A widow and her friend are at a funeral watching the casket get lowered into the ground. Just before the casket is lowered into the ground the widow puts an envelope on the casket. After the services the friend asks “Sorry to pry but what was in the envelope?” “Well,” says the widow, “his last request was to be buried with all his money. So I wrote him a cheque - he can cash it when he gets there!”
To be clear, I am not suggesting that you simply spend all your money. Rather, I believe that by working together, we can help ensure you get maximum value out of your money, so that each dollar gives you full impact on the things that are truly important to you. If you knew that next Thursday was your last day, I suspect you would spend as much as you could on completing your bucket list items and then on Wednesday night, write cheques to your family and favorite charities, leaving no money unnecessarily wasted or taxed.
So now the big question: have you got a plan that helps you get the maximum bang for your buck? If you have, good for you. If you haven’t, then here are the first steps:
Figure out what makes you happy
Do you get the most enjoyment out of travel? Do you want to help a grandchild through college? What about that charity struggling to keep its doors open? There is no right answer to this question as this is what’s important to YOU! Not your kids, not your neighbour, not your accountant. Figure it out and focus on those items.
Get a plan
A financial plan doesn’t need to be complicated but should ensure you will have enough funds to live comfortably for the rest of your life no matter how long that may be.
Get a Will
This helps ensure the money you are gifting goes where you want it to. Get a professionally drawn up Will, not a $24.95 special from the internet. There’s no point saving $2,000 on drafting a Will just for your heirs to end up spending $20,000 on lawyers sorting things out after you are gone.
Review it – things have changed!!
The number of people I meet with a plan and a will who say “Yes, I have both of those and we reviewed them during the 2010 Winter Olympics.” If your financial plan or Will hasn’t been reviewed in the last five years, then it’s time to see if they continue to be relevant regarding your current and future needs.
Finally, be conservative
On the one hand, you can’t take it with you, and you want to check those items off your bucket list. But on the other hand, you don’t want to make sure you don’t outlive your money. And you may live longer than you think. Ninety-nine per cent of the 65-year-old clients I meet say “I am not going to live to 90, are you crazy!” However, this doesn’t jive with the large number of 90+ year old clients that I work with. All are still enjoying life to the fullest!
With all this done, sit back and enjoy life.
And if you want to review your financial plan, or if you have any questions, click here and we will be happy to get back to you.