Remember how your finances were pretty simple when you were first starting out? You opened a bank account, and when you landed your first job, you opened a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). And that was it.
But as years passed and your life evolved, things became a little more complex. Maybe you got a mortgage, life insurance, non-registered account, Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), and more.
With all these accounts you need to keep track of and decisions you need to make, life can sometimes feel like a juggling act. Fortunately, your finances, no matter how complex, don’t need to be overwhelming – because you’re not alone when you have an advisor. Here are two scenarios of couples facing multiple financial issues at once, and how their advisor helps take the worry out of their financial life.
The Stewarts have concerns about critical illness insurance, market downturns and gifting.
Bryan has critical illness insurance through his employer’s group plan. His wife Jill does not have coverage. When Jill finds out that her friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer, she starts to wonder whether she should also have critical illness protection. But she has reservations about cost. They meet with their advisor, who finds a way to answer Jill’s concern by recommending a product covering only the most common critical illnesses, for a coverage period of 20 years.
The couple have been planning a three-week trip to Europe in the summer. But the markets are currently underperforming, so Bryan questions whether this is a good time for an expensive trip. Their advisor puts him at ease, explaining that vacation funding can come from his Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), where conservative investments for this purpose are holding their value.
The couple’s son and daughter-in-law are waiting to purchase their first home. Bryan and Jill would like to give a cash gift to cover the down payment, but first, they want to know if it would affect their retirement plans. To help them make a realistic, fact-based decision, their advisor presents them with several options. A gift equal to 10% of the home’s cost will not disrupt their retirement plans. Other options for larger gifts involve either delaying their retirement or increasing their monthly investment contributions to keep their retirement objective on track.
The Chens are approaching retirement. Their current preoccupations involve estate planning, retirement planning and long-term care insurance.
Ray and Sophie recently reviewed their wills as they now have concerns about their youngest child inheriting a large lump sum. To solve this, their advisor suggests that the child receive a series of smaller payments over time using a trust or an annuity settlement.
Ray is seven years older than Sophie and they earn similar incomes. They’re not sure whether they should retire at the same time and, if they do, what year that would be. The couple mentions this to their advisor, who helps guide their planning by making projections that show estimated retirement income for various retirement dates and scenarios.
Thinking ahead, the Chens don’t want their kids to be burdened with taking care of them if they suffer failing health when they’re older. They wish to have a plan in place, so their advisor presents the cost of long-term care insurance starting at different ages as well as gives them an idea of the amount needed if they prefer to self-insure through savings.
Although your life might not be the same as the Stewarts’ or Chens’, you could still be dealing with multiple financial issues of your own. Seek professional advice if you feel overwhelmed or need guidance. Your advisor will work with you to discover solutions that will bring order to your finances.