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5 Financial Stages of Life

What’s right for your money now won’t necessarily be so in ten years. Follow these tips, and plan your finances to accommodate life’s changing needs.

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Ages and Stages

As you go through different stages of life, your financial goals will likely change. What’s right when you start working may change as you start a family. What’s good for you at the peak of your career will likely change when you retire. A financial planner or adviser can help you balance what you need to do today to be ready for the years to come.

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Post-Secondary and Early Career Years

You may be getting training, attending college or university, starting a career, or finding a life partner. Spending is often greater than income during this period.

Goals may include:
– Paying for post-secondary education
– Buying a car or home furnishings
– Building savings
– Paying off debt
– Building a good credit history

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Family and Career Building Years

You may be changing jobs to enhance your career, starting a family, or saving for a child‘s education. Income typically rises during these years.

Goals may include:
– Buying a house and life insurance
– Reducing taxes
– Growing savings
– Preparing a will
– Opening a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
– Starting a new business

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The Pre-Retirement Years

Your expenses may start to go down, and savings can really start to build. If you have kids, you may help pay for their education and weddings. You may also help them buy their first home.

Goals may include:
– Paying off a mortgage and other debt
– Reducing taxes
– Growing retirement savings
– Sending kids to college or university
– Starting a new business
– Planning for retirement

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Early Retirement Years

You may want to work less and your health may still be good enough to support an active lifestyle, perhaps with travel, volunteer work, or continued part-time work.

Goals may include:
– Starting a new business
– Turning retirement savings and pensions into income
– Managing taxes
– Managing savings to last
– Making changes to your will and estate

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Later Retirement Years

You may become less mobile, and may need to take care of health problems.

Goals may include:
Optimizing taxes
– Managing savings to last
– Estate planning
– Considering options for assisted living

With all these changes, you may find that you will need new advice or new products to meet your needs and goals. Take these four steps to ensure that you get the right advice at the right time:

– Discuss your changing needs with your adviser, if you have one.
– Ask other people at your stage in life how they handled their finances.
– Find out if advice is available through your workplace.
– Find out what other kinds of advisers there are.

Remember: Your goals will change as you do and so will your financial goals. As changes occur in your life, you should review your financial plan to make sure that it is working for you, and helping you reach your goals. Be sure that you are getting the help you need from your adviser as you need it. If not, move on.