If you are like me, you don’t really want someone to tell you how to run your life. I have ideas that I want to pursue, a lifestyle I want to live, and I don’t care much for the TV Doctors who preach good living when it is not reality.
You read in my previous articles I have suggested looking for someone or some company to offer support for what you are doing and to consider advice and planning as an important part of life. I am not trying to preach but simply trying to impart wisdom that I have learned, sometimes the hard way, for you to get the most out of life.
Why planning? Why not? In life we do not sit back and idle while it passes us by. Whether it is raising a family, growing a career or a business, or looking towards retirement we should have a plan of what we want, and how we want to get there.
Planning is an essential part of life. Getting to school, to work, to the gym, any everyday activity requires planning. It is inherent in all of us, we take it for granted, but with a few simple tasks we can make a life plan that works for us and does not cramp our style.
We hear today of the impending debt crisis in Canada. How will it affect you? If debt is a worry, do not ignore it, but make a plan to deal with your debt. It may mean making a hard choice, changing some of our habits that may lead to pitfalls, but solutions are there. And do not forget patience. A thousand mile journey begins with one step. Dealing with a debt crisis is no different. Plan, small steps, commitment and monitoring will get you there.
It is said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While we handle the tax side, for some of us, the death side should involve some planning. We ask our clients “do you want to have your money run out when you do, or do you want to leave a legacy for your family?” Planning for retirement begins when you start working… a little bit at a time.
Planning for your estate begins when you have someone more to care for after your life ends. At an early stage in adulthood, when spouses and children are prevalent and require support should you not survive, there should be a plan for insurance and “what if?” It does not have to be too complicated but should be addressed. You owe it to your loved ones.
Estate planning is something we need to consider also. One should never rule from the grave, nor should best intentions be way laid by poor planning. We have seen too many families broken at a time when they should be coming together in a time of sorrow because of poor planning. You need an Executor to manage you will, and this can be difficult. One service we recently began with our firm is Estate management services. We will work with you to make sure your will is up to date, and in proper order and then work with your executor to assist them through troubling times and ensure that your estate is handled as per your wishes and onside with the laws and tax authorities. Don’t let a family member or close friend become alienated because of poor estate planning. The cost of an ounce of prevention is far less than the cost of a pound of cure.
Planning is an exercise. Like any exercise it must be done regularly, properly and within your personal constrains. We can help you with this.
Harold Johnson, CPA, CA