Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Saskatoon Insurance Pro's at Wiegers Financial & Benefits Share Information on Farm Estates

Wiegers Financial & Benefits is one of the largest private financial planning and employee benefits consulting firms in Saskatchewan. Its Saskatoon Financial Planning Division provides business ownershouseholds, retirees, and students with expert investment and insurance planning services to help them reach their long-term financial goals. They also have a Benefits and Personal Insurance planning division - check out more on their Trusted Saskatoon Insurance Advisors listing.

The Future of Your Farm's Estate: Top 6 Considerations

As a Canadian farmer, you’ve lived through your fair share of unpredictability. Whether it was the farm crisis or one too many years of lackluster harvests, you took your farm through the worst combinations Mother Nature and the markets could throw at you, beating the odds to build something your family is truly proud of.

Looking back at the ups and downs of farming, you’d never take any of it back. And you want to leave the challenge behind for the next generation so that your family’s legacy can continue to flourish long after you’re gone. Successful farmers are constantly thinking about what’s next. If you’re over 50, planning the future of your farm should be your top task. The work you put in now could set your farm’s estate up for one of the most anticipated outcomes in your entire farming career. You know how rare that can be in the agriculture industry!

Speaking of your career, you’ve worn many hats over the years: accountant, labourer, veterinarian, weatherman, mechanic, scientist – the list goes on. Through the demands of your job, you’ve learned to ask for help when you need it. So if you’re willing to call your neighbour down the road at harvest, you should be willing to work with the expert up the street on financials.

A financial advisor provides leadership when you need it. They have your best interests in mind while navigating the blind spots of your farm’s estate, connecting a knowledgeable team of specialists to determine how to best plan your family farm’s future. The most common regrets farm estate financial advisors hear from farmers are that they wish they would have talked about it either ten years earlier before they lost their health, or before inflation led to a big misstep in their tax strategy.

You may be thinking about farm estate planning because you’ve been pressed by your child who’s made sacrifices for the farm or you’ve witnessed what happens when farmers leave a mess behind. Don’t wait until things fall apart. If you have a lot of unanswered questions about your farm’s estate, proper planning will bring clarity to problems that exist and provide answers that may solve them. Bring in your biggest concerns and prepare to give your financial advisor honest answers to the following questions.

These are the top six considerations when you're farm estate planning:

1. How do I want to spend the rest of my life?

Is it important to maintain the standard of living that you’ve become accustomed to? Or will you sacrifice your standard of living in the future so your kids can farm?

There are a variety of options for either scenario. For example, if you’re retiring, you could potentially sell two-quarters of land so you can continue to live comfortably.

2. How can I minimize the tax impact?

This is a big one as there are many opportunities. Financial advisors minimize the tax impact on a farmer who’s turning the farm over to the children who will be farming moving forward. They do this through a framework of tax minimization strategies such as capital gains exemptions or tax-deferred rollover options.

3. Do I want to consider family harmony?

Having more than one child makes handing off the farm estate to one child a complicated matter. Land prices are high and farm values are increasing to millions of dollars. What happens often is that suddenly you have a $5 or $10 million farm and the children who have not chosen to farm, get nothing or very little as part of the farm estate. Financial advisors try to find out if giving non-farming children a fair payout is a priority. If it is important, they help you get a life insurance plan in place to compensate them when the moment comes. For example, if your farm is transferred to one child, the other two children will receive a large insurance contract.

Sometimes farming children have made sacrifices to help their parents on the farm. They built equity in the farm when they could have worked somewhere else. In other cases, farming children were paid fairly and didn’t have to sacrifice, but the farm value went up and they want a piece of it. It’s critical to look objectively at the effort that’s been made to reward your children fairly.

4. Are my children’s marriages strong?

Your farm could have been in your family for three or four generations. Over that time, your family might have built outside assets and a large nest egg. One divorce could cost half of your family farm and more. Most farmers don’t want to pass their hard-earned estate onto someone who isn’t family. Divorce is common. Talk about how it could affect your farm before the nuptials. Your future in-laws should know your farm is protected in the event of a marital breakdown.

