1-Month Check-Up: How’s Your New Year’s Resolution Coming Along?

With one full month complete, how well did you do with your New Year’s resolutions? If you didn’t make it the whole month, don’t worry too much because only about 58% of people make it past one month.

The number 1 New Year’s resolution in 2017 was to lose weight or eat healthier so we’ve come up with 4 tips to help you get in control of your health!

It can be hard to navigate all the fad diets and misinformation out there but there are a few ways to simplify the process. It’s important to start by making small changes and gradually transform your lifestyle.

  1. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps boost your metabolism, which in turn, helps you burn more calories.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Studies show that poor sleep is a major risk factor for obesity. In fact, a good night’s sleep might be jsut as important as healthy eating and exercise.
  3. Drink black coffee or green tea. When trying to lose weight, avoid drinking your calories. Consider drinking zero sugar coffee and green tea, both of which can boost your metabolism and enhance fat burning.
  4. Go on a low-carb diet. Carb-restriction diets have been shown to be twice as effective as low-fat diets when it comes to weight loss.

When compared with diet only and exercise only strategies, lifestyle changes are the most effective forms of losing weight.

Restart your New Year’s resolution today!


Getting New Year’s Resolutions Right: Lifestyle Changes vs. Quick Changes

Historically, one of the top New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people look to fad diets and weight-loss products to achieve their goals quickly.

While fad diets may prove effective initially, research shows that many people don’t find long-term success with these types of diets.

Instead of setting a goal to lose weight fast in 2018, set a goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. Common lifestyle New Year’s resolutions include the following:

  • Exercise regularly – Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week and to do strength training exercises of major muscle groups at least twice a week. For example, “I will go for a 30 minute walk every day at lunch.”
  • Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet – Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grain,s protein-rich foods, and healthy fats. Make it a goal to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your diet. For example, “I will eat a piece of fruit at lunch ever day”.
  • Increase the amount of sleep you get – One of the best ways to become healthier is to get enough sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep, the expert-recommended amount, per night. For example, “I will turn off my phone at 10:00 PM every night.”

Regardless of what you choose to make your New Year’s resolution, make sure it is a “SMART” goal – one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely – to increase the odds that you will stick to it.

The 10 Most Common Life Insurance Myths

Life Insurance. Just the term itself can put people on edge. You might think you are wasting time and money if you sign up for life insurance if you don’t consider it necessary.

However, you should purchase life insurance because it will be essential sometime in the future. Life insurance protects your loved ones in case something happens to you by designating beneficiaries who will collect financial benefits upon your death.

Term life insurance is generally the simplest and cheapest form – you buy coverage for a specific time period, and it can usually be renewed, but premiums will increase based on age and health factors. All other types of life insurance are permanent, but there are a few varieties – whole life, universal life, and variable life. Each type is slightly different, making each one ideal for certain types of people.

The ten myths listed below are some of the largest misconceptions individuals have regarding the necessity of life insurance. Read on to learn why life insurance is important to purchase.

Myth 1: I just simply don’t see the need for life insurance.

No on is immune to having to pay back his or her financial obligations after death. If you have a vehicle to pay off, or credit card or student loan debt that has accumulated, life insurance is a very beneficial option for you. If you die unexpectedly, no one waves a magic wand and makes those responsibilities disappear – you have to make the preparations to take care of them, or your family members will be stuck with the bills.

Myth 2: I’m young. Why would I start spending my money on life insurance now?

Being young also usually means you’re more active and probably putting yourself at risk more often than the older generation by travelling, clubbing, hiking, boating, driving longer distances, and staying out later. Your body may be younger and less likely to break down on you, but your high-risk activities put you in the same boat as older, less healthy people.

Myth 3: I’m a stay-at-home parent. There isn’t a need to replace my income, since there isn’t an income to replace.

If you’re a stay-at-home parent and you pass away, your spouse may not be able to afford childcare for your kids. Or, if there is no partner in the picture, your relatives or friends might not be able to take care of your children in a way that allows them to attend the same school, with the same parenting style you used, etc. Also, when the time comes for college, you will want your children to have the option of affording the education they desire.

Not having an income and staying at home means you are saving money you would be spending from a spouse’s income (or from any other source of income) on childcare and even on tending to your home. When you’re gone, those things still need to be covered, and life insurance can do that for you.

