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  • Writer's pictureThomas Poff, CFA

How To Improve Your Financial Planning at Different Life Stages

A financial plan doesn’t just happen. Nor is it something you only consider when you’re nearing retirement. Financial planning is more like a marathon. It’s an ever-evolving financial roadmap that helps you take control of your spending, allowing you to invest and save, and proactively achieve your financial goals at every stage of life.

From youth through to retirement, each stage of life presents unique financial challenges and opportunities. And it doesn’t matter when you get started; there are things you can do at every stage of life to create a financial plan to enhance yourself.

The key is knowing where you’re at and where you’re headed.

What Are the Different Life Stages of Financial Planning?

Financial planning at different life stages helps ensure you’re equipped for the journey ahead. There are three primary financial planning life stages.

Early Saving

If you’re between the ages of 25 to 45, you’re considered an early saver. It’s during this period that you’re establishing a career, buying your first home, and maybe starting a family. The main financial goal for those in the Early Saving stage is paying off student loans, building a nest egg, investing, and growing assets.


The pre-retirement financial life stage is for those ages 45 to 65. Once you’ve hit this financial life cycle, you have a stable career, own a home, and are thinking more about saving for retirement and estate planning. These are your peak earning years when you are focused on accumulating and saving as much as you can for retirement. Your balanced retirement portfolio should also be reliable and generate passive income.


The retirement life stage is for those 65 years of age and older. You’re either fully retired or working less. During your golden years, you’ll use the wealth you created during the early saving and pre-retirement years to replace your salary. This includes having paid off a mortgage, home equity loan, and credit card debt. You’ll also need to protect your assets to ensure that money can last throughout retirement. This means minimizing risk and managing wealth to minimize taxes.

If you need to play catch up for retirement, you could consider downsizing, working longer (a majority of Canadians say they will work past retirement to live more comfortably), or selling assets.

What Are Some Financial Planning Tips for Different Life Stages?

There are different financial planning tips you can employ based on which wealth stage you’re at.

Early Saver

If you’re an early saver, think about your near and long-term financial goals. Whether it’s a big or small goal, the sooner you start to invest the longer your money has to work for you, and the better your chances are of success. Thanks to the power of compound interest, small, consistent investments during this period can help you save more quickly and result in massive long-term appreciation.

Create a budget that takes all of your lifestyle expenses and financial goals into consideration. And take advantage of any RRSP plans your employer might offer and if they match your deposits. If they do, it’s essentially free money.


Review your retirement goals with a certified wealth management advisor to ensure you’re on the right path. See what you can do to increase your savings and maximize your contributions.

When it comes to a retirement portfolio, make sure it’s balanced with the kind of value and growth stocks that will build your savings before retirement. A retirement professional can help reassess your risk tolerance and adjust the portfolio to match your risk level.

This is also when you should be considering estate planning, a will, power of attorney, and even preferences for transferring wealth.


Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can forget about financial planning. It’s during retirement that you need to revisit your financial plans with a wealth management professional. They can provide the kind of clarity and direction you need to make sure your retirement is on the right financial path.

Review your estate plan and make any necessary changes to your will, power of attorney, or other wealth transfer needs.

Sharp Asset Management – Helping You Reach Your Financial Goals

Life-stage financial planning is about more than managing your money. It’s about creating a financial strategy that works during every stage of your life. If you live in Toronto, Mississauga, or anywhere in the GTA, the certified wealth management and retirement planning professionals at Sharp Asset Management can help you stay proactive and informed and create a financial plan that aligns with your evolving needs.

Sharp Asset Management is an 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.

All of our investment counsellors are charter financial analysts, have the highest level of achievement, and have over 10 years of experience managing portfolios. To learn more about how Sharp Asset Management can help you with your financial planning, contact us today.

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