Financial advisors recommend pre or postnuptial contracts. The best time to write this contract is before the marriage but it can happen afterward. For instance, “We’re not passing the farm onto you unless you sign this contract that says if your marriage doesn’t make it down the road, the farm will stay in our family name.” This conversation is critical because farms are now worth millions. If you don’t take precautions on nuptials, half of your family farm could disappear.

5. Is my succession plan viable?

Most farmers choose to pass the land on to their children. But what happens if all of your children go off to university and don’t come back to the farm? If you do have a child who wants to continue farming, have you thought about whether he or she would make a good successor? Financial advisors recognize when people have the financial acumen to run the business and operations side of farming. And when they don’t.

For example, your middle-aged child could have been farming his entire life but doesn’t have a penny to his name. He likely isn’t the ideal financial custodian of your estate. A good financial advisor must tell you what they’ve observed and made sure you’re indicating that in the plan. Otherwise, handing your farm over to a child who continually mismanages money could cost your family’s legacy soon after you sign over the farm. It’s your responsibility to make it possible for your successor to succeed. Whoever you choose, you’ll want to ensure that the farm estate will be financially viable moving forward.

6. What are my objectives?

You and your spouse may have different goals of what to do with the farm estate. For example, one of you may want to transfer everything and the other could be more conservative. Financial advisors will ask questions to find out what’s important to each of you. This will give you an idea of where you may want to compromise and what you’re not willing to let go of. Then, they’ll begin to coordinate legal and accounting to finalize your farm’s estate plan.

You don’t want to leave critical decisions related to succession planning, marital breakdowns, unexpected taxes, and more to a spouse who could be reeling after you’re gone. Managing your farm estate without a plan is the biggest mistake you can make as a farmer. Talk to your Wiegers Financial & Benefits financial advisor if you’re over 50 with questions about your farm estate planning.


Cliff Wiegers, CFP, TEP, CH.F.C., CLU, B.Comm.

Financial Planner, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.

Insurance Representative, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.


Wiegers’ Benefits Consulting Division includes many consultants and support staff who custom-design the most employee-valued and cost-effective group benefit, personal insurance, employee assistance programs, and retirement plans available. Contact Wiegers today for a no-obligation consultation to determine how they can help you.

Wiegers Financial & Benefits are Trusted Saskatoon Insurance and Group Benefits Advisors 


Trusted Saskatoon Insurance Pro's at Wiegers Financial & Benefits Discuss Wills for Expecting Parents

Wiegers Financial & Benefits is one of the largest private financial planning and employee benefits consulting firms in Saskatchewan. Its Saskatoon Financial Planning Division provides business ownershouseholds, retirees, and students with expert investment and insurance planning services to help them reach their long-term financial goals. They also have a Benefits and Personal Insurance planning division - check out more on their Trusted Saskatoon Insurance Advisors listing.

Writing a Will Before Baby is Born: A Step-by-Step Guide for Expectant Parents

The transition from being child-free to becoming a new parent is one of the best times to evaluate how you want your baby to be raised in the future. While preparing for a baby, expectant parents should think about all possible outcomes relating to their future beyond which colour to paint the nursery.

When you’re married without children, you know that everything you have will automatically be given to your spouse should you pass away. Preparing for a baby should include initializing a plan in the event of an untimely death of one or both parents so that your child is fully supported.

Before you get into the process of writing a will, you should know what it is. A will is a legal document that outlines your final wishes and provides an action plan that details how you want them to be carried out. If you have named beneficiaries in your will, you need to ensure that they match the beneficiaries you have named on other plans like your life insurance. It is also very important that your will supports what you have established in your financial plan.

You likely haven’t written your will yet, as nearly half of all respondents to a 2016 BMO survey haven’t made a will (Advisor’s Edge). It’s easy to find reasons to put this task off – maybe you’ve never been around someone who’s died, you have no incentive to get it done, or you’d rather not think about your own mortality. But when you choose to bring a little person into your family, there’s a new element added to your life. And some parents, unfortunately, forget to write a will which leaves a mess that, for not much money, could be resolved.

Will planning is part of the financial services process. In most cases, our financial advisors will prompt clients about their will in the initial conversations around their future. The reason they do this is that your plans could be compromised based on discrepancies between your insurance and investment forms and your will. Simply put, your best intentions could be wrong or unfulfilled without having a plan in place.