Myth 4: My kids are all adults and my house has been paid off, so what do I need life insurance for?

Everyone has daily living expenses. Just because the home is paid off doesn’t mean there aren’t other financial obligations for which your spouse would be responsible, such as owning multiple cars, a boat, an RV, or another large purchase you both made later on in your lives.

Also, consider this: if your spouse outlives you by 10, 20, or even 30 years, he or she might not be able to afford to stay in an assisted living centre when he or she can no longer take care of him- or herself.

You need to ensure that your spouse continues living with the same financial security he or she has with you now. You don’t want your spouse to fear having to take care of daily expenses with only half the income.

Myth 5: I’m a smoker. Insurance companies won’t even consider me.

Being a smoker doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage. Your premium will be a bit higher than the premium for someone who doesn’t smoke, but it is more affordable than you may think.

Myth 6: Even if I quit smoking, I’ll always be considered a smoker to insurance companies and be stuck paying a higher premium.

Most insurance companies consider you a nonsmoker if you’ve stayed away from cigarettes for at least a year. Even if the first six months were an accident because your spouse hid your cigarette packs, you can most likely get your premium lowered after a year.

Myth 7: Life insurance seems too good to be true.

It can seem that way, but it’s not. Life insurance isn’t like one of those free vacation spam emails – it’s the real deal. As long as you keep paying the premium, you’re covered, whether that is until your kids move out or until your home is paid off.

Myth 8: It is too much of a hassle to obtain life insurance.

Finding life insurance isn’t as hard as you think. Getting a life insurance quote is quick and painless. All you need to do is provide basic information about yourself, including height, weight, age, and gender. Once you have a quote, you can choose the right coverage for you.

Myth 9: I get life insurance through my job. Why would I need more?

The life insurance you get through your job might not be adequate coverage. You should compare your family’s living expenses with your coverage to see if it’s sufficient to cover all of your family’s needs. You should be thinking about future responsibilities as well, like being able to pay for your children’s education after you’re gone.

Also keep in mind, like all good things, your employer-paid coverage ends when the coverage limit is met – which is the maximum amount your employer will pay out upon your death. Most experts suggest obtaining coverage five to eight times your yearly salary. If you are only covered for half of that amount, what will your family do when their living expenses exceed that amount?

Myth 10: My mortgage lender provides me with coverage. Isn’t that enough for me?

Your mortgage isn’t the only expense your spouse or children will have to take care of if you pass away – there are cars, college education, food, medical expenses, funeral costs – the list goes on. Life insurance can cover those for you.

Getting started with life insurance starts with a conversation with a life insurance professional. Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions has dedicated life insurance advisors who advise you on the best life insurance plan for your individual needs. Give us a call at 613-236-9101 or request a life insurance quote.

5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Staying healthy is about more than paying attention to your physical body – your mental health directly influences how you think, feel, react, and maintain relationships. If you don’t take steps to promote your mental health, you may find that anxiety, depression, and irritability can take control of your life.

5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health #MentalHealthWeek

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, taking steps to improve your mental well-being can improve your physical health and help you maintain positive relationships.

Here are five tips you can use to help improve your mental health:

  1. Talk with those who care about you. Simply talking to friends, family members, or co-workers can help you overcome a personal problem and stay connected.
  2. Take a break from digital distractions. Although smartphones and other modern technology make it easy to stay connected with others, focusing too much on digital media can make it easy to ignore close relationships and the world around you. 5 Ways to Prevent Digital Overload
  3. Take care of your body. Your brain is still part of your physical, body, so it’s important to exercise regularly, maintain a health diet and get enough restful sleep. Exercising the Body and Brain
  4. Set realistic goals and focus on taking the first step. Many projects or errands can seem overwhelming when taken as a whole. Try planning out steps for large tasks and concentrate on what you need to do first.
  5. Get help when you need it. Although there can be negative social stigmas about seeking help for mental or emotional problems, mental health professionals are trained to help manage stress and mental illnesses with therapy or medication.

These tips have been provided by Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions. Scrivens is an Ottawa insurance broker and investment advisor dedicated to promoting health and safety for everyone.

