Will you or won’t you?

Your Will is your last love letter to your family.  Do you care about your family? Will you leave that last letter or won’t you? Your last lover letter. Will or won't you? During the winter, we (North Americans) do a lot more travelling than usual.  We often hear about accidents on the highways due to weather, frequently with tragic results. This makes me think it’s time to revisit the need for wills and powers of attorney. Our own mortality is so difficult to face. 

The reality is that we will all die some day.  What’s that old cliche?  The only sure things in life are death and taxes. Alternatively, what if you live?  You could be dependent on the decisions of others if you haven’t left any official guidance.  That’s where your Power Of Attorney comes in.  This is the document that guides your delegate in making decisions for your finances and health when you are unable to speak for yourself.

Do you care enough to send that last love letter and leave some guidance?  Have your will and power of attorney written and then updated every year.  Will you or won’t you?  That is the question.

>>>Click here for a cute will commercial!<<<

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for my #LegalSavingsPlan.  I’m thankful for the referral lawyer who came to my house for my dying son to sign his will and power of attorney.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to share this amazing plan. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/will-wont/

Spring in Canada. Or is it?

Is it really spring in Canada? Canadians just love to complain about the weather but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Spring in Canada

Spring April 15, 2018I love having four seasons but some days….

It’s Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. This weather has been virtually non-stop for two days. On Friday, the ground was bare and I was picking up extension cords and Christmas lights to put away. You will see that I brought out the table we use in nice weather when sitting out with a glass of wine (or maybe a cold beer on a hot day!). I’m really glad I didn’t go and bring down the lawn chairs.

The first day of spring was officially March 20, 2018. Many are usually starting to think about planning their gardens. Not in Barrie!!! We wouldn’t usually consider planting before June 1 because there is still risk of frost.

We currently have a student from Egypt with us. He was talking about spring and my wife told him not really, there was still at least one storm to come. As you can see, she was right!

Canadians Love to Complain!

Canadian FlagWe are known around the world as polite people. I sort of agree but I have to admit, we are chronic complainers!

We have four seasons, the problem is one seems to be nine months long and the other three seasons are not predictable. Summer is anywhere from 4-8 weeks regardless of what the calendar tells you! It’s funny, that nine months really is like a pregnancy. After all that time, it’s really exciting when the weather (water?) finally breaks. That baby finally arrives and before too long, it’s matured. Here comes winter again!

I’ll bet you there are a lot babies conceived in Canada during the winter months.

Summer in God’s Country!

Barrie yacht clubBarrie, Ontario is one of the greatest places in Canada to live. During the winter, there are at least four ski resorts within forty minutes. In summer, there is a beautiful lake front right here and many more just a short drive away. We just have to get through the spring to get there!

I’m not complaining but I’m Canadian eh!

Then fall and soon enough back to winter.

Four Seasons

Barry and Denise Clermont Fall 2017When we moved to Barrie, it was November and getting cold. The snow hit shortly after we moved here and we made a decision to embrace the weather, including winter. We learned how to ski so we could spend time with our kids on the hills rather than becoming mall rats. We love to camp and hike in the warmer weather and I have a great time with my camera in the fall when Ontario is a beautiful tapestry of colours.

Canada is a country of four seasons. Come visit!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for this great country, my wife and my family. What are you thankful for today?

Online Backup Solution

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/spring-in-canada-or-is-it/

Identity Theft: Is It Part Of Your Risk Management Plan?

Identity theft is no longer if but when. What do you do when it happens to you?

Identity Theft: What is it?

Identity theft is much more than someone using your credit card number, hacking your Paypal account or bank account. Identity Theft is a major area that should be considered when you are addressing your comprehensive risk management plan! Are you only about money? Of course not! Here are just some issues that could cause an identity crisis:

  • Social Insurance or Social Security Number (Or your wife or child’s!)
  • Health and health insurance records
  • Driver’s license

When someone steals your Social Security number, they can work in your name and not pay taxes. They might use your social insurance number when applying for a mortgage in your name. If they get hold of your health insurance numbers, they could potentially cause a change in your health records that could be fatal. I’m sure you never have traffic infractions but what if someone is caught racing using your driver’s license number?

Identity theft is high risk and more likely to happen than many other things we plan for. Is it part of your risk management plan?

