It surprises me how often I think about the types of care I wish had been in place when my Mother was dying of cancer, over twenty five years ago.

We adored our Mother. She was the one who all our friends wanted to share their experiences with to get her support and sage advice about; boyfriends, girlfriends, troubles with their parents and other challenges we were all facing as adolescents and young adults. She was one of the least judgmental people I knew and always surprised me with her care and understanding whenever I presented her with yet again another hurdle I needed to jump over. She always graciously and lovingly took my hand to support me as I found my way and, if I stumbled and fell she would pick me up, dust me off and away I’d go again. Because my Mother was pregnant before she got married to my Father, she was “disowned” by her parents, tossed out of her family home and told to go marry my Father! Thus she always swore that she’d never let anything come between she and her daughter (that would be me!), she frequently reminded me that she hadn’t planned on having to stretch herself so often and so much and she did, thankfully.

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 that I needed to “do something” to support the invaluable work they are doing there. I come back to my own story recognizing what a difference the support at RCC would have made in our lives including my Father who was at a loss most of the time to know what to do or say so he basically disappeared both emotionally and physically and my four brothers who fortunately were able to be there for our Mother.

I share this story with you because I want to make a difference in other people’s lives and you can see I have my reasons, based on my personal experience, why I want to do that.

In addition to engaging in my annual charitable giving I am in the process of putting a number of charitable giving life insurance policies in place that will help magnify my gift – it is my intention to leave, when I die, because these are life insurance policies after all, half a million dollars to my favourite charities.

I am excited to say that my list of favourites is quickly growing, thanks to the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)! Through my membership at CAGP I am now meeting some remarkable people who are so passionate about their organizations I am drawn to their cause, like a magnet.

I would like to take a minute to explain how a charitable giving policy works and how you too can use this tool to meet your philanthropic goals.

Empire Life Insurance has an amazing product called Estate Max, that simply means that over time the amount of life insurance you have increases along with the cash inside the policy. Why is that? Because you are participating in the profits of the insurance company with the life insurance policy. Thus the dividends purchase more insurance which then adds to the cash value as well. The beauty of the cash inside the policy is that if your favourite charity needs money now, they can access it, within the policy.

The longer I live, the more money there will be for the charity when I die and the more cash there is to access. How great is that?!

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 out there to everyone who wants to listen and know how this can work for you, one additional tool that needs to be considered within your philanthropy toolkit. There are many more tools you can use and I will be writing about those soon while creating a visual toolkit to make the experience more interesting for you and easy to understand.

Given I’m a Planner I had to attach a goal to my mission so it is my intention to put 100 charitable giving life insurance policies in place by December 31st., 2018 for a minimum of $50,000 each = raising $5 million (additional) dollars for people’s favourite charities. Care to join me?

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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