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Are We Going to Be Okay? Thumbnail

Are We Going to Be Okay?

Stacey and Ben*, a warm and ambitious couple, with three school-aged children, had made many smart financial decisions over the years, but they didn't feel like they were getting ahead, and they just didn't know if they were on track towards achieving their goals for retirement and post secondary education for their kids. They had wanted to get together with me for a while, but like so many families, they were too busy dealing with the daily responsibilities of family life. Until one day, they finally got in touch, and we scheduled a meeting at their home. They both had good jobs with pensions, and they owned rental properties and investments with multiple advisors. The feeling I got at from their body language at our first meeting was one of uncertainty, as if to ask, “Are we going to be okay?” I congratulated Stacey and Ben for all they had achieved so far, and I assured them that a comprehensive financial plan would give them the clarity they were looking for.

Together, we gathered the needed information for me to put a financial plan together for them and then I got to work. The plan presented all the moving parts in their financial life in one report. Among other things, it included their savings and potential growth of their investments, real estate properties, future income from government and work pensions, paying down mortgages, coverage of post-secondary education costs and it projected potential changes over the next several decades, based on a few assumptions. With my analysis of the initial plan, I made multiple recommendations, such as combining their three separate education plans into one family plan so that contributions and government grants could be shared between their children, reallocating investments that were not aligned with their goals, and borrowing, spending and investing strategies that could potentially accelerate their financial progress. I also let them know that a financial plan is a working document, which should be updated regularly and that is a benefit that my clients receive as part of my service.

When I presented the plan and my recommendations to Stacey and Ben, I could instantly sense a subtle change in them, as is so often the case when I share a financial plan with someone who has never had one. While there were still a lot of variables in their financial situation, they could feel the potential benefits of having all their investments with an experienced financial planner who cares about them and understands their family's financial goals. They talked it over and decided that they would like to begin working with me, to officially begin a beautiful professional relationship that could last for decades. Stacey summed up how they were feeling when she said, “Well, we’re not ready to retire just yet, but when the time comes, it looks like we're going to be better than okay!”

*My clients’ names and some details have been changed to protect their privacy.