Thinking ahead: Understanding the benefits of using a certified financial planner
– Guest blog post from the Alberta Securities Commission
For new and experienced investors, your financial plan is one of the most important elements of your investing journey. A financial plan is a document that outlines your current financial circumstances, your short, medium, and long-term goals, and the steps you will take to accomplish them. A financial plan can also help you plan for and manage risks, including health or disability needs, job loss, and debt repayment.
Thoroughly evaluating your income, expenditures, savings, and debts and mapping out your expectations for the future is essential to constructing a comprehensive and realistic financial plan. While creating a financial plan can be done on your own, many seek out the expertise of a certified financial planner.
A certified financial planner has a thorough knowledge of personal finances and can help clients of all ages develop a plan to reach their goals and maximize the efficiency of their assets.
Let’s explore common scenarios where using the services of a certified financial planner might be right for you.
Not knowing where to start
Drafting your financial plan can feel daunting, and relying on a trusted fiduciary (someone obligated to work in your best interest), like a financial planner, can help you get started. Financial planners are trained to develop a diversified and suitable investment portfolio; provide retirement, estate and tax planning services, and insurance and debt management recommendations. Financial planners can get you started on the right foot by helping you better understand where you are currently and the optimal way to get to your financial goals while outlining additional factors in your planning you may not have considered.
Dealing with significant life events
Earning a promotion at work, getting married or divorced, and receiving an unexpected inheritance from a loved one are significant life events that can impact your finances and future goals. A financial planner can help you assess the changes in your life and begin charting out a plan of action that allows you to best meet your financial goals under your new personal and financial circumstances.
Preparing for retirement
Saving for retirement is an important goal for many Canadians. Knowing approximately how much you and your spouse will need in 10-20-30 years can be challenging to determine and even more so if you plan to retire early or with a desired retirement income. Financial planners can take a detailed account of your assets, including real estate, investments, debts, savings, work pensions and access to government benefits like the Canadian Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to formulate a comprehensive financial plan which includes recommended withdrawal limits during retirement to ensure your nest egg lasts through your golden years.
Having a sound financial plan can play a big part in helping you reach your goals. Whether you want to focus on a specific area of your life, like investment planning or simply want a new perspective from someone with the knowledge, skills, expertise and ethical obligations, a financial planner can be a valuable partner in your financial planning journey.
To learn more about certified financial planners and how to find a financial planner for your needs, visit FP Canada (fpcanada.ca).