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What to expect from a financial planner

7 things your planner can help you do

  1. Set realistic goals and take steps to achieve them.
  2. Save for education.
  3. Plan and save for retirement.
  4. Choose the right mix of investments.
  5. Decide what type of insurance you need.
  6. Build an estate to leave to your family or charity.
  7. Save and invest in ways that reduce your taxes.

5 things your planner should tell you

  1. What services they’ll provide and how the process of planning works.
  2. What documents they’ll provide to you.
  3. Their responsibilities as your planner.
  4. Your responsibilities as a client.
  5. How they’ll be compensated.

9 things your planner will ask about

  1. Your personal situation – including information about your job, where you live, whether you’re married, and whether you have children or other dependants.
  2. Your goals – and when you want to reach them.
  3. Your current investments – including investments you hold in non-registered accounts, registered accounts such as an RRSP, a TFSA or an RESP, and any workplace pension and savings plans.
  4. How you feel about risk – and what kind of investor you are. For example, are you a conservative investor or are you more willing to take on risk to meet your goals?
  5. Any money you earn and owe – Do you earn a salary, rental income, business income? Do you have a mortgage, car loan, student loan, credit cards, personal loans or business loans?
  6. Your insurance – such as life, auto or health insurance. Mention any insurance coverage you have paid for yourself or that you receive through work.
  7. Your taxes – including income tax, property tax and tax on your investments.
  8. Your will – If you have one, the planner will want to review it.
  9. Your estate – How much money and property will you leave behind after your death and what you would like to do with it?
To learn more, read how Paula and Tahir worked with a financial planner to build their wealth.

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