Comprehensive Financial Planning: Matching your Personal Goals with your Financial Objectives

Traditional financial plans tend to focus specifically on investments, cash flow planning and budgeting. While these are crucial components of  financial planning, they certainly do not cover everything.

Here are five important aspects that you may not typically associate with your financial plan:

  1.  Tax planning – tax is one of the largest and most predictable costs for the average Canadian. Are you paying more tax than you need to? A comprehensive financial plan will look at ways to minimize tax and spread taxable income over your lifetime in order to keep within a consistent marginal tax bracket as much as possible.
  2. Risk management – what happens if something happens to the main income earner in the household? A comprehensive financial plan will look at your insurance needs and in the case of corporations, the agreement between shareholders in the case of a main shareholder’s death or disability.
  3. Estate planning – as much as no one likes to think about their own demise, it is guaranteed to happen. Who do you want to leave your money and possessions to? A comprehensive financial plan will help you think through these questions and the tax implications of death.
  4. Legacy planning – what are your personal goals and vision for your life? How do you want to be remembered? A comprehensive financial plan is one that is based on your priorities and goals and is adaptable if circumstances change.
  5. Business succession planning – if you have a business, will you sell it, wind it up, or pass it to family? What is the most tax effective way to do it? A comprehensive financial plan will anticipate the sale of the business and discuss the possible corporate structure with you and your trusted advisors for the best transition possible.

A financial plan isn’t really your financial plan unless it is aligned with your personal, family, and legacy goals. What does your plan look like? Does it address taxes, risk, the implications to your estate, your business succession, and your legacy? Our approach goes beyond financial projections, aligning value with values. If you are interested in a comprehensive financial plan, or have any questions, feel free to contact any of ZLC’s integrated financial planning specialists to discuss your needs and potential planning opportunities.

Article by Vilayphone (Violet) Smith

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