6 March Break Travel Tips

March break is one of the most popular times for Canadians to travel. To ensure that your next trip is fun and stress-free, follow these six tips to help avoid travel woes:

  1. Review the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories page.
  2. Visit a travel clinic or speak with your health care provider six weeks before you leave. Doing so will ensure that you are up to date with your vaccinations and in good health.
  3. Sign up for the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service.
  4. Purchase the best travel insurance you can, as your Ontario health insurance will not protect your in other countries.
  5. Ensure that your passport is up to date. How to renew your passport.
  6. Pack a travel health kit. This kit should include basic first-aid items and enough supplies to prevent illness, handle minor injuries, and manage pre-existing medical conditions.

If you are flying, review the Government of Canada’s air travel page for information on what you can bring on the plan. This page also includes information on pre-boarding identification requirements and an explanation of the airport security screening process.

BONUS TIP!!! Our last tip to a fun and stress-free vacation is to RELAX and ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES. It is great to have a pre-planned itinerary of your entire vacation to be sure no experience is missed but it’s important to let your vacation dictate what you do. The weather, an illness, or even an event you weren’t aware of can change your priorities. Don’t force yourself to follow your plan to a ‘T’, rather change your plans to accommodate contingencies!

Happy March Break!! 🌞

Protecting your Key Assets with “Key Person Life Insurance”

Most organizations employ at least one individual who is essential to the company’s success. This person may be a partner, a majority stockholder, or an individual with expertise that is unmatched throughout the rest of the company.

If this person’s exit from the company is planned, such as retirement or voluntary termination, then you can prepare for the loss and take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact. However, if the departure is unplanned due to a death, disabling accident, or on-the-spot resignation, then the company is exposed to financial risks.

Consider key person life insurance to offset your risk. This insurance solution can protect your organization’s solvency in the event that you lose the key person or people without warning, and also the investments made by lenders and investors to the company.

How Does Key Person Life Insurance Work?

  • Employer purchases life insurance on the key individual(s)
  • Employer is the beneficiary of the life insurance policy and applies for and owns the policy. If the key employee dies prematurely, the policy pays out to the employer
  • Tax-free dollars from the policy can be put toward finding, hiring, and training a replacement employee, compensation for lost business during the transition and/or financing timely business transactions
  • Policy can be transferred to a different key employee as a retirement benefit or to a different key individual, upon the retirement of the original key employee
  • It can be used to buy out the key employee’s shares or interest in the company
  • Premiums are based on several factors, including the key employee’s age, physical conditions, and health history. The amount of coverage also affects the premium.

Advantages of Key Person Life Insurance

  • Can be easily implemented and does not require Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approval; only requires an annual report to the CRA
  • Life insurance benefits are paid to the company tax-free
  • Customers, creditors, lenders, and stockholders have the assurance that the business has a continuation plan and coverage in place
  • There is flexibility in what the funds can be used for.

Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions understands that your key assets need protecting and we are here to help! Please contact us today to learn more about key person life insurance solutions.

info@scrivens.ca | 613-236-9101

Become a Physically Active Family

Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Studies show that kids who are supported by friends and family or surrounded by active people and more likely to be active. Engaging in physical activity as a family can be a fun way to get everyone moving.

Benefits of Activity

Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It can help prevent chronic diseases, control weight, build lean muscle, reduce fat, and decrease the risk of obesity. Children need at least an hour every day of moderate to vigorous activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Active Families

Being active as a family increases opportunities for kids and families to be physically active. Here are some activities you and your family can consider to get started on a path to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Give children toys that encourage physical activity, such as balls, kites, and jump ropes.
  • Encourage children to join a sports team or to try a new physical activity.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Facilitate a safe walk to and from school several times a week.
  • Walk around the block after a meal.
  • Find time to spend together doing a fun activity, like family bike day, swim day, or skate day.
  • Make a new house rule: No sitting still during television commercials.
  • Issue a family challenge to commit to physical activity five days a week for six weeks.

Other Ways to Get Active

Increasing your family’s physical activity is not the only way to help your kids get active. Here are some other ways you can be involved:

  • Limit TV time and keep the television out of your child’s bedroom.
  • Talk to your children’s principal or write to your district superintendent to incorporate more physical education in schools.
  • Encourage schools to hold recess before lunch to increase physical activity before mealtime.
  • Volunteer to help with after-school physical activity programs or sports teams.

Source: www.participaction.com