President's Message - Protecting Your Financial Future

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We are pleased to be sharing our first fully digital issue of
Connections with you. Online reading is quickly becoming
the preferred method for communication and we believe
this change is also an excellent way for FaithLife Financial
to be a good steward of our resources and the environment.

In Connections, you will read about the important role that a sound financial plan plays in the lives of people who are facing a life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many Canadian families, including mine.t has been a privilege to serve the Members of FaithLife Financial over the last 25 years, a milestone I celebrated in February. Over all these years, the urgency for Members to protect their financial futures with a written financial plan has only increased.

Grandchildren are an amazing blessing and it is tragic and heart wrenching when they become critically ill. Sadly, one of our grandchildren has been threatened by brain cancer - twice - within his first six years of life. As I write this message, we are eternally grateful that he's won the battle to date.

Our experience with some of the critically ill children at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, introduced us to several families who were struggling to survive emotionally, spiritually and financially. While the personal and relational toll is staggering when a child becomes seriously ill, at least the financial aspect of the challenge should be more manageable. Unfortunately, often, it is not.

When the unexpected strikes a family, the impact is significant. In situations like these it's often impossible for both parents to continue working. This means they may not be able to keep pace with mortgage payments - potentially losing their home. They could also slide into significant debt to cover the costs of traveling back and forth to the hospital, accommodations, purchasing food, paying for hospital parking, and the list goes on and on. The battle against a critical childhood illness may span years - not months. The financial devastation families can face is not because they are not good providers, but because they are not always prepared to deal with the huge emotional and financial strain that accompanies such a devastating challenge.

My grandson's illness is a daily reminder of the importance of our work at FaithLife Financial. Families need to have a financial plan that takes into account the financial risk of illness, disability and death. Over the past three years, I have asked myself repeatedly where my family would be if we didn't have a solid financial plan in place, which includes insurance and savings.

Without an economic safety net, it would be impossible to cope well. I recall a conversation with one distraught mother about the fact that her daughter, who thankfully had recovered from cancer, could not qualify for life insurance. This mother was not looking for a death benefit. She was concerned that her daughter could not avail herself of the financial security that life insurance would provide for her future.

I have seen first-hand how critically important it is for each one of us to act on our responsibility to protect our family's financial future. When we plan ahead, we can create a position of financial strength so that when disaster strikes, we will have the resources to respond to the economic ravages of illness, disability, death, and the possibility of outliving our resources in retirement.

My husband and I continue to trust in the mercy of God's plan for our grandson and for all of our children and grandchildren. Throughout this experience, we have found strength in Psalm 46:1, where we are reminded that God is our refuge and our strength - a very present help in our time of trouble.

My prayer for every Member is that you will take the time to meet with your Financial Representative, to make sure your insurance coverages are in place - protecting the financial futures of your spouse, your children and your grandchildren.

Karen Bjerland
President and CEO