Services

Making a Commitment

Making a commitment has different meanings to different people. It can mean getting a place on your own, moving in with a friend or partner, getting engaged or married. All of these commitments mean taking on new responsibilities and obligations. The best place to start is to look at your life goals and to create a proper plan to make things run smoothly. We will provide you with professional knowledge to get you through this next stage in your life and guide you through the "what if" and "what now" scenarios. Click on "Our Services" to see what responsibilities you should consider when taking this next step in your life.

Estate

It is never too early to begin establishing an estate plan. This becomes a critical element when you start a family and begin building assets. Your Will, powers of attorney and insurance contracts all may need to be amended to reflect your new priorities.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Wills – Have you put in writing what your wishes are should something happen to you? Is it of importance to you and your family who your various assets go to? Please give us a call for your free Will Checklist and Organizer
  • Powers of Attorney – If something were to happen to you such that you become incapacitated, who will make medical and financial decisions for you? - Your spouse, your parents?
  • Establish a trust – Do you have "minor" children? Are you worried about misuse of inherited money? Would you like some of your money to go to a charity? Trusts can be very useful, but sometimes complex tools.
  • Insurance – If you have debt, heavy dependence on your spouse's income, or dependent children, then appropriate insurance is essential. Will your spouse be left with substantial financial strain or will your children lose out of future educational opportunities if something happens to you? More information

Retirement Planning

Although you may be caught up in the excitement of your new commitment, and planning for retirement may be the furthest thing from your mind, it is an important factor to consider. Retirement planning is a pivotal element in a successful financial life plan.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you know what kind of lifestyle or income needs you will need in retirement?
  • Do you have a retirement plan? Does it reflect your new commitment and heading?
  • Do you currently have any pension or retirement savings accounts? Are you contributing to them?
  • What investment tools are you using? (TFSA, RRSP etc.)

Income Replacement

We rarely want to think about bad things happening to us. However, the reality is that they can happen. You need to consider what protection you have in place for you, your family or your newfound commitment and whether or not it is adequate should something befall you!

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Life Insurance: Do you have any debt? How would this debt be paid for if you died? Are your family and other commitments protected?
  2. Disability Insurance: If you become disabled, how will your monthly expenses be paid? This is one of the most important forms of insurance
  3. Health Insurance: Is your job providing adequate health and dental coverage for you? Most companies are cutting back. But fear not, there are ever-more privately funded options becoming available.
  4. Critical Illness Insurance: Should you be stricken with a severe or even terminal illness such as organ failure, how will you pay for the best and most immediate care? How will your monthly expenses and lifestyle changes be covered?
  5. Long-Term Care Insurance: The costs of caring for a person once they become older and increasingly incapable of performing daily tasks is exorbitant. Do you have a plan in place to ensure care for yourself when and if you reach this stage in life?

Mortgage Financing

At this time in your life you may or may not have already purchased a house and have some sort of mortgage in place. For those just getting started, or perhaps moving onto purchasing a second home, there is a lot of information out there, much of it confusing, some of it misleading and it is easy to become overwhelmed. The key is to get some expert advice before making a decision about one of the most important assets you will own in your lifetime. Depending on where you are at in your home ownership process the options can differ. We always advise clients to seek out the help of a professional mortgage expert before making any mortgage decisions.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Is this your first mortgage?
  • Do you have any other debt or lines of credit?
  • What is the purpose of the mortgage?

Education

Whether you already have children or are planning to do so in the future, I think it would be safe to say that our children are the world to us. Ensuring they have a bright and successful future is paramount, yet increasingly expensive. It is critical to begin planning early so that neither you nor your children will be burdened with exorbitant financial strain during one of the most important educational stages of their life.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you plan on sending your children to college, university or some other post-secondary educational program? Do you want to assist them with the ever increasing costs of tuition?
  • Have you begun a savings plan? What kind of investment tools are you using?

Ailing Parents

As you get older, you must not fail to remember that your parents will age as well. And as we age, things change and roles begin to reverse. For those we love dearly, it is a good idea to plan ahead for the inevitability of ageing- the increasing possibility that your parents will require help looking after themselves. As you enter into your new commitment, your family will certainly grow and so may your responsibilities to those you love.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Who will look after your parents when they begin to be unable to look after themselves?
  • Do you have a plan in place to for financing and relocating them if necessary?
  • Who will make the decisions should they become incapacitated (Please see estate planning, in particular Wills and Powers of attorney).

Tax Planning

If you haven't already been introduced to the immensely erosive power of taxes, you will inevitably get to that point as your income and assets grow. Taxes can cost you a lot of money, or, if managed correctly, can save you a lot of money. With your new commitment come many exciting changes, some of which pose opportunities and some of which pose potential pitfalls. We always recommend seeking the help of a professional tax advisor when making any decisions with tax consequences.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Who prepares and files your taxes?
  • Are you co-habiting with someone or are you married? Do both of you earn an income? (A variety of tax-savings strategies here).
  • Do you own a company?
  • What tax savings tools or investments are you using and have you consulted a professional before using them?
  • Most importantly, do you currently have a tax advisor (accountant)?

Major Purchases

As you set out on your new path in life, you will most likely come to a point where you will make some rather considerable purchases. If you are just starting out, you may be faced with the first major purchase of your lifetime such as a house or car. Do not let this concept daunt you though. There is a lot of advice and plenty of tools out there to help you accomplish your goals. The key is to make sure you are not putting yourself in a vulnerable and financially stressful position.

  • What kind of purchase are you planning on making (house, renovations, vehicle, cottage, etc)?
  • What kind of planning, if any, have you done to accommodate this purchase?
  • Do you currently have any outstanding debt (Mortgage, line of credit, loans, etc)?
  • Do you have, or have you consulted with a financial or debt advisor?

Please contact our office for more information or to set up an appointment.
Call us at 905-735-5555 or Email us at

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