How to write a will for expectant parents:

  1. DETERMINING YOUR BIG PICTURE

Your will is as unique to you as your life. Therefore, both you and your spouse should start the process of writing a will before the baby is born with an open conversation. Thinking through your final wishes will bring you peace of mind and leave one less thing to worry about while you’re busy raising your child.
First, you’ll brainstorm your hopes for your family’s future while considering specific details, such as type of funeral, distribution of financial assets, and healthcare preferences before putting pen to paper. Once you have an idea of your big picture, you’ll list every what-if scenario that could result from your death. If it helps, you’ll begin with the question, “if I’m not here tomorrow, what will happen to my spouse and child?” If both you and your spouse were to pass away suddenly, you must ask yourselves, “Who do we want to look after our child?” and “Can that person afford to be a guardian to our child”? Our financial advisors don’t mind if you come to your initial meeting with some uncertainty about your big picture. Like most folks, you might not have been asked about your final wishes before, so you likely won’t have an answer anyway.

Here are a few of the typical questions expectant parents should anticipate from us:

  • Who would agree to be a legal guardian for your young child?
  • Would the guardian of your child also be the trustee of your assets?
  • Who would you feel comfortable handling your affairs (i.e. who do you want as executor)?
  • Who would make medical decisions for you if you couldn’t?

Starting the will discussion early will help you answer the what-ifs you have relating to your family’s future.


  1. SHARING YOUR PLAN

Once you’ve built a draft idea of your big picture plan, you’re on to the next stage in will-writing for new parents: sharing your plans with those named in the will. This may seem like the easy part of the process, but it’s often overlooked either intentionally or unintentionally. Because you’ve taken the time to think through your final wishes, you’ll definitely need to share a draft of your will with your spouse. Your wills don’t have to be the same, but they should convey each of your wishes. It may seem like a heavy conversation topic leading up to or after the birth of your first child. However, having a talk about your final wishes is a gift that will keep you on the same page as partners well into the future. It’s crucial to be as open as you possibly can.

In addition, you’ll need to communicate your plans to all those named in the will, not just your spouse. Ensure everyone mentioned in the will agrees to their position as executors, trustees, legal guardians, etc. For example, one of our own financial advisors was asked if she would become a guardian to four kids from someone close to her if they passed away. She determined that while she had two kids of her own today, she wouldn’t be able to take on the responsibility of four additional children tomorrow. After giving the request some serious thought, she said, “No, I can’t do that”.  Ask for feedback on your plans or be open to making changes. Your first choice regarding your final wishes may not want the responsibility.


  1. CONFIRMING YOUR WISHES

You’ve drafted a big picture plan, gotten approval from your family members and those named in the will, and now you want to finalize it. You can either write a handwritten (a.k.a. holographic) will, use a digital service to create one online, or report it to your lawyer to formalize one. All options are perfectly legal. However, we recommend verifying your plans with a lawyer.

Do you need a lawyer to make a will?

Hiring a lawyer to write your will ensures there are no questions asked after you’ve passed away. Handwritten wills often leave out key details, but lawyers are trained to turn over every stone to produce a document that will do what you want it to do. We can, if you like, refer you to an exceptional lawyer who can help you prepare a rock-solid will where you’ll get priceless accuracy. Plus, if you’ve followed this process from the start, you’ve done most of the work upfront.

Providing your lawyer with your nitty-gritty details will save you from lengthy consultations with them, so you can spend more time enjoying life with your new baby. Just make sure your spouse and/or executor know where you’re storing your finalized will and how they can access it.  It’s important to note that this third step is ongoing. Every five years or so, both you and your spouse should read through your wills to confirm and update as needed.

Preparing for a baby is an exciting time that should include some thought about protecting them in the future should either you or your spouse pass away. Talk to your Wiegers Financial & Benefits advisor about initializing a will. If you’ve been through recent life changes, potentially including having a second child, you should review your will.


Maurice Roberge, B.A., B.Ed.

Sales Support Coordinator, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.


Wiegers’ Benefits Consulting Division includes many consultants and support staff who custom-design the most employee-valued and cost-effective group benefit, personal insurance, employee assistance programs, and retirement plans available. Contact Wiegers today for a no-obligation consultation to determine how they can help you.

Wiegers Financial & Benefits are Trusted Saskatoon Insurance and Group Benefits Advisors 


Trusted Saskatoon Furnace & Air Experts at JOB Share A/C Tips

JOB Heating & Air Conditioning Saskatoon are eager to provide the best possible customer experience. Their aim is to be a professional resource for our clients before, during, and after the sale! Their team takes pride in service knowledge of modern equipment and training. They are recognized by peers and offer sales, service, training & installations for residential, and commercial Heating, Cooling and Plumbing systems in Saskatoon and area. In their latest article, they talk about being an air conditioner Saskatoon expert and provide A/C tips. 

Local Air Conditioner Experts at JOB Heating & Air Conditioning

Looking for a Saskatoon Air Conditioner Expert?

At JOB Heating and Air Conditioning, we fix, maintain, service, sell and install all brands of residential and commercial air conditioning units to Saskatoon and the surrounding area. If your air conditioner is not cooling, or if it is freezing up, simply contact JOB and we will solve your problems. We guarantee to have you cooled down and comfortable in no time!

Air Conditioning Tips From JOB

Here are some air conditioning tips to get the most out of your cooling unit from JOB Heating & Air Conditioning Saskatoon: 

  • Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
  • If your air conditioner is old, consider buying an energy-efficient model from JOB. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels — qualified room air conditioners are 10% more efficient, and qualified central units are about 15% more efficient than standard models.

If you are looking for a new Saskatoon air conditioner or have questions about your current A/C unit, contact JOB Heating & Air Conditioning, your local experts who are always ready to help!

JOB Heating & Air Conditioning are Trusted Saskatoon Furnace and Air Conditioning Experts. We show up on time, deliver on budget and we leave the work area cleaner than when we arrived! At JOB we take pride in our plumbing services in this city and the surrounding area, so nothing means more to us than testimonials from our clients as their preferred plumber in Saskatoon.

JOB products and services include:

Trusted Saskatoon Water Experts at Culligan Saskatoon Share Tip on Clogged Shower Heads

We’re here when you need us: Culligan Saskatoon has been treating your water needs in Saskatoon and Surrounding areas since 1949 by providing drinking water with their household systems. They are dedicated to making your water better using the best equipment, best service, and best prices around. They are locally owned and operated. In their latest news, they ask: Is hard water clogging your shower head? Culligan Saskatoon provides information on why you should switch to soft water and what hard water does to your appliances, specifically your shower head.

Clogged Shower Head From Hard Water?

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is a term that means that your water has high levels of calcium and magnesium. Indicators of hard water around the house include stiff laundry, white mineral deposits on dishware, soap that refuses to lather up, scale build-up in sinks and appliances. When the scale build-up results from hard water, it is moved by the force of water to the faucet, the scale gets trapped behind the shower head’s wire or plastic screen.

Hard Water Clogging Your Shower Head

If you have been experiencing a clogged showerhead, even after constantly cleaning, improving your water quality is the next step. Naturally, hard water has calcium and other mineral deposits which over time can clog faucets, showerheads and even coffeemakers.

Water Softeners at Culligan Saskatoon

Culligan Saskatoon’s water softeners extend the life of appliances you use daily. By reducing the build-up of minerals in the water supply, your shower head, water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine run more efficiently.

Culligan Saskatoon has proudly been serving Saskatoon and area since 1949. That’s more than 70 years of excellence in water, customer service, and product knowledge. Culligan is the name you can trust when it comes to water in Saskatoon and the surrounding area and we look forward to meeting you!

child drinking from Tap in Kitchen

Culligan's Residential Products

Culligan's Commercial Products

Culligan is proud to offer their famous free water analysis just call and they'll come out to your home and test your water for impurities!

CHECK OUT THEIR CURRENT WATER SPECIALS  

"You could give your people Culligan water"

Culligan are Trusted Saskatoon Water Experts


Trusted Saskatoon Fitness Equipment Store, Fitness Solutions Provides Information on Stationary Bikes

Fitness Solutions is a locally owned, Trusted Saskatoon Fitness Equipment storeserving residential and commercial customers for over 30 years. They have the tools and the experience to make your fitness goals a reality. They are there every step of the way to guide and educate you through the process of finding the perfect piece of equipment to make it happen. In our latest Trusted Saskatoon fitness article, they provide information on the different types of stationary bikes available at Fitness Solutions Saskatoon.

