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6 Financial Goals to Discuss With Your Financial Advisor

June 4, 2013
3 mins
An older woman sips her coffee and an older man takes notes as they listen to a broker

Why should you hire a financial advisor? The main reason isn't just to make you rich (though that would be nice!). A good financial advisor actually offers you a complete picture of your overall financial situation and can help you create a plan for your future that is fiscally sound. In crafting a strategy for your money, expect to talk about all aspects of your life. Here are some factors that will be a part of your smart financial goals planning and strategy:

Setting Up Your Savings Toolbox

Planning for your future is not just about saving for retirement. An advisor will make sure you are saving for your senior years through a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and possibly a tax-free savings account (TFSA). However, they should also help you set up an emergency fund, deal with paying off your mortgage, plan for renovations and save for your children’s future. Part of a future financial plan also includes insurance. Your advisor may talk about life, disability and other insurance plans that will ensure that you’re not at risk of losing your savings because of something unexpected.

Determining Your Risk Adversity

How much you invest and where you invest it has a lot to do with your feelings about risk. You may know family or friends who lost big during the big market drop in 2008 and wish to be extra cautious with your money, even if it means earning less on investment. You and your spouse may have different feelings about risk. As well, your ability to cope with risk changes with age. If you are young, you can afford to ride the markets more than those who are close to retirement age.

A Financial Plan For Family Life

Having kids or ageing parents can change your investment strategies. When you have young children, you need to save for their education, and an advisor can help you map out how much to set aside in registered education savings plans (RESPs).  If your children are young, you may need to defer how much you sock away for retirement until the kids are out of daycare or one parent can return to work. Ageing parents, meanwhile, can impact the time you can devote to your career and savings if they need help or financial support. Meanwhile, if you’re expecting an inheritance, that can change your plans.

Help For Your Home Ownership Goals

Are you a renter poised to by a first home or condo? Do you need to save up to upgrade to a larger home? Are you downsizing? All these homeownership factors can radically impact your investment, insurance and overall financial needs.

Your Employment Safety Net

Small business owners may be looking at cashing in on their business equity as part of their long-term strategy. Those who work in professions where age becomes a liability, meanwhile, might want to save up for education for a second profession. Freelancers versus those with a steady paycheque, or those who work in an industry that’s struggling, may look at their money differently. As well, if your job offers you a hefty pension that, of course, will impact your retirement savings needs.

Setting Your Goals

A good financial planner will take into account not only your current financial standing but your long-term goals and ambitions. Perhaps you want to travel a lot in the future, or maybe paying off your home is your big mission right now. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to financial planning, only what’s right for you. An experienced planner will help you put your hopes and wishes into perspective and, ideally, create the plan that will make them happen.

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