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Financial planning checklist for every stage

Where are you are today? Where do you want to be tomorrow? Whether you're graduating from university, building a family or approaching retirement, your goals and needs are constantly changing. By understanding your current life stage and those ahead, you'll be in a better position to make the informed decisions that will help you achieve your financial goals.

Starting with your current life stage, experienced financial advisors can help you create a plan that will lay out a "road map" for you to follow. A comprehensive financial plan that will help you achieve your financial goals. Along the way, they’ll help you maintain your focus, negotiate unexpected detours and take advantage of investment opportunities that fit your objectives. So what stage are you at right now? Here’s a brief list and some basic issues you should be thinking about:

Youth: under 18, still in school, some income from a part-time/summer job.

  • Establish good saving habits
  • Open a basic bank account
  • Invest family gifts of cash

Student: attending college/university; on a limited income.

  • Finance education
  • Invest in RRSPs, if earning income
  • Start a monthly savings program

Starting out: entering the workforce; need financial independence.

  • Automatic contribution for RRSP or TFSA
  • Minimize tax through RRSPs and payroll deductions
  • Develop investment plan and goals (diversify to maximize returns)
  • Save for first-time home ownership

Builder: starting a family or building a career.

  • Grow value in property/home (through home improvements)
  • Continue RRSP contributions
  • Establish education fund (RESP) for children
  • Review investment goals
  • Establish long-term retirement goals
  • Protect income, home ownership and ongoing expenses through insurance
  • Build a relationship with your financial advisor

Do you have a financial plan?

An Ipsos survey states four in five Canadians (79%) don't have a written financial plan and 63% don't have a financial advisor. The same survey shows 71% of the households with a financial advisor feel more confident about their future and over 74% feel they'll be able to retire comfortably. Why? They have a solid financial plan a knowledgeable advisor who understands what they want and helps keep them on track.

    Established: peak earning years, aging parents, cost of child's education.

    • Maximize retirement savings
    • Develop and grow your non-registered portfolio
    • Minimize tax through TFSAs
    • Begin use of child's education fund
    • Review investment and insurance strategies

    Pre-Retired: specific retirement plans, children finished school.

    • Consider property as an investment (income-generating, vacation)
    • Develop detailed retirement and estate conservation plans
    • Continue to maximize RRSP and TFSA contributions to minimize tax
    • Establish income-producing investment goals
    • Continue to grow non-registered portfolio
    • Explore how insurance solutions can support wealth protection plans

    Retired Early: grown children, maintaining financial independence.

    • Reduce investment risk
    • Refocus investment goals (income producing)
    • Develop plan for retirement income stream (RRIFs/annuities/pension plan/CPP/OAS)
    • Review estate conservation plan and wealth protection solutions

    Retired Late: living on fixed/limited income.

    • Maintain relationship with your financial advisor for post-retirement asset management and estate conservation
    • Develop plan for tax-efficient wealth transfer
    • Determine your legacy plans

    The financial advice you deserve starts now

    If you haven't yet developed your financial plan, talk to us about our unique discovery and assessment process called lifespring®. This complimentary process begins with a review of your current financial circumstances, anticipated changes, future goals, and results in your customized plan.

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    Click "contact us" below to use our secure online contact form, visit a branch near you or call us at 604.982.8000 or toll free at 1.888.713.6728.

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    † Insurance services provided by BlueShore Wealth.

    This article is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal financial or investment advice or solicitation. The information contained in this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot guarantee that it is accurate or complete.
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