Friday, March 9, 2018 / by Ruth Ballantyne
Can you name the leading cause of stress, family arguments - and, in worst cases - divorce? According to Associate Manager Gregory Brown of Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network (www.dfsin.ca/gregorybrown) in Surrey, British Columbia, it's money. In fact, Brown feels that it's one of the last taboo topics that is preventing important conversations about financial planning.
"When financial conversations don't take place between spouses, parents and their children - or vise-versa - positive net worth becomes associated with positive self-worth," says Brown. "In other words, money begins to develop many emotional attachments and deeper meanings like power, love and control. The only way to remove these misconceptions and barriers is to just start talking."
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Brown suggests that the most important part of the conversation is setting goals and developing a plan to reach those goals. In fact, you may need to create three different plans that address your financial, retirement and estate distribution goals. So where does one start? "It's not surprising that people are overwhelmed by the vast choice of financial advisors these days. So many of them use the vague title of 'planner', which does very little to identify their expertise," says Brown.
While financial, estate and retirement planning each focus on money management, they each address different issues and objectives. Financial planning is the most comprehensive of the three. It helps to determine how you can best meet your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs. Everyone's goals are different based on their age, values and objectives. And these goals change over time as your life circumstances change. The key is to take into account all relevant aspects of your financial situation - The Big Picture - and to find the best way to help you succeed.
Retirement Planning is the process of ensuring you have the means to maintain your lifestyle when you decide to retire. This plan helps you visualize what retirement will look like and helps determine what you'll need to save.
Estate Planning focuses on creating legacies. In other words, it identifies tax efficient ways to preserve your wealth for your family, business, charities or whatever you value most.
The most important part of these three methods of financial planning is allowing yourself to dream big. What do you want to be and what do you want to achieve? Anything is possible with a solid plan. To learn more about personal financial planning and to find an advisor, visit the Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network website at www.dfsin.ca.