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Investment Basics

Planning for Retirement

If your plan is to build a house, your need a blueprint and materials. The same is true for your financial plan.

Building your financial plan - Your financial plan is unique to you, your dreams and your needs for the future. There are certain elements that hold true for every plan.

Start now - Determine where you are now financially. Develop a snapshot of your assets and sources of income, along with your liabilities and obligations. Calculate your net worth and then develop a budget to better understand your monthly spending and expenses.

Establish goals - Determine where you want to be financially. It's important that you establish some realistic short-term and long-term goals to evaluate your progress and the need for changes or modifications.

Plan and execute - Develop a series of action steps to help you achieve your goals. This could include any number of the following:

  • Pay yourself first - Plan to maximize your RRSP contribution and set aside an additional 10 per cent to save for large purchases, special occasions, annual vacations, an emergency fund and to build a cash float. A line of credit can also help handle emergency cash needs.
  • Be consistent - It's a lot easier to achieve financial independence by setting some realistic expectations and then meeting small incremental savings goals rather than waiting for large milestones to creep up on you.
  • Get rid of debt - Pay off higher interest rate debt first, then move to lower interest rate debt before you make large contributions to investments.
Although sometimes difficult, projecting into the future is stimulating. Visualise your goals if you want to reach them then work with your financial advisor to develop a plan to help you reach those goals.

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