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Preparing For Your Meeting

Meeting with a financial planner is a great step in the right direction, as many Canadians feel helpless about retirement. Industry surveys show that seeking help from a financial planner can be a major boost in confidence and families that work closely with one feel assured when it comes to retiring comfortably. 

Sitting down with a financial planner for the first time can feel intimidating. Being prepared for your first meeting will ease any anxiety you may be feeling. If you’re married, sit down together and discuss your dreams or aspirations you have for retirement — both individual and mutual goals. If you’re single, go through the guide we’ve outlined below and feel free to invite someone you trust to be your sounding board.

Questions to ask yourself before meeting with a financial planner:

What does my retirement look like?
    When do I want to retire?
      • With who?
      • What hobbies, activities, travelling or volunteering would I like to do?
      • Will I continue to work while I’m retired?
    • What will happen to my belongings when I’m gone?
      • Who are my beneficiaries?
      • Is my estate organized for my executor and their tasks?
      • Are my taxes in order with regards to the transition of my assets?
      • Are there any concerns over relationships or differing opinions?
    • Am I ready to do the work now, so that my plan benefits me in the future?
      • I feel ready, but will my financial planner be able to help me put the pieces together?
      • Financial planning is complex, but not complicated.
      • Our financial professionals are experts at turning “chaos into clarity”.

    What should I bring to the first meeting with a financial planner?

    • A list of questions or concerns you may have. All questions are good and don’t leave anything off the table
      • Why are you a financial planner?
      • What are your qualifications and experience?
      • How are you compensated?
      • What is your investment philosophy?
      • How long will you continue working for, and will you be here when we need you?
    • A list of assets and liabilities
      • Investments and/or insurance statements
      • Mortgage and/or debt statements
      • Employer pension and health benefits statements
    • Your monthly budget
      • A clear picture of what money comes in and what goes out.
      • A list of all one-off expenses.
      • It’s OK if your monthly budget isn’t always the same.

    What should I expect from the first meeting with a financial planner?

    • The first meeting is to learn whether you and your financial planner are “aligned”
      • This meeting isn’t a one-way conversation, it’s your opportunity to determine if the financial planner is a good fit for you.
      • Does starting this relationship together make sense?
      • Do you feel comfortable with this person?
    • Don’t expect to begin investing right away
      • Investments are often the result of a greater financial strategy.
      • You should never invest in anything you don’t understand — this is where your financial planner will be able to help you.
    • When you leave your first meeting, you should have a clear understanding of the next steps
      • You can expect to get more tactical in the second and sometimes third meeting.
      • After subsequent meetings, there should be more clarity and less confusion.
        • A clear understanding of where you are financially, where you want to be and how to get there.
      • Expect to have annual check-ins, if not more frequently.