Put the spring back into a financial plan

Put the spring back into a financial plan

Put the spring back into a financial plan As clients zone in on their taxes, there’s no better time to put some spring back in the step of their financial plans, suggests one financial planner.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to emptying out closets and hosting garage sales, says Brent McKay of Sun Life Financial. A complete overhaul, or even minor adjustments, to a client’s retirement savings plan can set them on a better track for the rest of the year.

“As clients run around getting their receipts together, it’s a good time for them to meet with their financial advisors as well,” McKay told WP. “…and see how their investment plan is fitting in with their financial and tax plans.”

Sun Life offers three tips for the revamp, which include:
  1. Reviewing the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) program and how it fits into the plan
  2. Establishing whether a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) could supplement the plan
  3. Forming new, or improved, spending habits, that allow for more saving opportunities

“It’s like a change in the weather forecast,” says McKay. “Advisors should take a look at their client’s time horizon (stage in life), their tax bracket and how to refresh their spending habits.”

Asked whether it is challenging to pull clients’ attention away from their taxes (and accountants) and onto their financial plans, McKay says he has experienced the exact opposite.

“On the contrary, it is easier to get their attention,” he says. “We are always trying to promote working in conjunction with the accountant and clients are looking to their advisor to make sure they have all their tax receipts for their investments.”

McKay does acknowledge however, that some clients, burdened by expenses, may be grappling with ways to save. “This comes under tip three, where we try to find some money that (clients) are unaware they are spending, and put that back towards their plan.” (continued)

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