So fresh and so clean, clean.

April 04, 2014 | Dian Chaaban


It’s the Jays home opener today and that officially marks spring for many of us. After a dreadfully long winter, spring is undoubtedly in the air and what better time to talk about spring cleaning – for both your home and your finances.

One quick Google search later and I found a well laid our Spring-Cleaning Checklist put together by none other than Martha Stewart herself. Strangely enough, it draws many parallels to my Financial To-Do list:

1. Wipe the Walls and Ceilings
Ya, those things you never think about and walk past everyday maybe thinking every now and again, “I should scrub that spot”. I bet you think about your Will and POA just as often. Make sure your Will and Power of Attorney are up to date before you get the ladder out.

2. Reseal Grout Lines
This is a proactive maintenance exercise which may not have an immediate impact on the value of your home but if avoided, could have far reaching implications on your walls, floors, countertops and plumbing. Same thing goes for insurance. Having it won’t make a difference to your wealth today but you’ll be glad you had it one day, trust me. Ensure you have adequate life and living benefits insurance – because when you need it, it’s already too late.

3. Clean out your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator
You’ll find some pretty interesting things I bet – do you really need 38 cans of tuna and 5 different types of salad dressing? Same goes for your portfolio. If you have more than one advisor, take the time to compare your portfolios to make sure you don’t own the same stock 7 times. Comb through your portfolios to trim positions back to your determined asset allocation and sell that stock you secretly hate for never recovering to find growth in new areas.

4. Dust Books and Shelves
Dust accumulates on the things we don’t use often and looks awful. When was the last time made sure that you had beneficiaries in place where you could and that these beneficiary designations are in fact in-line with your wishes? As our lives progress, our dusty paperwork may not be keeping pace.

5. Purge!
Donate that blazer that doesn’t fit you anymore (along with those pants) and anything you haven’t worn in the past 6 months. Go through your closets, drawers, etc and do it because you’ll be donating them to someone who will wear them. While you’re being all philanthropic, a great way to take your charitable giving to the next level is by creating a charitable foundation. Donating shares is also a great way to give back, while being tax efficient.

6. Ensure Fire Safety
Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans. While you’re at it, complete the Family Inventory and tell your family about where you’ve stored it. The Family Inventory is a first step in developing an estate plan and can help ensure that all of your assets are accounted for and considered - an invaluable resource to surviving heirs, executors and trustees as an estate is settled. If you want one, just ask.

7. Split the Work
Turn on some tunes and get the entire family involved – it’s no fun doing it all yourself anyway. Splitting the work is my only segway into income-splitting. If you don’t have any income-splitting strategies in place, we need to talk about saving you taxes.

Enjoy the weekend.


Dian Chaaban

Investment & Wealth Advisor

Chaaban Wealth Management Group