Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Ultimate Checklist

If you have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis, you are generally given a Vehicle Inspection Report.  The report has three separate categories highlighted in distinct colours. When the vehicle’s systems and components are checked, the appropriate colour receives either a “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down”.  

Checked and Okay at this time
May require future attention
Requires immediate attention

We would never drive a vehicle that was not road-worthy for two reasons.

          1. We might never reach any of our destinations because the vehicle would simply quit working.

          2. We could potentially be injured or killed if we chose to ignore any maintenance required to our tires and brakes.

Here’s the dilemma.

Without regular check-ups and the proper maintenance, our vehicles can create frustration and grief for us. So what happens when we don’t regularly review our financial goals and check our current financial status? How do we know whether our systems are running up to speed? In other words, how do we know whether we are efficiently meeting our financial goals?

Financial Planning Standards Council created a publication called “Get More Out of Life”.     To begin my client conversations, I refer to FPSC’s checklist to gain a better understanding of my clients’ feelings. 

Scrutinizing the nine questions below allows us to conduct an inspection test.  Each question can be assigned a distinct colour to determine whether everything is okay at this time or requires future or immediate attention. If you are far away from having many “Green” thumbs-up, you might consider a service package, a comprehensive financial plan, to gain peace of mind and confidence about achieving your life goals.    

Do you feel…

q    In control of your finances?
q    Prepared for a financial emergency?
q    That you have sufficient discretionary income to lead the life you want?
q    The people you care about would be financially looked after if something were to happen to you?
q    Able to retire in your desired lifestyle?
q    You will be able to pass along your wealth in a tax effective way?
q    There is enough money to pay for post-secondary education for your children?
q    Your goals and aspirations are achievable?
q    You have peace of mind?

Since we are in the Christmas season of creating lists, this list is worth putting in our stockings as we approach the New Year.  If we wish to begin the New Year on the right foot, then we could use some help identifying where we need help.  Reviewing our list is a great start.  

Merry Christmas!

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