Financial Planning for EVERY Canadian
A Written Financial Plan
Human nature dictates that someone is more likely to follow a plan if it is written. Many Canadians do not have a written financial plan. A formal plan provides a road map to ensure that you are on track to achieve your goals. Once written, the plan should change as your situation changes. Meet with your advisor at least once a year to review your plan and the progress made.
A Will and Estate Plan
The cornerstone of any complete financial plan is a professionally developed Will and Estate Plan. Many Canadians do not have a will. Without a will, there are provincially determined ways of dividing your estate, which may not align with your wishes.
Personal Directive and Power of Attorney
What if you are not able to make your own decisions or are unavailable to sign important documents? A Personal Directive ensures that your health and personal care wishes are followed, even when you are unable to express them verbally. A Power of Attorney allows someone to act on your behalf for your financial affairs.
Insurance: Health, Disability, Life and Credit
Insurance is very important for the overall health of any family; it protects your income for your family, protects the money that you’ve already saved, and offers peace of mind during a time when you need it most. There are a wide range of insurance types for a variety of personal situations.
Pay Yourself First
Set up a pre-authorized contribution on a regular recurring basis to an investment account, whether registered or non-registered. You will benefit from dollar cost averaging, which removes the price risk associated with large, single purchases.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
The benefits of an RRSP are well known: immediate tax reduction, tax deferred growth and the ability to split post-retirement income with your spouse.
Registered Education Savings Plan for Children or Grandchildren
The use of an RESP is a wonderful, tax deferred method to save for education. You can earn a minimum grant from the government of 20% on the first $2,500 contributed to the plan.
Three Months of Savings
A prudent rule of thumb is to have a minimum of three months’ worth of income set aside in case of situations such as being laid off, a family emergency or home repair. A TFSA gives you the benefit of non-tax growth while giving you the flexibility of using the funds if you are required to do so.
Credit: Get It While You Do Not Need It
It is quite easy to get credit when you do not need it. A line of credit is likely the most flexible alternative. Putting in place your emergency fund (three months of savings) can be accomplished with a line of credit.
Pay Your Mortgage More Frequently
If you have a mortgage, make payments as frequently as possible. Weekly payments pay the same amount over a whole year as monthly payments but repay the principal earlier, resulting in lower interest costs. This strategy could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.
Mutual Funds and related financial planning services are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc.
PlanWright Financial is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Encompass Credit Union.