A question sometimes asked in the media is exactly what is the role of a financial professional and how do they help the client meet their life goals and dreams. Why do you even need to engage the services of a planner or advisor when so much information is already available for free on the internet and elsewhere?
Many clients in their 50's and 60's are increasingly worried about the finances of their aging parents. This is especially true in an era of unprecedented low interest rates. They often ask: 'How do I talk to them about their care and their finances?'
This topic raises many sensitive family dynamics including the adult child who is uncomfortable raising the topic with their parents and parents who are in denial or not comfortable discussing these personal care and financial issues with their children.
The financial planner responded by saying that if the public stock markets were going down the drain, then real estate would follow as well. Why? Well it is one economy and we are all connected at the end of the day! Shocked, the veteran of 30-years in real estate responded that he had never thought of it that way and walked away shaking his head.
According to the Minister of National Revenue, the average tax refund is over $1,500 for the 2011 tax year. Surprisingly, many Canadians are thrilled about getting a big refund. While certain situations can lead to an unusual tax refund, far too many Canadians lend large sums of money to the government at 0% interest year after year. Two things you can do to make your refunds smaller are:
To truly appreciate the role that inflation plays in your ability to build assets and achieve financial freedom one has to consider the role of its dance partner: purchasing power. You can't have one without the other!
Financial planning methodologies have evolved over the past 30 years with the advent of increasing computational power. Originally, planning was a simple spread-sheet based projection of your current situation, plus some assumptions, such as savings rates, tax rates, investment returns and inflation rates. This would give you an idea of what your final destination would look like with much of the calculations being driven by Future Value and Present Value tables.
Much of what we do today is to improve our future financial position. As with anything, we can get better results by following a plan. This is why both Estate Planning and Financial Planning are important for those who want to ensure better tomorrows for ourselves and our families.
Give your finances a boost this new year. Here is a list of financial resolutions to help you become better off at the end of the coming twelve months:
Eliminate personal debt. - Brad and Angie had fallen into the very common habit of buying lots of 'stuff' with their credit cards and soon were carrying a balance from month to month. At 19.9%, it is very expensive to live this kind of lifestyle. And any new purchases attract the same financing charge from date of purchase.
History tells us about half of marriages in Canada end in divorce. Andrew and Sara are about to end theirs and are concerned about the changes that will have to be made to their financial and estate plans. Some financial and estate issues they need to consider are: