From the Editor: Happy New *Planning* Year

Q3 | October 2019

Laptop, notebook, Tablet and coffee on work desk

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Dianne C. White, CPA, CA, CFP, TEP

October 1, 2019

Image used with permission: iStock/PRImageFactory


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From the Editor: Happy New *Planning* Year

Q3 | October 2019

As the weather cools and the leaves begin to change colour, it seems to me that fall is the more natural start of a new year compared to the start of the calendar year. Perhaps it’s the reflex of the back-to-school routine that makes me feel this way. But, in the fall, I am ready to embrace a new season and make some changes. It is a time to identify potential resolutions – those areas of opportunity for growth and development. So, why not start with an assessment of your financial life? Ask yourself, is everything in good order?

The first step is to make sure you have a financial plan and you are sticking to it. A good, comprehensive financial plan includes an assessment of where you are and where you are heading. It also addresses what your objectives are – is it “freedom 55” or owning that country estate? The plan captures all the financial details required to assess if you will be able to meet your objectives.

The next step is to consider whether you have all your “ducks in a row” when it comes to estate planning. We recently hosted the fourth instalment in our Women and Wealth presentation series where we revisited the topic of estate planning. Laura Ross, an estate consultant who has a wealth of hands-on experience dealing with estates, agreed to join us to discuss what clients can do to get their “ducks in a row”. Laura’s presentation focused on some of the softer issues that come along with estate planning. When most people think of estate planning, they focus on the documents required: wills, powers of attorney and various trusts that represent the legal framework of an estate plan. It is easy to get bogged down in the legalese of these documents and forget about how important it is to communicate your wishes. To quote Laura: “Death is the elephant in the room. It happens to all of us, but no one wants to talk about it. Talking about your wishes with respect to your health, finances and your estate is the best gift you can give your family to ensure they maintain a solid relationship after you pass.” Key take-aways from our events with her: make sure your will is current, make sure your executors and power of attorneys understand your wishes in plain language (not just have a copy of the legal document), and organize your affairs so your family knows where everything is. We plan to ask Laura back in early 2020. These new sessions will extend beyond our Women and Wealth series and all clients will be invited to attend. More information will be available in the coming months, so stay tuned!

In this issue of Nexus Notes, we continue to look at planning and returns, specifically expected investment returns. This article is an extension of one published last quarter on the return assumptions Nexus uses and how they translate into the asset projections in each plan. The article is penned by the newest member of our Nexus team, Brad Weber, who recently joined us from BMO Private Wealth. You can learn more about Brad in our Inside Nexus feature.

Also in this issue is an article that, at first glance, appears to be about literary classics, but is in fact about interest rates. Yes, the abnormally low, historically unprecedented, and potentially negative interest rates have become a significant global development. Investors are indeed living with strange circumstances just like Gulliver and Alice. You can read about how these otherworldly rates are causing real world problems and about the implications for borrowers and savers. We hope you enjoy this edition of Nexus Notes and happy new *planning* year to you!

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