Imagine finding out that a simple decision made 20 years ago, would have added tens of thousands of dollars to your net worth today, but no one told you about it. By the time you get the news, it's too late. "Remember," says Dave Hodgson, a partner at Mass & Company, and a Lawyers Financial Advisor, "a financial plan is not something you set and forget. It's important to continually review and adjust your plan to make sure you're taking advantage of every new opportunity and avoiding pitfalls. What you save is just as important as what you make over time."
"It's your Advisor's job," he adds, "to know what's going on and to make sure you are seizing every opportunity."
Here are just three of the money-saving ideas you should discuss with your Advisor.
1. Don't let the government inherit your money
Checking the beneficiaries on all of your investments and insurance policies can reveal a ticking time-bomb. For example, naming someone other than a spouse on your RRSP could result in a larger tax bill for your estate. And naming your estate as beneficiary on your life insurance could result in your insurance proceeds being subject to probate. That means more of your money might go to the government when it could have gone to loved ones or charity instead. "This is something no Advisor would overlook," says Hodgson. "A 20-minute meeting to discuss beneficiaries could lead to very significant long-term advantages for a family."
2. Who should own your life insurance policy?
If it's been a while since you looked at your life insurance policy, this should be the year you dust it off and ask your Lawyers Financial Advisor for a fresh take on your situation. If you have a professional corporation there could be benefits to the corporation owning your insurance and paying the premium. On the other hand, you could hold the policy in your name and pay the premium directly. Both approaches may be advantageous, depending on your situation. Is the ownership of your insurance coverage structured the best way for your situation?
3. Things change – are you keeping up?
Rules and regulations change all the time. An annual review of your financial plan ensures that you are taking advantage of opportunities such as increased contribution limits, new tax incentives, or changes to policies. "For example, the rules governing income splitting were recently changed by Revenue Canada." says Hodgson. "As we meet with clients, we make sure they understand the changes and adjust accordingly. It's our job to know what's available and when it's time to alter a financial plan."
Find more ways to save and protect your investments.
Make a thorough review of your plan a priority in 2019. Take advantage of all the financial and insurance planning services your Lawyers Financial Advisor can offer.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.