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Retirement Reality Check ~

How Working with a Financial Planner helped Jim and Cindy meet their retirement goals!

The roofer stepped off the extension ladder beside my house. He wiped his brow and dropped the bomb. “The roof replacement is going to cost you around $23,000. I can get started in three weeks. You just need to give me a deposit and I can book it in my calendar.” I frowned, wondering how I was going to manage it since my children were in high school and starting to look at post secondary schools and tuition.

That conversation was ten years ago when I was 43… All I could think about back then was how on earth was I going to pay for all this, never mind retiring. Was I ever going to be able to retire? If so, when? At age 60? 65? 70? Never? My wife Cindy and I had decent paying jobs, but we didn’t purchase our home until our early ‘30s. Therefore, we still had a bit of a mortgage. We were contributing monthly to our RRSPs at the bank and had a small group plan, but really had no idea how and when we could retire.

Retired couple in a convertible

It wasn’t until a year later, my neighbours, a couple in their mid ‘60s pulled up in their driveway with a new convertible. Didn’t they just take a cruise last year for two weeks? How are they managing this I wondered? Since I new them fairly well, I grinned asking, “Wow nice car! You must have won the lottery.” He smiled, shaking his head. “Nope! Just a solid financial plan set up by my financial planner when I was in my early ‘40s he said.” It became abundantly clear that a solid financial plan was the missing puzzle piece. Our neighbour immediately referred us to his advisor, and we booked an appointment immediately. After spending some time building a relationship and getting to know each other better, we decided to consolidate our assets with his firm. Once our assets were transferred over, we met again to discuss our long-term goals, our investments and what kind of retirement we envisioned for ourselves.

It forced us to really sit down and think about what kind of lifestyle we wanted after we finished working and our children had moved out. It was agreed that we needed a comprehensive financial plan. In order to put one together, we needed to consider the following issues:

· Existing pensions

· Health plans/insurance*

· Cash flowing real estate investments

· Possible long-term care provisions

· Disability/critical illness insurance

· Capital purchases (cars, boats, trailers)

· Income required


· Existing investments (RRSPs/TFSAs/Investment account)

· Existing mortgages/loans

· Travel

· Rainy day funds

· Business succession

Once all the information was collected and analyzed, our advisor worked with us to create a detailed financial plan that was manageable, but with specific goals and objectives. Fast Forward ten years… Now at age 53, Jim and Cindy's financial plan keeps them on track to reach their retirement goals. Not only do they know when they can retire, but how much they need to put away each month, and what kind of income they can expect at every stage of retirement. No more surprises!

A process focused entirely on you As you approach retirement, you will need to streamline your accounts to save on fees, get a clearer snapshot of your finances and benefit from an integrated, comprehensive strategy.

Call us today to learn how! 604.940.8617

*Insurance products are provided through Hollis Insurance Agency.


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