First Steps to Finding a Planner Who’s Right for You
When it comes to your financial well-being, it’s all about partnering with someone who is committed to putting your interests first and who has attained the highest standards of excellence by meeting education, experience, exam and ethics requirements. Ask your potential planner questions about their experience, services offered, their approach to financial planning and their fees.
With the help of a Certified Financial Planner® professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professional, you can prepare and set into action a personalized plan that suits your unique circumstances and can meet any unexpected life changes head-on.
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To start the process of working with your financial planner, provide the following essential information at your first meeting:
- Goals – Your short-, mid- and long-term financial and life goals. If your dream is to retire in the Caribbean, can you afford it?
- Your Responsibilities – Current financial responsibilities and those you expect to take on in the future, like putting your kids through university or supporting an aging relative.
- Income & Expenses – An overview of your bills, rent or mortgage payments, car payments, credit card bills, and monthly recreational expenses like gym membership or streaming services. If you have a budget, bring that. And some people track their expenses – bring that too.
- Documents – Various financial documents like employee benefits, credit card statements, investment statements, RRSP, RESP or TFSA statements and insurance policies.
- Assets & Liabilities – Your property, investments and/or inheritances, along with any debts
- Tax Information – Bring along a copy of Canadian and any applicable foreign tax returns for the past two years and any corporate tax returns, if applicable. Some planners will want to see tax information for a longer period, depending on your situation. If your income information isn’t clearly captured on your tax returns, be sure to include it separately.