Journey through life’s Stages
From sweet beginnings to saying goodbye to a client.
In our business, we have the unique privilege of taking part in the planning for the major events in one’s life, and although financial planning is only one aspect of life planning, it is often necessary to fulfill ones goals and dreams.
Cold hard cash is one thing – often seen as a necessary evil. But on the warmer side, financial plans built around dreams and goals have very strong emotions attached to them. We are fortunate to have a window into what’s near and dear to our clients and help them plan to live their dreams.
Sitting with a young couple embarking on saving for a wedding and down payment for a home has all the excitement of a fresh new beginning, and the anticipation of what’s to come.
The purchase of a first home is exciting and we begin budgeting for homeownership needs over the years. Watching their careers or businesses take shape is satisfying as we match savings plans and tax strategies to build RSP’s, grow their business and net worth, and reduce income tax liabilities wherever we can.
When the first child is on the scene a whole new world opens up for families who need to consider the effect of maternity leave on the family income. We implement new budgeting and life balance choices so they can live the family life they have chosen. Financial security considerations come into play as well as benefits. Families have dreams for their homes, their children, and their vacations that all need a strategy to get there.
Before you know it, we are planning to save for post-secondary education and helping their children to realize their education goals. It seems no sooner have we spent years planning saving for this moment that we are now drawing on it to pay tuition. But we’re sure glad we did. This is often a first true realization of how time flies.
Next up is retirement with all of its excitement and challenges. It can be so rewarding to see our clients living out their retirement dreams. I smile to hear, “we’ve just got back from a beautiful week in St. Lucia,” or “we’ve finally booked that dream vacation to Italy.” It is so amazing to be part of. They have worked hard, created plans and now they are reaping the benefits.
In this same time frame they may also have a parent who is starting to require more care. These families need the security of knowing their parent will not outlive their means and will be well taken care of. We pro-actively plan so that in the event there are any funds left over when they pass away that the inheritance and estate value transfer to family members in the most efficient way possible.
At this time, our clients begin to take a closer look at their own estate plan and how to transfer wealth effectively to their own kids upon their passing. They have worked so hard to build what they have over the years and want their kids to have as much of it as possible, all the while making sure they have the financial security needed for the remainder of their years.
You know the call will come one day. That call where you learn your client has passed away. It is time to execute the last part of their plan and transfer wealth to the next generation. And the process starts all over again with another era.
Saying goodbye to a client is simply one of the most difficult things to do, and it doesn’t really matter at which stage of life you met. We are sad to say farewell, and yet so privileged to have been a part of their journey.
Link to column as it appeared in Elgin This Month August 2014 edition (page 5)
Stephanie Farrow, B.A., CFP., Stephanie has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, a diploma in Financial Planning from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, and Certified Financial Planner designation. Stephanie has been writing a financial planning column for the local business magazine Elgin This Month since 2010 and hosts our Farrow Financial Blog and Twitter @farrowfinancial. Stephanie and her husband Ken Farrow own Farrow Financial Services Inc., are busy raising three young children and actively involved in the community. Our Farrow FInancial Services Team.