TYPES OF STATIONARY BIKES AT FITNESS SOLUTIONS SASKATOON

Stationary Bikes at Fitness Solutions

Stationary bikes make excellent additions to your home gym. Riding one provides an effective total body workout burning calories and body fat while also strengthening your heart, lungs, and muscles. At Fitness Solutions Saskatoon, we have a wide variety of stationary bikes available either in stock or to order for you.

Upright Bike

The upright bike is similar to a regular bicycle, with the pedals positioned under your body. It provides a great cardio workout while also strengthening your leg and core muscles. Depending on your preference, this bike can be used both standing or sitting.

One of many upright bikes we have at Fitness Solutions is the Sole Fitness B54 Upright Cycle. The SOLE B54 upright cycle's low-impact motion is one of the main benefits of exercising with an indoor cycle. Decreasing stress on knees, hips, and ankles throughout your workout while providing positive cardiovascular effects, it is suitable for anything from maintenance to high-performance exercise. The B54 is easy to use at any exercise level and takes up a relatively small amount of space, making it an ideal fitness partner for your home workout.

Recumbent Bike

Recumbent stationary bikes allow you to sit in a comfortable reclined position on a larger seat that’s positioned back from the pedals. This type of bike puts less stress on your upper body, joints, and low back. Your body is fully supported, which can make your workout less intense. You’ll also have less fatigue and muscle soreness after your workout.

Fitness Solutions has different options of recumbent bikes including the S3Ri Recumbent Bike. Featuring the Concept Health and Fitness integration which allows for countless entertainment and motivational options, the S3Ri is a full size, walk-through recumbent featuring the latest in creature comforts for enjoyable workouts.  



Indoor Cycle Bike

The indoor cycle bike, which is the most popular option in indoor cycling classes, is similar to an upright bike. However, it has an elevated seat.

Another difference is that resistance is created with a weighted flywheel on the front, which is typically about 40 pounds. The resistance can be adjusted to simulate hills or riding into the wind.

An option for an indoor spin bike at Fitness Solutions is the Horizon Fitness IC7.9 Indoor Cycle Spin Bike. Designed to keep pace with the most popular live and on-demand streaming fitness classes, the IC7.9 indoor cycle puts your tablet and content at the centre of your experience. Pedal along with Peloton, Studio SWEAT onDemand or other popular streaming fitness apps.* Bring your favourite media or just ride — no membership fees or subscriptions are required to get the most from this high-performance bike.

Air Bike

A less common type of stationary bike is a fan or air bike. This bike doesn’t have any preprogrammed options as you create resistance by pedalling. The faster you pedal, the faster the wheel blades rotate and the more resistance you generate. 

Fitness Solutions has air bikes including the Bells of Steel Blitz Air Bike 2.0. The Blitz Air Bike is the definitive choice for your home gym. Belt-driven with an oversized fan and comes standard with wind guard, bottle and phone holder and a super comfy seat! This fan bike is well suited to even the most die-hard garage gym athletes.

 




If you are interested in adding a stationary bike to your home gym or have questions to see which stationary bike is the right fit for you, contact Fitness Solutions Saskatoon and we are happy to help you pedal toward your fitness goals.

Remember to Please Be Kind

At Fitness Solutions Saskatoon, our team is doing the best we can with what is available during these times. Unfortunately, we expect supply issues to last for at least 1 year, so we ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this with you and truly believe Fitness Solutions equipment is worth the wait. So please be kind to our staff and let’s remember ‘Fitness is not a destination... it’s a way of life.’ 

If you need help with your fitness goals, our team at Fitness Solutions is here to help you stay fit and healthy this winter. We take the time to ask you questions and go through all the details to find the perfect equipment for you. When comparing price versus quality, Fitness Solutions Saskatoon is your trusted local place to shop for home fitness equipment.

At Fitness Solutions, we have the tools and the experience to make your fitness goals a reality. Whether it's a treadmill, free weights, racks, elliptical, yoga mat, or paddleboard, we are here every step of the way to guide and educate you through the process of finding the perfect piece of equipment to make it happen.

'Fitness is Not A Destination It Is A Way Of Life'

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