Sometimes in life it is possible to have your cake and eat it, including when it comes to estate planning and charitable giving.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself…let me start by telling you a story about my Mom.

We adored our Mother. She was the one we went to for  sage advice about boyfriends, girlfriends and the challenges of being a young adult.

She was one of the least judgmental people I knew and somehow I thought she would live forever..

My Mother was pregnant before she married my Father, and was “disowned” by her parents - tossed out of her family home. That early experience of motherhood increased her resolve to never let anything come between herself and her daughter (that would be me). When I was older she would sometimes share how difficult those first years were for her.

I know that her grit and determination would inspire me as an adult to take on my own challenges.

I was in my late 20’s when my Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and my early 30’s when she died. She was 64.

When I first visited the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) and met with the Director, Linda Eagen, I knew right away I needed to do something to support the invaluable work they are doing there.

During my Mother’s illness and time at the Cancer Centre we were fortunate to have our family for support—myself and my four brothers. But more was needed.

My Father was devastated and at a loss to know what to do or say. Basically he disappeared both emotionally and physically. At the time, extending more support for caring families was beyond the scope of medical care.

Cancer impacts everyone. Just under half of all Canadians (Source: Canadian Cancer Society) will develop cancer at some point in their lifetimes and 1 in 4 will die of the disease. The modern advancements in cancer diagnosis and treatment have been remarkable, yet we can do more. And this is where you can come in.

I share this story because I want my life to make a difference in other people’s lives. I want other families who have to suffer through a similar experience to have the support they need - both medical and emotional. .

It is my intention, through my financial planning, to leave a half a million dollars as charitable donations.

I am excited to say that my list of favourite charities is quickly growing, thanks to the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)! Through my membership at CAGP I am meeting remarkable people who are passionate about their organizations and the valuable work they are doing.

Let me explain how you can support charitable giving AND magnify that giving.

Empire Life Insurance has an amazing product called Estate Max. Over time, the amount of life insurance you have increases along with the cash inside the policy.

Why is that? This works because you are participating in the profits of the insurance company with the life insurance policy. Your dividends purchase more insurance which then adds to your cash value. The beauty of the cash inside the policy is that if your favourite charity needs money now, they can access it within the policy.

In short, the longer I live the more money there is for charitable donations, PLUS I have my insurance. This is all about  financial planning - the kind of financial planning I can help you with.

This is what I meant by have your cake and eat it too—the kind of financial planning more people (like you) need to know about and take advantage of now.

When I explained this to my business coach Jayne Blumenthal, who does a lot of work to support many charitable organizations in the Ottawa area, she said; “You’re kidding me, seriously, then let’s do this!” She also added; “Why don’t more people know about this?” “If they did, they’d probably be interested in doing it”.

Now, it’s my mission to get the information to everyone and to help my clients make smart decisions now, while they are able.. Estate Max is just one tool you can consider adding to your philanthropy toolkit.

There are many more excellent tools and strategies I will be writing about in future posts.

In the meantime, here are some of my most popular articles about philanthropy:

Find out how to Magnify Your Charitable Gift

Betty-Anne Howard

Betty-Anne Howard

Financial Planner, World Class Speaker Award Winner

Before becoming a financial planner, I worked for almost two decades in social work, teaching, and counseling. One of the most important parts of that work is asking questions, and learning as much as you can about a person’s unique needs, strengths, challenges, and dreams for the future. I’ve always felt driven to bring that same holistic and respectful approach to the financial services sector.

I believe too much of financial planning has to do purely with money, while ignoring what I call “the meaning behind the money”. After all, the point of financial planning isn’t to make money, it’s to make lives. It’s to help people do what they want to do.

Once we discover what really matters to you, we work together to create strategies, and utilise tools that can absolutely make your dreams a reality. Whether you want to improve your financial literacy, plan for the future while enjoying the present, or be more philanthropic while paying less tax, I can get you there.

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