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Planning for your later years now

by Tim Weichel

Long term care

Long term care insurance is a solution focused on planning for the health risks associated with later retirement and the realities of aging. Fortunately, most of these changes aren’t dramatically different from one day to the next – it’s more of a gradual process. The level of health care and personal assistance we need, and the cost to meet these needs, will increase with age with the average Canadian experiencing 9 to 14 of the final years of their life in diminished health.

At birth…

• the average life expectancy of a Canadian male is 78 years. Over nine of those years are expected to be with a diminished quality of life.
• the average life expectancy of a Canadian female is 83 years. Just over 14 of those are expected to be with a diminished quality of life.*
* Source: Statistics Canada

Long term care insurance is designed to protect against the possible catastrophic impact long term care costs can have on even the most solid of retirement savings or income plans.  It helps to cover the costs of care, meaning:

• You have choices around the kind of care and amount of care you’ll receive.
• Your savings and investments can be preserved.

Download a copy of our white paper on the cost of long term care in Ontario

Sun Retirement Health Assist Plan

To help answer some of the questions you may have about how a long-term care insurance plan may work, here is an example of one of the most comprehensive, yet economical choices you have to ensure that your final years of life are lived with dignity, support and care. 


An income-style benefit when the insured person is dependent. It’s designed to help cover the cost of care services in any environment, including:

• a personal residence,
• a retirement home, or
• a long-term care facility

How dependency is determined

The insured person is dependent when:

They need constant supervision for protection from threats to their physical health and safety as the result of deterioration in or a loss of:

• short- or long-term memory,
• orientation as it relates to people, place and time,
• reasoning, or
• judgment as it relates to safety awareness
• Or, they require substantial physical assistance, with or without assistive devices, to safely and completely perform two or more activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence and feeding).
• Or, they require stand-by assistance for bathing and transferring. (Stand-by assistance** means another person must always be within arm’s reach of the insured person so they may safely and completely perform the activities of bathing and transferring.)
** If the insured person requires stand-by assistance for only one of bathing or transferring, they are considered dependent when they also require substantial physical assistance to perform one of the other activities of daily living.

Issue ages

• 45-71

Benefit amounts

• Minimum weekly benefit: $500
• Maximum weekly benefit (for all long-term care coverage on one life insured): $2,300

Benefit periods

• Unlimited

Coverage effective date

The coverage effective date is the date from which a claim for benefits may be submitted; it’s shown in the policy and is the later of:

• five consecutive policy years from the policy date, or
• the policy anniversary immediately following the insured person’s 65th birthday.

Waiting periods

• 365 days (1 year) or
• 730 days (2 years)

The waiting period is the length of time the insured person must be continuously dependent after the coverage effective date and before a claim will be paid.  Note that shorter waiting periods are available with other plans, however in general, the longer the waiting period, the lower the cost of insurance.

Premium payment period

• Premiums are payable for the lifetime of the policy (until the policy anniversary following the insured person’s 100th birthday).

Features (Automatically included)

• Inflation protection

While the weekly benefit is payable, the weekly benefit amount is increased by 3% on each policy anniversary – the date the policy became effective.

• Automatic return of premium on death (ROPD)

If the insured person dies before the coverage effective date, the returnable premium amount will be paid to the ROPD beneficiary named in writing, or if none are named, the policy owner or their estate. The returnable premium amount is the sum of all premiums paid for the policy, minus any unpaid premiums plus interest.

Premium guarantee

The premium won’t change for the first five policy years. After this period, the premium may increase or decrease on a policy anniversary. If the premium changes, the policy owner will be told in advance, and that premium is guaranteed for at least another five policy years.

Waiver of premium

When a claim for benefits is approved for the insured person, premiums are waived for the policy. The premiums must be paid until the policy owner is notified that the claim is approved.

Another reason to buy Sun Long Term Care Insurance and Sun RHA

Owners of long term care insurance with Sun Life Financial have access to LifestageCare™, offered through its partnership with TakingCare Inc.*

LifestageCare is a national, bilingual, 24/7, unbiased service that gives clients access to information about local, qualified health care and personal care providers closely matching their individual and family needs at every stage of life:

• Children and teens – for parenting, child care, and special needs services
• Self care – for personal advice and well being, addiction treatment, budget and credit counseling, and physical rehabilitation
• Seniors – for aging, retirement residences, nursing homes, home care, and community care

Providing the resources you need

Focusing on the information and support you need to provide the best care for your family – you can quickly and easily:

• find a complete range of qualified local professionals, care facilities, and health care resources anywhere in Canada;
• accurately determine what home care, rehab, treatment, educational and residential services will cost;
• obtain professional advice on geriatric care and care for teens and children, including resources for special needs;
• find simple explanations of treatment options, in language you’ll understand;
• help to know the right questions to ask when choosing a professional caregiver; and
• stay informed about multiple government financial assistance programs

Specific and confidential

LifestageCare is not available to the general public. The answers and information clients receive from the service are matched specifically to them. It is an unbiased service; Taking Care Inc. keeps any information provided confidential.

LifestageCare demonstration

You can access the LifestageCare demonstration from this link . The demo will walk through how to navigate the site and highlight the advantages of the service.

For a confidential discussion of your long-term care planning, please call Tim at 705-798-0062 or 416-230-2703 or email tim@timweichel.ca.  Plan for your future now. 

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