Have you received a free financial plan from your bank, or paid for a plan from a fee-for-service financial planner – but still don’t know the answer to your life questions?
If a financial plan does not tell you what you want to know, it is probably either because:
- It is a “fake financial plan”. Uses rules of thumb such as you need 70% of today’s income to retire or you will spend 20% less starting at age 80. A sales pitch in disguise. A quick & dirty job to say they did some planning and now let’s start talking about investments.
- It is not an “Interactive Financial Plan”. One retirement option only.
A “fake plan” or non-interactive plan leads to you having a retirement you just settled for.
The 10 most common life questions people that come to us want answered are:
- When can I retire with the lifestyle I want?
- How much do I need to have to retire confidently?
- What do I need to do every year to have the future I want?
- How can I pay the least lifetime tax?
- How much should I contribute to my RRSP or TFSA or something else?
- How do I setup my retirement income most effectively, reliably & tax-efficiently?
- Can I achieve a type of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)?
- Can I afford something special I want to do, such as lots of travel, buying a vacation property, or helping my kids?
- When should I start CPP, OAS, my pension, and convert my RRSP to RRIF? How can I avoid the clawbacks on the government pensions?
- Is there a creative or more aggressive solution I’m missing that will help me?
To answer your questions, you need an “Interactive Financial Plan”. Look at many life options. It is the only way for you to get exactly what you want out of life.
What is an “Interactive Financial Plan”? What is the process of creating it? Why is it the only way for you to get exactly what you want out of life?
“Interactive Financial Plan” Process
With an “Interactive Financial Plan”, we help you look at many possible scenarios until you find the one that best suits your life.
- You are thinking to retire at 60, but what would you have to do to retire at 55?
- What do I have to do if I want $20,000/year for travel all my life, instead of just $10,000/year?
- How much difference does it make if I do invest more or do some strategy?
We can show you how any scenario you are thinking will affect your life in seconds.
An “Interactive Financial Plan” let’s you be creative about all your life options and decide what is really most fulfilling for you.
Here is the process that usually happens in one effective 4-5 hour meeting:
- Identify what is important to you about money.
- Make sure we clearly understand your existing financial picture.
- Help you imagine your desired retirement and work out in detail how much money you need per year to have the lifestyle you want.
- Ask when you would like to be able to retire and show you how close you are with what you are doing now.
- If what you are doing does not achieve the financial freedom you want (Most common.), you have 4 options, plus many combinations of them:
- Work longer.
- Save more now.
- Retire on less – and specifically which lifestyle item to reduce.
- Do a creative/more aggressive strategy.
- If you are ahead of your goal by more than a margin of safety, then we expect you will have more money than you need for to life the life you want. We discuss with you what you really want to do with your life.
- Same 4 options in reverse:
- Retire sooner?
- Save less and spend more now?
- Retire more comfortably?
- What do you want to do with your extra money that is the most fun or meaningful for you?
- Do you just want to have the confidence and freedom of knowing you have more than you need or do you want to change your retirement goal?
- Same 4 options in reverse:
- We show you the effect of each option you are considering. Our software allows us to show you many scenarios within seconds. For example:
- What’s the effect if I work 1 or 2 or 3 more years?
- What if I invest $200/month or $500/month or $1,000/month more?
- What if I reduce my retirement travel from $20,000/year to $15,000/year or $10,000/year?
- What’s the effect if I invest more aggressively or do a strategy like the Smith Manoeuvre or Lifecycle Investing?
- What’s the effect on my life with any combination of these?
- You decide on your financial independence/retirement goal that best suits your life, balancing the detailed lifestyle you want, how soon you get there, how much you contribute each year, and what strategies you do.
- We answer all your other financial questions, such as what are the smartest things for you to do, what is the optimal amount for you to contribute to your RRSP and TFSA, how can you pay the minimum tax, can you afford a cottage, what is the soonest you can retire, etc.
- We look at all your other life goals and financial planning issues, including how much to save for your kid’s education, the emergency fund you need, the cheapest adequate insurance to protect you, and estate planning.
After the meeting, we give you a few days to think about it and sleep on it. Your eyes will be open on what is and is not possible for you. Your head may be spinning because we normally cover so much ground and answer so many questions in our meeting.
Then our team gets together and brainstorms your Plan to optimize all the details, work out the most effective place for all your contributions, and work out how you can pay the lowest lifetime tax.
Then we have a second meeting to read through your Financial Plan, answer all your questions, and discuss next steps.
Your “Interactive Financial Plan” gives you a new freedom because you now know the answers to all the possibilities in your life. You have a new confidence because you know exactly what your retirement lifestyle can be, how soon you can retire, and exactly what you need to do to get there.
Why is an “Interactive Financial Plan” the only way for you to get exactly what you want out of life?
The interactive process is the key. You don’t just get one scenario. You can think through your life options by testing retiring at various ages, investing various amounts each year, and seeing how much you can add to your fun activities like entertainment & travel when you retire.
We have helped many people that previously paid for a financial plan from a fee-for-service financial planner, had a 1-2 hour meeting to ask what their goals are, and then received a financial plan in the mail a few weeks later with only the one option and saying they need to invest a huge amount like $3,000/month more to achieve it.
This is not an “Interactive Financial Plan”! It does not answer your life questions. What if you choose a different option, such as working longer or retiring on less instead? How can you balance all the options to get exactly what you want?
Don’t accept a retirement that you settle for. It’s your life. “This ain’t no dress rehearsal.”
Get your “Interactive Financial Plan” and design exactly the life you want!
Planning With Ed
Ed Rempel has helped thousands of Canadians become financially secure. He is a fee-for-service financial planner, tax accountant, expert in many tax & investment strategies, and a popular and passionate blogger.
Ed has a unique understanding of how to be successful financially based on extensive real-life experience, having written nearly 1,000 comprehensive personal financial plans.
The “Planning with Ed” experience is about your life, not just money. Your Financial Plan is the GPS for your life.
Get your plan! Become financially secure and free to live the life you want.