With only a couple more weeks before the end of the year, our topic is getting clients organized for 2023! Jackie and Jin will touch on goal setting and some of the action steps our clients are making now for a successful financial year ahead. We understand that having money conversations can be challenging at times, but that is why we are here to spill the tea on some of the conversations we are having with our clients as the gear up for 2023!
What are some of the conversation clients are having this season?
Most of our clients at this time of the year want to reflect on the year that was. They typically book a review meeting with us to review what 2022 has been for their family and think about what challenges they faced and overcome from a financial perspective. This season, if you are starting to plan for 2023, now is a good time to review how your assets have changed from last year this time and how much were you able to contribute to your investments and potentially reduce your debts. You want to be sure you are track with your expenses, feel in control of your cashflow, and are confident on how your net worth is growing. If you are serious about planning for 2023, commit the next few weeks to check in on what the family’s financial report card looks like this year versus the previous year and you’ll see that the numbers don’t lie!
What are some of the questions people should ask themselves around putting their finances together this season?
Ask yourself, are you closer to are farther away from the financial goals you set for yourself? When you look at your financial report card you want to check if you are closer to your goal as you planned at the beginning of the year or if you have surpassed those. Some important questions are, how much were you able to save this year, did your debts go up or down? The answers will give you an idea of your financial position and what you should do in the new year. Future thinking is paramount, and you want to ensure you have a plan set out to keep you stable through the coming 1, 3 and 5 years and over the long term in retirement.
How are you able to have conversations around investments this season?
With the tax season coming, lots of clients are trying to make TFSA withdrawals now as the deadline is 31st December. Clients are pulling out money from their accounts to pay some accumulated bills because the high interest rates creeped up on us this year. This is the best time to withdraw as they have a chance to put it right back in January. With an RSP contribution, if you already have some savings accumulated in your account, this may be the best time to make your contribution as the market is sitting at all time lows. Speak to an advisor about making a RRSP investment based on your risk tolerance.
Another reason to consider making your RSP contribution now, is once you get your receipts in February, you can file your taxes early and get ahead of the crowd and potentially getting your returns sooner. This is also a good time for high income earners to check with their employers to see if they maxed out their RSP contributions based on receiving a bonus at year end or in the first quarter of next year. If you over contribute to your RRSP their may be penalties to pay so be sure to check in with your employer to confirm what you will receive and if you have past RRSP room available to shelter your bonus.
What are some other strategies around education investments that people usually need to talk about this season?
If you have kids, you want to ensure you contribute your RESP before the December 31st deadline so you can qualify for the grant. If you also have unused RESP balance, based on your child graduating this year, you may want to consider withdrawing the maximum amount of 25,000 thousand so that this amount can be taxed in your child’s hands assuming they are in a low tax bracket.
What are some of the things people need to think when it comes to risk management and insurance?
We find that client’s interest needs changes over time, so you want to check in on your insurance based on life events, and your family is protected. Have a look at what your group life insurance looks like to determine if it is enough to cover your insurance needs as this is the time of year that group plans renew.
Find out what your disability plan covers long before you ever need it – review the fine print on your group plan to have a better sense of what’s available to you. Many people do not realize that at 65 their insurance package expires at work, you want to make sure that in retirement, you know what benefits you will be covered for. Be sure to seek an advisor that can help you shop around for the best plan out there.
Lets talk about tax credits
If you are thinking of making donations this year, there is a deadline of December 31st for you to be able to claim your taxes back in the coming year. It is a great way to reduce your taxes, especially if it is your first time making a donation. As a first timer, you get 25% off the income tax while also doing good in the society.
Goal setting with clients
Lots of clients come to us for reassurance about how they are doing in terms of goals and trying to see if they could potentially hit those goals. Again, going back to the numbers, we can have informed conversations about what their current reality is, and then align it with their goals. We try to dig into what their financial trend is and what needs to be done to reach these goals.
One tip we give our client is to try hitting a savings goal, we have them thinking of creative ways to cut down on expenses by eating at home and trying out new recipes instead of eating out, choosing more affordable vacation spots etc. Goal setting and having a vision for the future is the fuel help reach your savings goals, so be intentional about the future you want to have!
We help our clients with alignment, and the feeling that comes with setting goals and actualizing them is unmatched, they have this peace of mind and excitement that comes with achieving these. If you are deciding that this is the time to start future thinking, reach out to our client experience manager email@example.com for a 30-minute free strategy session.