As 2018 becomes a shadow of the past and 2019 shines its opportunity upon us, it brings us closer to “that time of year”. Tax time. If you’ve ever seen The Lion King, saying tax time is like whispering Mufasa and watching the Hyena’s shiver. Now is the time where talk turns to deductions and retirement investments before the February cut-off for contributions.
Now the shadow of 2018 is rearing its ugly head as it’s there to remind you that you had all year. You’re not alone. Millions of Canadians wait until Spring to start thinking about their RRSPs, and with a heavy heart they sigh and think “I’ll do better next year”. However, next year is already this year and it’s unlikely any signification changes have been made. Life has gotten back to normal after the holidays and lives have become a whirlwind of school, work, sports, family and just trying to manage life. Soon it will be summer and Manitoba will do it’s typical slow down where cottages become priority. Then school starts again and before you know it, it’s already the holiday season again. After which, you’ll sigh and say “I’ll do better next year”. Continue reading
Let me tell you a story. This story is about a client, who was experiencing an exciting life event. He had been with the same employer for over 10 years when he decided to pursue a new opportunity. He handed in his notice and received a stack of termination papers with what he thought was all he needed. Having had a close relationship over the years, this client knew that I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), so he asked me to take a look to make sure everything was in order. To my surprise, I noticed that there was no information regarding his pension. I double checked with him whether the company offered a pension and he confirmed that the company pension was a matching plan where the employer contributes and the employee matches. Astonishingly, there was no record of any pension being deducted from his pay cheques, despite him being eligible after two years of employment. Turns out, the employer had simply over looked (or neglected??) to deduct his pension contribution. On his behalf, I checked with the Human Resources office of his former employer, who confirmed that he was indeed eligible for a pension pay out – so where was it?
I negotiated with the company to ensure that he received the retirement funds to which he was entitled. This was no insignificant amount! Had my client not had the foresight to have me review his termination package, it is unlikely this error would have been uncovered. He was mighty happy to have me in his corner!
Are you experiencing a life event, or do you know someone who is getting married, having a child, divorced, retiring, starting a new job or going back to school?? It can never hurt to discuss life changing events with a Financial Planner. Likely, all will be fine; however, having a professional in YOUR corner could ensure that nothing gets left behind.
The sleigh bells are ringing, chestnuts are roasting and Rudolph is working out to prepare for a long night of making children’s dreams come true. The holidays are a time for goodwill, good memories and family fun.
If you’re dealing with debt or trying to stick to a financial plan, Christmas can become a time of financial burden more than a time to be merry. Everyone wants to feel the euphoria of watching someone open that perfectly selected gift, but sometimes you have to find that joy in the intangibles. “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” Burton Hills. Continue reading
Most of us only think of literacy in relation to reading. This month is meant to bring awareness to the term Financial Literacy and what it means to everyone. It doesn’t mean understanding how to look at your bank statement, but rather looking at your entire financial plan and understanding how it fits your stage of life.
For example, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance policies? Or perhaps you or your partner don’t have an active policy. Or do you even know if you have one?
Life Insurance is not the one trick pony of the past, there are now many choices in how you structure it. From Term Life which allows you to choose the coverage period, to Whole Life which provides a lifetime of protection to Critical Illness. Unfortunately, our health is sometimes seriously affected and Critical Illness provides coverage to protect our families from the financial burden of our illness.
If you are at a point where you don’t want to think about end of life, think about beginnings. It’s time to start your own chapter in the form of home ownership. You’ve done your research, found your new haven and negotiated your mortgage. Before you sign the papers, understand how to protect your investment.
Should you decide to add children to your equation, you hope they will move on to post-secondary education. Planning early can provide the financial education they need before they incur the debt which could come with it.
Each stage of life brings an opportunity to review your current financial standing and adjust for the future. It can be hard to know all your options and sometimes even harder to see the forest for the trees when reviewing your own assets. If you’d like some help, we’re here.
It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is almost upon us. The leaves have dropped along with the temperature and the dreaded snowfall is imminent. It’s a time where you crave carbs, curl up in sweaters and begin the hibernation process.
Unfortunately, we are not bears and are not afforded the luxury of shutting ourselves down for a few months. At a time where all you want to do is snuggle under a blanket on the couch and binge watch all the shows you missed while doing yardwork, the demands of family, friends and work dramatically increase.
Tis the season of holiday shopping, parties and entertaining. Tis the season to exert extreme drain on our energy, wardrobe and pocketbook. Tis the season to spend. Continue reading