Risk Management

We take pains to plan for and mitigate risk in our lives. We plan for the “what ifs”. Here are some examples:

  • Life insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • Auto Club memberships
  • Home maintenance plans
  • #LegalSavingsPlan
  • Identity Theft Restoration Plan

warning signsWe have life insurance to protect our family from sudden loss. We have health insurance to cover hospital bills and, in some cases, prescriptions. We have car insurance and auto club to protect us when we travel. We have maintenance plans to keep the heat and air conditioning operating in our homes. We have a #LegalSavingsPlan to cover keeping our wills and powers of attorney up to date and keep a lawyer in our back pocket for emergencies and every day life events.

Make sure that when you are looking at your risk management plan, you consider Identity Theft. Remember that not all plans are created equal. Sure, the banks may offer something to replace missing funds and some plans will offer websites and links to things you need to do but who is going to do all the restoration work? Can you afford to take weeks off work? Do you think the distraction of worry could affect your performance? Make sure any plan you purchase includes complete restoration to before theft status.

Legal Repercussions

When your identity is stolen, there will be legal issues along the way. You may have the police showing  up to arrest you or Canada Revenue Agency or Internal Revenue Service threatening to take your wages. Do you know who to call? I do, I call my law firm. As part of your risk management plan, you may want to consider a #LegalSavingsPlan to help ease some of the pain along the way. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that what seems to be a problem isn’t really a problem or have a lawyer give you answers that empower you and let you sleep better.

>>>Click here to learn about Identity Restoration<<<

What do you do?

What do you do when your identity is stolen? It’s no longer if but when! The solution is very simple. Use your Identity Theft restoration plan and your #LegalSavingsPlan to get back to pre-theft status!

Make it a great day!

Barry

My Own Meeting

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/identity-theft-risk-management/

Logitech C920

The Logitech C920 is a great webcam. I was really surprised the difference it made on my Lenovo laptop with integrated video.

Logitech C920

I read about this webcam recently in a blog that talked about the importance of having a good webcam and not using integrated cameras. I thought it was a load of crap but thought the cost was worth the experiment. I really hate to admit I was wrong!!!

This webcam is a high definition camera with almost as high resolution as my Pentax camera! Up to 15 megapixel. My Pentax is 20. The negative is that the microphones are a little too good. When mounted on my laptop, it really picks up the hum of the cooling fan. One of the reasons I chose that camera is it has a screw mount which means it can be used with a tripod. I really wish I could find that blog I referred to earlier to link to! It’s bang on so far. Guess what I’m picking up next!

Blue Snowball

The microphone I want to try is the Snowball by Blue, the same manufacturer as the Yeti. I’m betting there may be another blog to come! From what I see in the specs and online, the Blue is able to pick up sounds from more than one direction and will require using an isolate space when I’m doing this stuff. Looks like I will have to commandeer a room! I’m betting there is another blog to come.

Pure Leverage Suite of Tools

All of this works really well with the Pure Leverage Suite of tools. This is what got me started with all of this. Now, I just can’t help myself! If you are trying to brand yourself and develop a good online presence, this suite saves huge amounts of time and money.

Complete the form below to learn more about Pure Leverage and other GVO products.

 

Make it a great day!

Barry

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/logitech-c920/

Suicide Is So Selfish! Isn’t It?

Suicide Is So Selfish!

Suicidal personSuicide seems to be in the news so much these days and I have to admit there was a time when I considered suicide an extremely selfish act. The loved ones of the person who passed are usually devastated and they have no idea why that person did this to them.

I have lost someone close to me to suicide and was just talking with someone who lost a close friend that left a partner and children behind. My friend made the comment that suicide was selfish and it really made me think. Is suicide really a selfish act?

I can’t imagine ever feeling there was no other way than to take my own life and what it would do to those I left behind. But…

What If I Believed The World Was Better Without Me?

Blessed crossI’m personally very blessed to have a great family and a wonderful life. My challenges have been mostly small in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I lost a son to cancer and we almost lost our home in the process. My wife and I leaned on each other and those around us for support at the time and we got through.

What if I believed I had no friends? What if I believed my wife wasn’t there for me? What if I believed I was in such a dark place I was taking everyone else with me? What if I believed my insurance would make everything better for my family? Maybe the world would be better off without me!

Now, I can’t imagine being that dark a place but I CAN accept that others might. If they truly believed the world is better without them and they are helping the people they left behind by taking their own life, is suicide truly selfish?

Next time you find yourself feeling someone you lost to suicide was selfish, think about what they may have been thinking before you judge them. Remember what you believe and say may have an affect on that person’s loved ones they left behind. 

Overwhelmed – Part 2 – Over from Connexus Church on Vimeo.

Ask For Help!

