How will your “new normal” look? What will you change post-pandemic? Why not put numbers to those dreams with a well crafted financial plan?
News headlines have become a louder part of our days in 2020. The news of the day has always been a dull roar in the background of our lives, but this year those headlines have been harder to ignore and have touched our daily lives deeply. What would your personal 2020 headlines have been?
“Family attempts to connect with elderly loved one in long-term care home”?
Pandemic Decision Making
2020 has been tough. If there’s a silver lining in all of this, it’s the opportunity it has presented to take a step back and think. I recently read a CBC Life article entitled “The psychology behind pandemic decision making”. In it the author speaks about how fear affects our decision making. The extra fear of dying or getting sick that the pandemic has brought makes us reflect and think about where we are today and whether we’re happy.
When life puts a pinch on your finances it’s hard to decide what to do. If you and your family are faced with tough financial choices turn to your advisor for help navigating your wealth worries.
Temporarily laid off
Many people have found themselves temporarily out of work lately. While different levels of government have stepped in to help, you may need your advisor’s assistance to decide how best to access money on a short-term basis. Perhaps you have an insurance policy with cash you can access in such a time. Or maybe you’ll have to dip into your investment accounts. But which one? Your advisor can look at the tax consequences of each option and decide what is best for your situation. If it comes to selling investments, your investment team can also give you tips on what might be best to sell during a period of market volatility.
Ever wondered how your finances rank against other Canadians? The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) recently published an 11-year study on the financial well-being of Canadians.
As I’m reading the study, all I can think about is David Chilton’s book, The Wealthy Barber. What a great title for a book, eh? That simple title lets you know what this study is basically telling us, it’s not how much you earn, but how much you save.
The study shows that the financial well-being of Canadians has room for improvement. It provides insights into how much (or little) Canadians save. I know we’re financial nerds here at Watermark Stone Wealth, so perhaps our interests are a bit skewed, but the findings were really interesting! For instance, we’ve all done it. Heard the salary of a friend or neighbour, and thought:
Should you be paying your child’s allowance digitally? We explore cash vs. cashless technology and how best to teach your kids about money using their allowance.
According to an analysis by Forex Bonuses, Canada is the top country for embracing cashless technology. And the trend goes all the way down to our kids. A 2018 study by TD found that “nearly 68% of parents said their children are more or just as comfortable using digital payments as they are handling cash”.
Are you retirement ready? We’ve compiled 8 items to consider and review with your advisor 1 to 2 years before you officially retire.
Know where you stand
Meet with your advisor one year before retirement. Bring statements for all of your assets (and your debt) in order to create a comprehensive retirement plan. Don’t forget your insurance policies!
In the perfect situation you would bring your budget, having tracked your expenses down to the dollar for an entire year. This way you won’t be guessing how much you spend – you’ll have a true reflection of your annual expenses. Dynamic Funds crafted a Retiring Budget worksheet that allows you to compare your current expenses with your expected retirement expenses.
Retire on your terms. We explore the two phases of retirement; accumulation and distribution. And why you should start your journey towards retirement now.
Saving for retirement is not easy. Dealing with day-to-day expenses can prevent people from looking at their long-term finances. Especially when they are young and haven’t yet seen retirement peak over the horizon. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released a study in November of 2018 that found that 34% of men and 43% of women aged 18-34 haven’t started saving for retirement.1
The OSC found a scarier statistic in those aged 55+. 8% of men, and 18% of women aged 55+ hadn’t started saving for retirement.1 At this point there’s simply not enough time left to properly prepare, make informed decisions, and know that you’ve chosen the right path. Those in this situation will find themselves either accepting a retirement that is less than they dreamed, or they will work longer than expected and experience fewer years in retirement living.
But what if we told you that there was a way in which you could ‘retire’ early? And no – we don’t mean at 55!
You may not be entirely familiar with this idea, but there are actually two different phases of retirement – and one of them can start as early as you would like!
While it may be really hard to rid yourself of all the stress associated with the holiday season, we do feel that it is possible to reduce the stress that seems to start building as soon as Halloween is over and we start hearing holiday music played in malls and on radio stations!
We have a few suggestions that may help:
How will your life’s wealth story be told? A financial autobiography ensures that in life, in death, in life beyond death, you have a plan for your wealth so that your money lives longer than you. Here are 6 steps to create a plan that will allow your money to live on for generations.
1. Let your beneficiaries know that they’ll be receiving an inheritance.
Create an information package and share it with your loved ones. By having conversations years before there’s a critical need, you’ll ensure a smoother transition of your wealth to your heirs. What should you discuss? There is no right or wrong answer here. Topics will vary from family to family, including wills, location of important documents, even advance care planning and funeral and burial preferences. The idea is that you have a conversation that will allow your money to live on for generations.
Freedom is often a word associated with the self-employed, but being your own boss requires a lot of organization around your savings and retirement. We explore tips for managing savings when you are self-employed.
Small businesses account for 71% of the total labour force in Canada.1 That’s a lot of people who are experiencing the new normal workforce – no pension plan, no group RRSP, and no employer helping you manage your obligations back to CRA. As independent business owners, we live these issues every day. We can help you manage fluctuations in your income so you can sustain your lifestyle while also saving for retirement.
The mini retirement is a growing trend. Whether you need time off from an overly demanding career, want to discover whether you can turn your hobby into a new career, or you want to spend more time with your kids, taking a significant period of time off of work has its benefits. We’ve outline 6 tips for planning your mini retirement and keeping your finances on track while you take an extended leave from work.
You’ll need an effective plan in place to make your break a success. Since you are reading this on Watermark Stone Wealth’s blog, you will know that we absolutely suggest that your finances remain on track while you’re away.