With the holidays fast approaching, we know many Canadians will be travelling far and wide to spend time with family and friends, so we've included the latest apps and information on travel insurance to help ensure that your employees get the most our of their holiday travel.
We've also tackled a common New Year's resolution as it applies to employees everywhere: Retirement Planning!! We've provided two ways to assist employees in achieving their retirement goals. Ask us how we can assist you in setting up your own company RSP!
We wish you and all of your staff the happiest of holidays!!
Kathleen O'Keefe & Sarah Kelly
SAY YES TO TRAVEL INSURANCE
While all group insurance programs have built in Travel Insurance, you may have some family members that may be retired, or self-employed and not covered by an employee benefit plan. We can provide you and your staff with last minute travel insurance for those that need it. Contact Sarah Kelly to ask for a quote.
Whether you are visiting family within our own great country, heading south for warmer weather, or making tracks for Europe, Asia or other exotic locales, everyone can use a little help when it comes to planning and organization. We’ve found some nifty apps that might help ease your travel burden, or help you make the most of your stay when you arrive – whatever your destination!
Why should I purchase travel insurance?
Your Canadian health insurance is almost certainly not valid outside of Canada.
Your provincial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs of medical care abroad, and never up front.
Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad.
The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.
How much coverage do I need?
Your travel insurance should include health, life and disability coverage that will help you avoid large expenses, such as the cost of hospitalization and medical treatment outside Canada. Ensure your coverage includes or has provisions for:
Pre-existing medical conditions: understand the definitions of, and limitations and restrictions due to, pre-existing conditions and tests and treatments you may have undergone.
Medical evacuation: ensure the policy covers medical evacuation to Canada or to the nearest location with appropriate medical care.
Repatriation in case of death: ensure that the plan covers the preparation and return of your remains to Canada.
ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT
Gabrielle was in the United States enjoying a vacation with friends. She had insurance, but it had lapsed three weeks before she was involved in an accident. Her Canadian family had to raise $300,000 over a three day period to cover the costs of medical treatment and evacuation. Fortunately, she survived, but her family is left with a hefty debt to repay.
PROPER COVERAGE PAYS OFF
Jim was enjoying a relaxing cruise off the coast of South America when he suffered a massive stroke. Jim’s spouse contacted their insurance representative, who was able to organize emergency transportation to a hospital to receive care, minimizing the long-term effects of his stroke. In the end, Jim’s insurance coverage saved him more than $40,000 in medical bills.
6 APPS FOR MAKING YOUR WINTER VACATION PLANS
Lola users enter their personal preferences of accommodations, airlines and budget, and Lola puts together travel recommendations. It will book travelers all the way through their trip and provide 24/7 service should anything go wrong while they are away.
Users tell the app their interests — nightlife, art, shopping, food or culture — as well as how long they'd like to walk, and if they need to make any stops, say at the ATM or grocery store. Then Sidekix generates a route.
Esplorio bills itself as an "automatic travel journal," aggregating content from users' social media networks, their phone's location history and the camera roll to generate a digital travel journal.
mydistriKt features content from unexpected places, from the Wisconsin countryside to Nepal, as well as to often-visited spots like London and New York to provide a wealth of recommendations for travelers who really want to live like a local.
Travellers who prioritize once-in-a-lifetime trips will love Eventurist's special event recommendations and trawling of the best flight deals. So whether the mobile app recommends flying to Sweden for a music fest or the cheapest tickets ever for a flight to Florida, Eventurist hooks travellers up for a memorable experience.
There's nothing quite like traveling with friends: memorable, action-packed, and fun, but simultaneously stressful and trying. Prava aims to keep everything organized and within easy reach of everyone on the trip, meaning no more juggling multiple Google calendar invites and group chats.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION:
A Manulife survey conducted last year found that only 22% of Canadians between the ages of 55 and 65 felt they were on track to achieve their retirement goals.
Financial stress is affecting your employees:
A recent online poll carried out by Leger for Quickcheck Canada found that 66 per cent of Canadians said money was a stressor in their lives, while 44 per cent said it was their greatest source of stress.
Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians told Leger they wished they had made better financial decisions earlier in their lives.
A Conference Board of Canada report released last year found that 40 per cent of respondents did not know how much they would need to save for retirement, while one in five admitted that their financial literacy skills were either below average or poor.
Employees experiencing financial stress spend almost an hour a day dealing with money matters while at work, according to Consumer Credit Council Services. Employees with money troubles are also absent from work more often.
The facts outlined above have established that retirement planning is a major source of stress for employees, however, there are ways that employers can alleviate some of this stress. Employee health and wellness benefits have become standard in the workplace. In recent years, a new wellness component is emerging. Help with financial health is now being offered to ever larger numbers of workers – especially those approaching retirement. We've outlined two of the most effective ways your organization can assist employees in achieving their retirement goals.
Conversations regarding retirement occur less frequently as they should for a number of reasons:
More and more employees are working remotely
Healthcare is the primary focus of benefits
Employees at different life stages have varying priorities
However, these facts do not make retirement planning any less important. A Principal Financial Group executive tells companies that if they want employees to save for retirement, they should automatically put them in a retirement savings plan. Don't put the onus on employees to enrol in plans or to invest enough - instead do it for them automatically. Employees will then have to opt-out if they want to, instead of having to opt-in.
An American survey nearly of 5,100 employees uncovered that when it comes to personal finances and healthcare, millennials value technology more their their older colleagues. But when it comes to managing retirement savings, the two generations value tech-fueled apps and tools equally.
Employers are in a unique position to assist employees in making life-impacting decisions about personal finances, retirement savings and health — and to bring high-value technology and services that meet workforce needs. Given the explosion in apps and personal technology, employers can support employees with higher-quality services that offer personalized convenience, faster decision making, lower costs and healthier lifestyles.
Member of The Benefits Alliance Group Inc. – Canada’s Leading National Alliance of Independent Employee Benefits Advisors. www.benefitsalliance.ca
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