LifesaverIf you ever find yourself in such a dark place you think the world is better without you, please reach out to someone. If you really believe you don’t have anyone, call your local crisis line. In Canada,  there is a website provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. I think the National Institute for Mental health is American.

Please, please, please ask for help!

Offer Help

Pay attention to the people around you and really hear them. It may be they just need someone to listen or maybe they need someone to help them see light at the end of a very dark tunnel. You could be the difference between life and death.

Let me just remind you that this is my space for thinking out loud. I’m not being judgemental, just expressing my thoughts. Please feel free to share yours in the comments box below.

Make it a great day! Whether for yourself or someone else. 

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for faith, family and friends. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/suicide-is-so-selfish/

Wedding In The Woods

My daughter celebrated her wedding in the woods December 2017. A young man from England stole her heart. I warned him that if he breaks it, there will be nowhere safe to hide!

Wedding In The Woods

Sometimes, I believe my daughter was born about 50 years late. Who but a hippie would decide they wanted a wedding in the woods?! In the winter!

Dad and daughter at wedding in the woodsMy little princess is certainly not faint of heart. Definitely a ‘chip off the old block’, her mother, that is! Ashley is 26 years old and has experienced more than many people do in a lifetime. Many of her travels have led to some outdoor living. She has developed a connection to the earth and all she has to offer.

The bride decided she wanted to be married where she is most comfortable. Of course, the groom, knowing what is good for him, agreed! Actually, he is a bit of a nomad himself. He came to Canada on an adventure and ended up married. They created a wonderful celebration to share with us all.

They rented a group of cabins at a place in northern Ontario called Voyageur Quest. Wood fired heat and solar lighting. No phones or access to social media! Can you imagine three days off the grid? 

The morning of the wedding, there was a record low of minus 35 degrees Celsius. Luckily, by the time of the wedding, it had warmed up to minus 20 degrees! 

On December 28, 2017, we celebrated a wedding in the woods. In the words of my daughter, the wedding was magical!

The Bride

father, son and babyAshley was born in Barrie, Ontario and grew up with three siblings. I believe that because we were a larger family and camping was the most affordable holiday, she basically grew up in the woods! Our city has a lot of woodlands where we spent time hiking and exploring. One of our favourite vacation spots is Algonquin Park and gave us somewhere different to go and still be connected to nature. 

When she left the house for education purposes, she chose to take an outdoor leadership program in Alberta. She trained to take people into the mountains climbing and to take people kayaking. At one point in time, she had decided to live in her van and go exploring. I told you she is a hippie! And then, she met the Englishman.

The Groom

Aidan SmithAidan was born in England and decided to go to Canada on a working adventure. He was just about to head back home when he met Ashley. He stayed another two years! Other than knowing he is an acrobatic pilot and spent the last couple of growing seasons flying crop dusters, I really don’t know much about Aidan while he was growing up. I look forward to learning more.

During Christmas vacation 2015, his Mom and Dad flew to visit the kids in Banff Alberta. In conversation with Pauline later, she told Denise that Aidan was smitten and this was very likely “The” girl. When Ashley had a rough spell just months after they met, Aidan stayed with Denise in British Columbia for five weeks while they tended to Ashley. I told people then that if Ashley didn’t marry him, I swear Denise would!

Aidan is a gentle, caring soul who seems to worship the ground she walks on. Just as he should, I might say! I have always said that one day there would be a man to take my place at her side. It was difficult but we were proud to give Ashley to Aidan to love and cherish just as we have.

I’m trusting my baby to Aidan Smith from England. I’m very proud to have such a fine son-in-law!

The Morning After

Would you believe the silly buggers went dog sledding the day after nuptials!!! Sledding didn’t actually happen until after lunch but this meant there wasn’t much sleeping in. Besides, we had to keep getting up during the night to feed the fires for heat.

Ashley and Aidan sledding

Ashley and Aidan Smith On Their First Adventure As A Married Couple

Now, I have to say, this is how you do a wedding in the woods!

Congratulations to Ashley Clermont and Aidan Smith, now Mr. & Mrs. Smith, as they continue on this next leg of the great adventure we call life!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for our new extended family, Ontario’s winter wonderland and Air Transat. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/wedding-in-the-woods/

Mortgage Rules in Canada Changing Again!

Mortgage, this word strikes fear in the hearts of Canadians! Do you understand how the upcoming changes will affect you?

Mortgage Renewal

House in hands.

Click image to learn more about mortgage risk.

In past, there wasn’t really much of an effect. It’s likely most institutions would consider you as a client without too much hassle. Not any more. Your mortgage provider may have a lock on you because you don’t meet the new criteria. They don’t want to lose your business and will likely renew your mortgage provided there are no changes.

