They say money can’t buy happiness, but the way you handle the money you’ve got can most certainly influence how happy you are. Good financial health doesn’t just mean having ample wealth, it also means understanding how the financial decisions you make can impact your life. So what do you really need to know?
If you’re in the high-net-worth category, chances are you’re already working with a financial planner which means you don’t need to worry about this stuff, right? Not so fast. While you may not need to know everything they know, you do need to know what kind of expertise they should have in order to be able to help you achieve optimal financial wellness. Here are a few things to consider when dealing with a planner.
• High-net-worth individuals tend to be more susceptible to changes in tax legislation, so you’ll want your planner to have a lot of experience dealing with clients at this tax level. They’ll likely be on top of those changes more so than someone who sporadically deals with clients who could be affected. They’ll also know how to use those changes to your advantage.
• People with higher incomes often have more complex lifestyles. It’s in your interest to work with someone who’s used to collaborating with various professionals, such as your lawyer and accountant, to ensure you’re provided with integrated solutions.
• Is your spouse involved? They should be. Typically, they’re the ones who’ll be impacted most by your financial decisions, so your planner should encourage their input and make it a priority to have a relationship with them. A good planner will also include your children in any legacy planning so that the whole family is clear about your vision and wishes.
• How do you want to use your wealth in meaningful ways? Clarifying what you want to accomplish is the cornerstone of any effective financial strategy. Your planner needs to understand this to be able to help you with your short and long-term life goals.
• If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll have different retirement saving requirements than those who are eligible for a company-sponsored pension plan. Your financial planner should have experience with this type of scenario and be knowledgeable about setting up an individual or personal pension plan. There are various ways to do this, and an experienced planner can present you with different options and recommend the one that’s best suited to you.
Knowing what you need is half the battle. Finding the right person to help you with those needs – and maybe even uncover a few new ones – will reduce financial worry and contribute to better financial health. Above all else, you should like and trust the planner you’re working with. Do they understand your pain points? If you’re not comfortable discussing such matters with them, maybe it’s time to try working with someone else.
One of the best ways to source a planner is through referrals. Poll your family, colleagues and social network to see who’s happy with their provider. That way, you’ll also have confirmation of their competence and performance.
Darin Yuzyk, BA, CFP
Vice President, Financial Education and Employer Services
T. E. Wealth, Calgary
This article was published in T.E. Wealth’s Strategies newsletter, June 2019 edition. Read the full edition here.
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