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Facing Up to Finances

Written by Gill Campbell for Synergy Magazine,
June 2004

Root canal or planning our future
– the dentist wins all the time!

Let’s face it, there are some things that we never share with our best friends.  We rarely discuss our income, our savings and our retirement nest egg – though some of us may brag about our RRSP tax refund or the (one!) winner stock that we bought.  In fact many of us do not even share our financial plans, or concerns with our partners, so it is not surprising that “finances” is the leading cause of divorce and separations. 

Perhaps our unwillingness to take on these uncertainties and issues is because we feel that we have so few tools to address them – others set salaries and job security and expenses seem to whirl out of control.

Yes it may be a complex problem, but there are lots of complex problems around us every day and you and I are often a part in finding solutions by taking on the challenges in “bite-sized” pieces. 

We can face up to going to the dentist because we know when he finishes we will have dealt with the problem.  Facing up to your own financial plan means taking your concerns and needs one by one, looking at your options and making some decisions.  Each step is likely to reduce your anxiety, increase your confidence and allow you to focus on the things that matter to you.

Helping you face your financial planning needs

I will be writing a series of articles to appear here on a regular basis.  My aim with this column will be to provoke you to think about the financial issues and opportunities that you, and all of your friends and neighbours face.  The column will try to help you understand your options and how to evaluate them.  It will refer you to sources of additional information.  I hope that this information will help you to get your own thoughts together before you look for professional help or confirmation of your plan.

The issues we all face

Security of income
Budgeting and debt control
Security for the spouse or the kids
Paying for post secondary
Getting the most out of benefits plans
Saving for retirement
Giving to charity
Planning our estate

We all face some or all of these whether we are union hall, executive or business owners.  In this series of articles, I will open discussion around each of these and other sources of concern.  This will provoke you to ask additional questions and I will do my best to pursue solutions to these.  We will not give you an instant financial makeover, but over time we should help you build your confidence and comfort with your finances.

An opportunity to sleep better at night

Many of us have had the experience of going round and round in circles, trying without outside help to come up with a new solution to the same old financial questions.  I hope that by writing a regular column I can offer you something new that can help you wrestle your concerns toward “submission”.  If I can help you take your financial concerns apart and help you focus on your best option for each, I am confident that you will feel more confident in your personal financial plan. 
Just like the necessary trip to the doctor, dentist or car mechanic, maybe with a little help you might be ready to describe your concerns and talk out loud about your personal finances.

Gill and Kayla
Gill and Kayla

Gill Campbell is a certified financial planner and an independent insurance broker.  Please email me with specific areas that you would like me to consider in developing future columns
Gill, Chris and Kayla