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  • Writer's pictureThomas Poff, CFA

Money Is Stressful, But Financial Planning Doesn’t Have to Be

Even at the best of times, it can be difficult to set money aside for emergency savings and retirement. But with the current economic climate, which includes inflation, high interest rates, and historically high household debt, many Canadians are feeling the pinch. And this could have negative consequences on their long-term savings and retirement plans.

For example, more than half of Canadians (52%) say they are not prepared for retirement. On top of that, three-quarters of Canadian adults aged 55 to 64 have $100,000 or less in savings and 44% have less than $5,000. Canadians between the ages of 18-54 don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire.

How are struggling Canadians expecting to fill the financial gap in retirement? Half say they will be forced to have a “gig job” when they retire to make ends meet.

One of the reasons why so many Canadians are unprepared financially is because of the current high cost of living. With inflation at decade highs, fewer Canadians have any money left over at the end of the month for savings. Unfortunately, if inflation continues to rise, more than half (54%%) of Canadians aged 55 to 64 say they’ll have to postpone retirement.

As a result, it’s entirely understandable why Canadians of all income levels are so stressed and overwhelmed about their finances. It can be difficult for Canadians to take the first step to improve their financial wellness.

How Can a Financial Planner Help You Plan for the Future?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to saving or retirement planning, there’s no better time than now to find a financial planner. What can a financial planner do? They create a comprehensive, unique financial strategy to help you achieve your near and long-term goals, ultimately reducing stress, and bringing you peace of mind.

Here are three ways a financial planner can help.

Setting Realistic Goals

Everyone has financial goals, whether they realize it or not. A financial planner will help you define and set realistic goals for achieving them. After all, income planning doesn’t just involve where you’re at right now, it’s about your career goals and where you want to be in retirement too.

Whether you’re just starting your career, nearing retirement, recently married, or even divorced and need to get your finances in order, a financial planner can help you create a personalized plan, prioritize your goals, and make smart decisions.

Identifying Opportunities

A private wealth manager can help you identify opportunities, even if you’re starting out with a small amount of money. This can include topping up tax-friendly savings plans, such as a TFSA and RRSP. They can also help you generate income through various investment options, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs).

Financial planners will also think outside the box. They can suggest alternative investments, including private equity, private debt, real estate, commodities, and even collectibles.

Developing Healthy Money Habits and Peace of Mind

Studies show that people who work with a licensed financial planner are more prepared to make better financial decisions than those who do not have a financial planner. That’s because a financial planner can help you understand your portfolio risk levels, savings habits, and debt levels.

In fact, those working with a financial planner made the best overall financial decisions. A distant second were those who simply used the Internet. Those with a transactional financial adviser made the worst financial decisions.

Meanwhile, a report from the Financial Planning Standards Council also found that Canadians who use a financial planner have “significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being” than those who do not or have limited planning.

Sharp Asset Management – Helping You Reach Your Financial Goals

Saving money and preparing for retirement can be stressful and overwhelming. Regardless of your personal finances though, a wealth management professional can provide personalized investment advice that helps you understand your options and create a realistic, achievable financial plan.

If you live in Toronto or the GTA and are looking for ways to fund your retirement, speak with a private wealth management professional at Sharp Asset Management.

Sharp Asset Management is an independent asset management firm that is 100% owner-operated. We also do not earn any commissions or fees on investments we choose on behalf of our clients. To learn more about how Sharp Asset Management can help you with your retirement planning, contact us today.

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