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Financial Planning

Financial Planning

Financial Planning Resources

Our Financial Planning Process

Would you like to better understand the path to take to accomplish your goals and dreams? That’s really what financial planning is all about. It’s a process that empowers you to see where you are today financially and realize what you want to achieve over the long-term. Partnering with us will help you get there.

As we work through the process with you, we always consider your unique needs and stages of life so we can plan your future financial direction. Our unique total-picture approach sets us apart from other financial planners.

We believe it’s essential to review your plan annually with you and update it, if necessary, especially when a major life event occurs, such as a birth of a child or retirement. This will ensure we continue to meet your needs and goals. Remember, your needs define your plan – not vice versa!

Our Financial Planning Process

Step 1. Understand Your Needs & Determine Your Goals

  • Analyze and get a clear sense of your current financial resources and obligations (cash flow, net worth, tax projections, etc.) through interviews or questionnaires
  • Understand your values, preferences, financial outlook and desired results
  • Determine your personal and financial goals, needs and priorities
  • Discuss the scope of our professional relationship with you
  • Explain the services we will provide and the process of planning and documentation
  • Clarify our responsibilities as your advisor
  • Agree on how decisions will be made
  • Identify any challenging areas and opportunities

Step 2. Develop Your Financial Plan

Every financial plan we develop is personalized to meet your unique goals and financial needs. As part of this process, we:

  • Tailor the plan to align with your objectives, values, and risk tolerance, while providing projections and recommendations
  • We then present the plan to you and map out a review process

Step 3. Implement Your Financial Plan

Now we’re ready to put the plan into action together with you! To implement successfully, KLS / Manulife Securities Incorporated will:

  • Review the recommendations we discussed
  • Implement the plan. This may involve contacting other professionals such as investment funds sales representatives, accountants, insurance agents and lawyers.

Step 4. Monitor Your Financial Plan

Keeping your portfolio on track is an ongoing practice we follow with great care and professional analysis. This is pivotal to ensure you are progressing toward your goals. To monitor fully and effectively, we do the following:

  • Contact you to review the progress of the plan and make adjustments, if necessary
  • Review your life circumstances and refine or adjust the plan in accordance with the full picture of your situation
  • If there are any changes to tax laws or your economic position, we will review and evaluate this impact and make recommendations

Business Owners

As a small business owner or professional, you face many challenges not only in the day-to-day management of your business, but in ensuring its long-term viability. Most of us, however, spend more time managing the day-to-day than planning for the long-term. To ensure your business is successful, some of the concerns you need to address are listed below:

  • loss of an owner
  • loss of a key person
  • attracting employees/executives
  • retaining employees/executives
  • using the business to support retirement income
  • business investment income taxes
  • covering capital gains tax liabilities

We help solve these problems.

Running a successful company and implementing safeguards to ensure its continuity costs money, but to survive in today’s competitive economy, small business owners must manage these costs carefully.

Making business and personal financial decisions that are tax-effective can help small business owners free up funds to support growth or other business objectives.

Manulife Securities Incorporated offers product solutions that can help small business owners meet their objectives in a cost-effective manner.

Group Benefits

  • Quickstart is a cost-effective basic employee benefits program that allows small business owners to deliver a solid benefits plan for employees at a cost that’s manageable and sustainable.
  • AlphaPlus is designed with comprehensive options to allow small business owners to design a program that manages their costs effectively with the flexibility to grow as their business prospers.

Group RRSP

A group retirement plan is an easy, cost effective way for small business owners to offer another appealing benefit to their employees. Manulife Securities Incorporated’s structured Group Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is ideal for businesses with 25 employees or more and offers the same competitive features typically reserved for a large employer’s plan. Manulife Securities Incorporated’s RRSP helps small business owners deliver a convenient option to encourage employees to save for retirement.

Banking

  • Manulife Securities Incorporated Bank’s Business Advantage Account is a high-interest, low-fee investment account that makes your client’s excess business cash work harder by offering a premium interest rate on every dollar deposited.
  • A $US Business Advantage Account is also available.
  • Manulife Securities Incorporated Bank’s personal Advantage Account is a high-interest, low-fee account that can be used as a primary personal bank account or as a secondary investment account.

Tired of traditional banking? Manulife Securities Incorporated Bank offers an account that can help you take control of your daily finances and could save you thousands.

