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 estateEstate The total sum of money and property you leave behind when you die.+ read full definition to leave to your family or charity.
  7. Save and investInvest To use money for the purpose of making more money by making an investment. Often involves risk.+ read full definition 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 mortgageMortgage A loan that you get to pay for a home or other property. Often the loan is for 20 years or more. You make a set number of payments for a set amount each year.+ read full definition, car loanLoan An agreement to borrow money for a set period of time. You agree to pay back the full amount, plus interest, by a set date.+ read full definition, student loan, credit cards, personal loans or business loans?
  6. Your insurance – such as life, auto or health insuranceHealth insurance Insurance that covers some or all of your medical bills if you get sick or hurt.+ read full definition. Mention any insurance coverage you have paid for yourself or that you receive through work.
  7. Your taxes – including income taxIncome tax A charge you pay based on your total income from all sources. The Canadian government and your province set the rate.+ read full definition, property taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition 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?

3 key points

A financial plannerFinancial planner An individual who looks at your financial situation and builds a complete plan to help you reach your goals. The process may cover: financial planning, risk management, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.+ read full definition looks at:

  1. Who you are
  2. Where you are now
  3. Where you want to be
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