We all need money to live. Everyone needs an income. Income, generally defined, is the money that is received as a result of the normal business activities of an individual or a business. If you are an employee then your income is paid by the business that hires you.

If you need a job then you do what is necessary. It is not uncommon now to see people holding down more then one job to help their family survive. The ruptured economic times have hurt a lot of people. Many who were looking to retire are now back in the job force.

As an employee you need to look at more then just the wage or salary that is offered. What benefits are also included? Is there a bonus plan or incentive plan? What portion of the benefits offered do you have to pay? Is there a pension plan? Though the amount of annual wage is important you need to consider long-term goals. One company may offer free continuing education to their employees. Many a young person joins the military for the training and education opportunities that comes with the service to their country.

If you own your own business then you need to consider what will happen if you suffer a major claim such as a fire. Will you still have income? Will you have the money to provide your employees with an income?

There are different ways to deal with the possibility of loss of income. Having a savings account will help you to pay personal bills. Having a reserve of cash in your business can help tide you through a time of little or no money coming in. How much do you need?

When you are considering net income you need to be aware of your operating expenses and the cash flow. How much money do you have to spend to create your product or provide your service? How long does it take before the money you earn is paid?

There are different types of income plans available from disability and life insurance to business interruption plans. Choosing the best for your business is critical to your prospects of continuing to operate profitably after a major claim. Sit down with a broker or agent and go over your options.

Consider the situation of having an accident. If you have Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) coverage, group insurance or an individual plan for disability coverage then your income may not be disrupted when you have an accident. Each one of these options has limitations of coverage and may have a waiting period before any money is paid.

Your income and financial stability are considered when you are looking to place a large contract bond. You and your key employees will be looked at carefully to be sure that you have taken steps to protect the ongoing profitability of the company should anything happen to you.

Your annual income is considered when you are looking at your long-term savings and financial plans. The RRSP contributions you can make each year are based on your income. If you choose to set up an annuity then you need to know how much income you will need each year. This can be a bit difficult when you need to factor in inflation and fluctuating market values.

Discuss your needs with your accountant or financial adviser. Your agent or broker can help with some of the insurance options you might choose but your whole picture needs to be considered. Spend your money wisely.