Tax and Estate

Things to know about tax and estate planning:

  1. No matter your net worth, it’s important to have a basic estate plan in place. Such a plan ensures that your family and financial goals are met after you die.
  2. An estate plan has several elements. They include: a will; assignment of power of attorney; and a living will or health-care proxy (medical power of attorney). For some people, a trust may also make sense. When putting together a plan, you must be mindful of both federal and provincial laws governing estates.
  3. Taking inventory of your assets is a good place to start. Your assets include your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, and real estate or business interests. Ask yourself three questions: Whom do you want to inherit your assets? Whom do you want handling your financial affairs if you’re ever incapacitated? Whom do you want making medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself?
  4. Everybody needs a will. A will tells the world exactly where you want your assets distributed when you die. It’s also the best place to name guardians for your children. Dying without a will – also known as dying “intestate” – can be costly to your heirs and leaves you no say over who gets your assets. Even if you have a trust, you still need a will to take care of any holdings outside of that trust when you die.
  5. Trusts aren’t just for the wealthy. Trusts are legal mechanisms that let you put conditions on how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. They also allow you to reduce your estate and gift taxes and to distribute assets to your heirs without the cost, delay and publicity of probate court, which administers wills. Some also offer greater protection of your assets from creditors and lawsuits.
  6. Discussing your estate plans with your heirs may prevent disputes or confusion. Inheritance can be a loaded issue. By being clear about your intentions, you help dispel potential conflicts after you’re gone.
  7. There are ways to give charitable gifts that keep on giving. If you donate to a charitable gift fund or community foundation, your investment grows tax-free and you can select the charities to which contributions are given both before and after you die.

Self Employed

Running your own business whether with 100 employees or just as a sole-proprietor is full of both challenge and reward. You are part of the more than 2 million Canadians that are self-employed. Like most self-employed individuals you are an expert at what you do, and you spend your time and energy in your business and serving your customers.

Having said that, self-employed people often face the largest financial risks:

  1. If you are hurt or sick what will happen to your business? Do you have a contingency plan?
  2. How will you replace your income in the case of accident or sickness?
  3. What percentage of your family income is dependent on the success of your business?
  4. Are you properly planning for your personal wealth?
  5. Are you properly planning for the sale & transition of your business, and ultimately a stress free retirement?
  6. Are you planning for retirement, or semi-retirement, for when your business no longer produces an income for you?
  7. Have you considered creditor proofing your personal finances due to higher liability risk of owning a business?

Self-employed people are often the busiest people and most likely to neglect these critical issues. Fortunately we can help.

Contingency Plan

Having a Contingency Plan in place is vitally important to any business in which the owner plays an active role. Without a well thought-out game plan, the consequences to key stakeholders (family, clients and estate) in the business are dire.

The impact of your sudden and unexpected departure from the business due to death, disability or extended leave of absence from the business can be disastrous. As a professional, it’s your responsibility to make every attempt possible to ensure a plan is in place to protect everyone’s interest.

The objective of a Contingency Plan is to make sure your heirs know what you would like them to do with the business in the event you can’t do it yourself. It can involve negotiating something as simple as a letter of understanding or the drafting of a legally binding buy & sell agreement funded with life insurance. Whatever approach you choose, the main objective is to make sure there is a plan to follow if a triggering event occurs.

It’s also imperative in this process that you communicate the details of your plan with your executor or legal representative and include a copy with your estate documents.

Buy and Sell Agreements

A buy-sell agreement may be thought of as a sort of “premarital agreement” or “business will” between business partners/shareholders. An insured buy-sell agreement (agreement funded with life insurance on the participating owner’s lives) is often recommended by business succession specialists and financial planners to ensure the buy-sell arrangement is well-funded and also to guarantee there will be money when the buy-sell event is triggered.

In the sale of a business, a buy-sell clause (or Shotgun clause) preserves continuity of ownership in the business and ensures that everyone is fairly treated, the buyer as well as the seller. It is a binding contract between business partners or shareholders about the future ownership of the business. A buy-sell agreement is made up of several legally binding clauses in a business partnership or operating agreement (or it can be a separate agreement that stands on its own) that can control the following business decisions:

  • Who can buy a departing partner’s or shareholder’s share of the business (this may include outsiders or be limited to other partners/shareholders);
  • What events will trigger a buyout, (the most common events that trigger a buyout are: death, disability, retirement, or an owner leaving the company) and;
  • What price will be paid for a partner’s or shareholder’s interest in the partnership and so on.

Buy-sell agreement can be in the form of a cross-purchase plan or a repurchase (entity or stock-redemption) plan. For greater neutrality and effectiveness of the buy-sell arrangement, the service of a corporate trustee is recommended.