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Like anything else deemed important in life, maintaining your financial health requires attention. To ensure you’re on the right path to meeting your life goals, an annual financial checkup is critical.

“Finances are super-stressful for a lot of Canadians, and that’s particularly true after the challenging 12 months we’ve just had,” says Wendy Brookhouse, a financial advisor & money coach, founder of Black Star Wealth and a Qualified Associate Financial Planner in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “So that’s why this year, almost more than any other, it’s really important to meet with your financial planner, or reach out to one for the first time. It will really help you put a plan in place for the year ahead.”

If you already work with a professional financial planner, heed their call to revisit and tweak your plan if necessary. If you’re just getting started, set up your first meeting with your planner, most likely via video conference until the pandemic has passed. No matter what stage of life you are in – embarking on your first job, mid-career or planning to retire – the guidance of a professional financial planner will provide great value.

“Your financial planner will take the pulse of your financial health and well-being and recommend any modifications needed so that you can achieve your short-, medium- and long-term goals,” says Katrina McDonald, a Certified Financial Planner and senior financial planner at TD Wealth Financial Planning in Ottawa, Ontario. “They will help determine the impact of a change in income, to name just one example, and how it could affect your personal goals. Financial planning is an ongoing and important component that should be both reflective of your current financial situation and be regularly monitored and updated as life changes.”

FP Canada offers the following tips to get your planning process underway:

  • Prepare a summary of life changes, like a change in employment, a new baby or a new home, over the previous 12 months.
  • Compile a list of questions for your planner.
  • Gather relevant documents, including year-end pay slips, tax returns and insurance policies.
  • Show your financial planner any existing budget you’re following, and assess how your spending habits have changed over the past year and where there might be trouble spots.
  • Have a list of short-term and longer-term goals you’d like to reach.

Doing all this will ensure your financial planner has a clear understanding of your current personal circumstances that could require tweaking your financial goals. It will also enable them to give you the best possible advice on how to amend your plan and prepare for the year ahead.

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CFP certification is the world’s most recognized financial planning designation. CFP professionals see their clients’ entire financial picture, no matter how complex, and work together to build a financial plan so they can live their lives confidently.


QAFP professionals understand their clients’ everyday financial needs and the demands and priorities of their diverse lives. They know their individual goals deserve attention and provide the financial planning advice to meet those goals.

Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications with FP Canada. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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