At what age were you ‘ready’ to hear professional financial planning advice? 

A few months ago, a client asked me to chat with their 20-something nephew about financial planning. He understood that he did not truly understand the complex financial situation that young people face today. In some ways, it’s no different than it would have been 30 years ago, but in other important ways it’s very different. I have two children around that age, so I know! 

My client knew that my experience as a CLU -- Chartered Life Underwriter -- with expertise in tax planning, investment strategy…

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Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht 

“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish proverb that means, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.”  The paradox of planning has never been more stark than in the past year. With unexpected lockdowns, travel cancellations, and all this other craziness from a year with COVID, you might be tempted to throw up your hands in defeat. 

That’s certainly what was going through my mind when I put in my annual order for Pocket Planners to send to you. But there’s still a good reason to plan… and it can be summed up in…

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It's going to be OK! 

In all my years as an accredited Chartered Life Underwriter*, I’ve been through seven recessions. And while this one is very, very different in some respects, it’s already showing many similarities to all seven I’ve had the good fortune to live through. 

Look, this COVID thing is anything but fun, and if you or someone close to you has been personally affected, then it’s downright terrible. But I say ‘good fortune’ because each recession has taught me a very valuable life lesson, and each one has helped me…

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Does Santa flies randomly from house to house?  

Santa has a lot of houses to visit — and only one night to do it all. The only way he gets it all done is with a plan. Sure, the elves help him make the toys, but it’s his wife, Mrs Claus, who does all the strategic planning and mapping of routes. (I am always amazed to learn that most people don’t know this!) 

People have a similar challenge: we have so many things to do as we head toward retirement — and only one life to get it all done. That’s why each and every one of us would benefit from a plan. 

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Help keep roller coasters in amusement parks…  

…and by that I mean out of your retirement strategy!!!         

Look, we all know just about everything ebbs and flows, or swings in cycles – the seasons, economic activity, political leanings, interest rates… everything! And if you take a look around, you’ll notice that those swings have become more intense, turning everything into a wild roller coaster ride. 

It’s undeniable that weather events are getting more intense, politics are getting more polarized, and who knows what will happen with climate…

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Nobody likes to be backed into a corner…  

Being backed into a corner always puts you in the worst possible position. That’s true in the boxing ring; it’s true when you’re painting your house; and, it’s true in retirement planning. 

And in a few years, that’s exactly the position you’ll be in… unless you do a bit of planning today. 

Here are three example of what I mean: 

By law you have to do something with your RRSP assets by the end of your 71st year.  They have to be converted from an accumulation account with ongoing contributions to some form…

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How to know if an advisor is right for you…  

I was recently in a workshop in which the participants were asked, ‘what is the most valuable thing you do that your clients don’t even see?’ 

The responses were incredible – it made me realize how much we all do that most people never see, let alone appreciate. I bet that in your life and business, there are more than a few things that you do that no one notices – and yet you do them anyway because it’s part of who you are and what you feel is important to provide truly superior service. It’s just the…

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Can you name one special relationship in your life?  

This is the time of year when we give thanks for what we have been blessed with, help others in need, and spend quality time with the people who are special to us. That got me thinking about the special relationships I have with my clients. 

Now you might be thinking, ‘what kind of special relationship would an insurance agent have with their clients? Let me tell you about ‘Clara’… I first started working with Clara when she was in her fifties, and I was in my twenties. She was the executive director of a…

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Are you ready to get real about retirement?  

By Cindy Bowden 

It’s spring – and tax time. Chances are you are getting advice from multiple different advisors about your tax and financial planning. And chances are, it’s all good advice… but some of the advice from one advisor may conflict with that from one of your other advisors. Or it may be too narrowly focused on one specific area of expertise. Or it may be overwhelming. Or it may not address the real issues of what you need to retire well. Or your other advisors may not be ‘strong’ enough to ask…

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Read this if you have benefits. Read this if you don’t have benefits.  

By Cindy Bowden 

Most of us wouldn’t dream about going through life without some kind of benefits package. One of the biggest benefits of a group plan is that you can get the health and dental coverage you need without having to qualify or provide medical evidence. 

There are several plans to choose from. Some are good and a few are even great… but you have to know where to look and how to put together a plan that actually serves the needs of the individuals who need to be covered. It’s my job to look at…

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