Kevin Cahill, B.Sc.(Hons), CFP, CHS, EPC

  • Founder, Canadian Legacy Builder
  • Canadian Legacy Builder
  • Guelph, Ontario   
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How I Got Here…

Learning How to Change Adversity into Advantage
When I was just 3 years old, my father suffered a serious back injury. He endured many surgeries but in the end he could no longer withstand the pressures of daily work. But Dad never let his physical infirmity affect his mental ability. Even thought he couldn’t earn a living, he set out to make a contribution in whatever way he could.

He chose volunteering. Sometimes it was as many as 7 days a week for a variety of causes. Because he was a “Mr. Mom” before it was fashionable and I was the “baby” in the family, Dad would drag me along to every volunteer opportunity he could. I remember loving the free snacks and t-shirts. Today, I realize that I witnessed firsthand the amazing support of Ottawa General Hospital and the Ottawa Food Bank to the less fortunate in our community. Dad was a great example. He changed me.

I still remember the grace and appreciation they showed to Dad and me for being there to help. It made a real impression on me. When I was in grade 8, I met Princess Diana on one of her visits to Ottawa. That moment touched my life too. Diana became a role model for me. I identified with the adversity she faced during her marriage and tenure with the royal family and yet how she kept working to make the world a better place. You might laugh, but until I was 25 years old, I thought Dad volunteered for the free hot dogs, the free t-shirts and the free parking. It wasn’t until my mother passed away and I saw the people whose lives Dad touched, come to support him in his grief that I finally got it. Dad didn’t volunteer for the free things. He volunteered to change the world one person at a time. His regained self worth was a bonus.

In my mid 20’s I heard Frank O’Dea, founder of Second Cup speak. Frank was raised in a wealthy family in Montreal. But, drugs and alcohol drove him to the streets of Toronto. From the gutters he rose to regain his confidence and self respect and somehow he founded Second Cup. Later, after being bought out of his empire he discovered he could use his wealth and experience to help leave the world a better place than he found it. It became his new mission and a view of life that I share.

The Benefits of Protecting Yourself

Two weeks after I signed my contract at Freedom 55 Financial, I learned that my father-in-law had cancer. At the time, he owned a multi-million dollar heating and cooling business. Three very short months after he was diagnosed, he died at the age of 52.
Fortunately, he owned a critical illness insurance policy which paid out a good sum of money tax free just 30 days after his diagnosis. Because of it, we witnessed the power of money to create peace of mind at a terrible time. The money couldn’t change the diagnosis but it did allow his family to love and support him without having to worry about bills. He didn’t have to worry either. It was a blessing.

A Family Estate Nightmare

Unfortunately, the fate of the business was not so glamorous after he passed. I remember explaining to my mother in law that the value of his very successful business would be reduced to a fraction of what it actually was worth. This is what happens with a poorly written shareholder agreement.

Counterpoint - The Perfect Estate

A year after my father in law’s passing, my mother died from a massive heart attack. Because of the work of her agent and me over the years, her estate was “perfect” - at least as perfect as we could hope. In the span of one year, I witnessed the difference between a nightmare of an estate and a perfectly planned one. I understood the true value of estate planning as you only could from being in the middle of it.

Clarifying My Purpose

These experiences clarified my purpose in this business. I knew I wanted to help people make their estate processes simpler and smoother for the next generation. It would benefit both generations.
Avoiding Unnecessary Estate Erosion

Around that time, I was treasurer of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association. One day, we learned that the charity was a beneficiary of an estate. Through the process, we got to know the whole story of the value of the estate and fees. What happened shocked me then, as it does now. Although we gratefully accepted the $40,000 bequest, I couldn’t help but think about how more than half of the estate had been eroded by fees and taxes.
Our Benefactor would have been so disappointed and I knew it could have been avoided.
Time for Reflection and Action!

My father’s battle with cancer and eventual death made me decide to push Canadian Legacy Builder as far as it can go. Sitting with him in the hospital for last few months gave me a lot of time to think and soul search. I realized that I have many stories to share and I could start right at home.
My mom had a high school education and my dad only Grade 6. Dad never made more than $30,000 in his life. Still, shortly after mom died, I had to explain to Dad why he was making more money and paying more taxes than he ever had. As well, his government benefits were being clawed back. It was the makings of a perfect estate.

Once again he used his troubles to help others. He was determined to find a way around the taxes and fees so his family could better value from his estate. And we did it. When he died, his estate passed to the people he loved quickly with a very minimum of expenses. Even better, as his ideal legacy we saw how proper planning could help him leave more money to his favorite causes than he ever imagined.

My Dream

This is my business story. It’s what drove me to create Canadian Legacy Builder.
My experience can simplify the planning process and help you leave the ideal legacy. When we uncover your financial dreams, we also uncover your ideal legacy. Everyone is unique and the best path to your ideal legacy must be unique too. You can reach all your goals with the right plan. If you can hold the dream in your head, you can hold it in your hand.

Years of working with motivated philanthropists inspired a dream in me. That dream is to create one hundred million dollars for Canadian charities by the end of year 2020 by rearranging the insurance portfolios of caring people with cash value, permanent life insurance. I believe we can do it.

My Credentials:
- Founder of Canadian Legacy Builder
- Graduate of the University of Guelph, Honours Biomedical Science (BSc)
- Joined Freedom 55 Financial as an advisor in 2004
- Established independent financial planning firm, Kevin Cahill Financial Services Inc. 2005
- Qualified Certified Financial Planner®, CFP
- Qualified Elder Planning Counselor, EPC
- Qualified Certified Health Specialist, CHS
- Member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 2005, the Premier International Association of Financial Professionals representing the top 1 percent, of the world’s life insurance and financial services professionals
- Active member of the community as Chair of the Young Professionals Network, and Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry
- Past involvement includes Director of Guelph Business Networking International, President of the Rotary Club of Guelph South, Treasurer for the Canadian
- Therapeutic Riding Association Treasurer, Vice Chair of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of the AIDS Committee of Guelph & Wellington

Meet the expert

Expert Articles by Kevin Cahill, B.Sc.(Hons), CFP, CHS, EPC

Life Insurance

Understanding your Canadian permanent insurance options
Selecting Canada's Term-to-100 life insurance
Selecting Canada's whole life insurance
Selecting Canada's universal life insurance
How to buy an annuity for retirement and as life insurance

Retirement Planning

Ensure steady retirement income with a low-risk annuity investment
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Contact Kevin Cahill, B.Sc.(Hons), CFP, CHS, EPC

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