If there are ANY changes like extending the term or doing some debt consolidation, you must meet the new lending criteria and pass the stress test. You can use online tools like TD’s Affordability Calculator to see if you qualify.

Oh, and by the way, you won’t necessarily get a “preferred client” rate on renewal if they know you won’t be able to move your mortgage!

New Mortgage

Click image to learn about making your mortgage tax deductible.

In 2017, the rules changed and people with less than 20% down payment had to pass the stress test. Starting January 1, 2018 we all have to qualify. You will have to be able to carry the mortgage if the rates go up 2% from your negotiated rate. You won’t pay that now but you must have the ability to.

It was already tough for people to get into the housing market with the changes in 2017. Now it will be tough for the rest of us to get a new mortgage, whether making changes to existing or maybe considering getting into buying rental units. 

I was at a Vogue Simcoe Exclusive Networking meeting last week where Anne Lesperance did a presentation that included a comparison. For example, let’s say a couple was selling their home and wanted to upgrade from $400K to $600K. Under 2017 rules, they would qualify for the $600K mortgage. The same couple would only qualify for $475K under the 2018 rules.

Banks are required to build in “what if” and this can affect how much house you can buy. Make sure you understand how much you can afford when the interest rates go up. 

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for snow, gainful employment and teachers like Anne Lesperance. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/mortgage-rules-canada-changing/

Blogging: Short Essays, Down and Dirty!

Blogging – Keep It Simple

Just words.Have you ever thought about blogging and just found it so intimidating? Stop! It doesn’t have to be.Blogging can be really easy, it’s just writing short essays.

I never realized at the time that my grade 13 English teacher was preparing me to be a blogger. We had to write a 500 word essay every week and I used to write them Sunday afternoon because they were due Monday morning! I actually wrote better essays that way. Then I would go back and create “rough notes” because he used to ask me for them. Go figure.

Blogs can be short and sweet. Many of mine are simply the result of a thought I had as I was walking the street on a lunch hour or in the morning on the way to work. For example, my musing about coffee drinkers in the morning.Have you ever noticed  the change over the couple hours before 9am and how fewer people hav coffee in their hand the later it got.

Blogging can be this simple. Write what you are thinking about. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling as you write, you can fix that later if you really feel you need to.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for internet, computers and WordPress. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/blogging-short-essays/

Happiness Comes Before Success

Happiness is actually the precursor to success, not the result.

HAPPINESS

You can choose to have happiness. Yes, just choose!

To be honest, I’m feeling lazy today and came across a great video by Jeff Olson. I have had the pleasure of spending time with him with a beer by the pool!

Very smart guy and he has been “preaching” leadership for a number of years. He has always believed that working on yourself leads to success, virtually by accident. Watch Jeff’s video below.

I hope you enjoyed the video!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for meeting Jeff Olson, learning from him at LegalShield (PrePaid Legal at the time) and I’m thankful my wife stuck with it! What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/happiness-comes-before-success/

LegalShield Testimonial: Wireless Service Provider

My son got a cell phone for his 16th birthday. He was told he had unlimited texting. No one explained the difference between texting and MMS. This was 9 years ago and that was all new.

When his first bill came in, there were charges for $168 worth of messages! My wife was on the phone for the better part of 2 hours with the service provider and getting frustrated. She told the person on the phone that she had enough and maybe she would just call her lawyer. I think the representative on the phone thought she was kidding and said “If you think you need to do that…” at which point my wife ended that discussion and called LegalShield.

The lawyer reviewed my son’s contract and  offered to write a “motivational” letter to the wireless service provider. About two weeks later my son received a cheque for $168 AND and apology from the service provider saying “we don’t do business that way”.

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-wireless-service-provider/

LegalShield Testimonial: Power of Attorney

person cryingHaving been named Power of Attorney for both my mother and father, I was in a dilemma when Dad had a major stroke and really couldn’t be reasonably expected to make decisions and Mom was in a coma. I was being asked to make a decision about taking my mother off life support. Dad was actually supposed to be her Power of Attorney before me, I was secondary with my brother. What do I do?!

First, I called my father’s lawyer but he didn’t return calls. I have LegalShield! I called in mid afternoon. About 2 hours later, the lawyer called me. We discussed the situation and he advised that technically, there was a process to go through to be officially able to make a medical decision for Mom. Then we talked about how the hospital will often consider our wishes as long as they know the power of attorney exists if needed.

Peace of mind. How do you put a price on that?

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

 

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-power-of-attorney/

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