity and respect for individual preferences, there are numerous options to consider when it comes to funerals and burials. This comprehensive guide will explore the various choices available, from traditional burials to innovative and eco-friendly alternatives.

  1. Traditional Funeral Services
  2. Cremation Services
  3. Green and Eco-Friendly Burials
  4. Cultural and Religious Practices
  5. Military and State Funerals
  6. Alternative Memorial Options
  7. Cost Considerations and Financial Assistance
  8. Pre-planning and Funeral Insurance
  9. Legal Requirements and Documentation

Traditional Funeral Services

Traditional burial services in Canada encompass a wide range of options including casket selection, cemetery plot, headstone, and memorial ceremony. Whether choosing an in-ground burial or above-ground entombment in a mausoleum, these services provide a timeless and classic choice.

Funeral homes offer comprehensive support for families, taking care of everything from embalming and viewing to funeral ceremonies. They can help with various religious or non-religious rituals, reflecting the beliefs and wishes of the deceased.

Cremation Services

Cremation has become increasingly popular in Canada, offering a more affordable and flexible alternative to traditional burial. Urns can be interred, kept at home, or scattered in a meaningful location. Some even choose to incorporate ashes into jewelry or art.

Green and Eco-Friendly Burials

For those concerned about environmental impact, Canada offers various eco-friendly options. From biodegradable caskets to natural burial grounds that forgo embalming, these options minimize ecological footprints.

Cultural and Religious Practices

Canada’s multicultural society ensures that cultural and religious traditions are respected. Various communities have specific funeral rites and burial practices, from Indigenous ceremonies to Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian traditions.

Military and State Funerals

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and distinguished individuals may be eligible for special funerals with honors, reflecting their service and contributions.

Alternative Memorial Options

From online memorials to memorial trees and benches, there are numerous ways to celebrate a life uniquely. These alternatives can be personalized to capture the essence of the deceased.

Cost Considerations and Financial Assistance

Funeral costs can vary widely in Canada. Understanding the different elements, from casket to plot, can help in budgeting. Various provinces also offer financial assistance for low-income families.

Pre-planning and Funeral Insurance

Planning ahead is an opportunity to ensure wishes are met and relieve family members of decision-making during a difficult time. Funeral insurance can provide additional peace of mind.

Understanding the legal aspects of funerals and burials in Canada is essential. Requirements include death certificates, burial permits, and compliance with local regulations.

Canada’s respectful and diverse approach to funerals and burials provides a fitting tribute for every individual. Whether seeking information for pre-planning or navigating this process during a challenging time, this guide offers comprehensive insight into the many choices available in this beautiful country.