With an enhanced team-based approach that provides both local and national industry expertise, Floer Milliken Group provides you with an elevated level of advice and resources.
We provide comprehensive wealth management solutions and based on what is right for your unique needs, we will tailor an approach specific to managing your wealth and achieving your goals.
Whatever your short or long-term financial goals – buying a home, paying for an education, living well in retirement or planning your estate – we will work with you to develop a plan to help get you there.
Owning your own home is an accomplishment that can provide financial security, flexibility and stability. But buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s a good idea to consider all the realities and prepare yourself to make informed decisions.
First, you’ll need to know how much house you can afford while still being able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Exceeding an appropriate amount for house payments can cause financial stress and take money away from other priorities, like building future retirement savings. Keeping your monthly housing costs within what you can reasonably afford can help you avoid this. Also, consider the maximum debt load you can comfortably carry, ensuring that monthly commitments, including your mortgage and all other loans, stay under the recommended guidelines of your gross monthly income.
You will also need to prepare for all the other costs of home ownership. Additional fees for home inspections, appraisals, and legal services add up quickly. On top of that, there are many closing costs to consider, including land title transfer and moving costs, not to mention the ongoing cost of property taxes, utilities and maintenance.
And surely you’ll have questions about the best way to finance your home between a down payment and mortgage, or whether you should take advantage of government programs like the Home Buyers’ Plan. Our mortgage planning specialists will look at your current situation and after determining how much house you can afford, will also help you understand the different payment options and which is right for you.
Being a homeowner is something to be proud of, but it also means investing money, time and energy. So before you decide to buy a home or renovate your existing space, we will make sure you have the right information to make the best choices.
Planning to Retire?
Canadians are living longer than ever before. And while people once anticipated enjoying travel and leisure activities in their retirement years, things have changed. Not only are retirees now able to stay active well into their 80s, but many want to do more with their time – to stay involved and make a difference. That’s why it’s important, even more so now, to plan for your retirement and protect yourself from outliving your savings.
It can be hard to predict how much you’ll need to live in retirement, especially considering you may need an income for 20 years or more. Remember that inflation, even with annual increases of two to three per cent, can whittle away your savings’ purchasing power. Also, the costs of goods and services that affect retirees the most – prescriptions, health care, etc. – often rise more dramatically than conventional “family” living costs. There’s a lot to consider and getting the right financial and investment advice early on can make a difference.
In general, it’s a smart idea to minimize the effect of taxes on your savings as much as possible, using government programs such as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). You’ll want to make your annual RRSP contribution for as long as you can to save tax and, of course, grow your retirement savings.
When the time comes, you’ll need someone knowledgeable to help convert your RRSP and other retirement savings to provide you with regular income. There are many options and we will help you understand them all, advising on the best choice for your situation.
Many of the financial decisions you make as you plan to retire will have far-reaching implications that may be felt, quite literally, for the rest of your life. We can provide the advice you need to make the right choices and live the retirement you want.
Managing Your Own Business
Starting your own company is a challenging and risky business but can also be very rewarding. And while everyone must address retirement, tax minimization and insurance coverage, as a business owner you have unique needs requiring special attention and care.
One of your primary goals while managing your business is likely saving tax. From annual tax filing to complicated tax planning, we will incorporate the latest tax-saving strategies into your plan. We will focus on your current income structure, eligible tax credits, capital gains timing and available investment planning options to improve your long-term financial situation.
It also makes good business sense to protect your greatest assets – your business assets, your employees, a key business partner, your family, yourself and your ability to generate an income for your business. Let us help you understand your needs and build a plan that minimizes your exposure to both business and personal risk.
When it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent, offering a competitive benefits package – group insurance, group RRSP, group TFSA – can give you an advantage. As an entrepreneur, you are continually pulled in multiple directions, so it’s important to have talented and experienced employees you can rely on to help make your business a success.
And finally, no matter when you plan on winding down your involvement in the business, it’s never too early to think about what your income will be once you move on to the next chapter in your life. Now is the time to review your goals and the potential tax-effective choices that will impact your succession plan. We can help you unlock the value in your business, so you can enjoy the retirement you deserve.
Intergenerational Wealth Transfer
The successful transfer of wealth between you and your children begins with a conversation. With the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in Canada approaching, it’s important to be prepared. We can help with that conversation and help you build a sustainable plan.
Your financial well-being is the result of your hard work and discipline. And you will again benefit by taking the same care when planning the transition of your wealth to the next generation.
Our team can help you have a relaxed and constructive family discussion about shared values and goals that will clarify everyone’s needs and improve family communication. While we know that honest family conversations about financial planning can often be difficult, they can enhance the financial well-being of your family and loved ones. (In some families, conversations about money never take place. As a result, beneficiaries are often unaware of their future financial situation until after their father’s or mother’s passing.)
In a relaxed conversation, we will address topics including:
- Taking care of loved ones
- Wills and wishes
- Business succession/transition planning
We invite you to speak with us today about creating a customized tax-efficient strategy to transfer your wealth in a way that reflects your wishes.
Saving for School
You want your children to succeed in life – and it is undeniable that a post-secondary education will help them get there. But, the cost of education is continuing to rise and for students and parents alike, it can be difficult to cover all of the necessary expenses without going into debt.
All in, the average cost for a four-year undergraduate degree is now roughly $80,000, including tuition fees, food, transportation, books, miscellaneous fees and other living expenses. The best plan is to save regularly toward this important goal – it may seem tough to fit into your monthly budget, but it doesn’t have to be. We will put together an education savings strategy, helping you find the money in your budget to invest.
One of the most effective ways to create an education fund is through a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). You can contribute up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000 per child and earnings grow tax-deferred as long as they are in the plan. This plan can also help you take advantage of several government grants, such as the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), that may help maximize your RESP savings.1 Anyone can establish and contribute to an RESP – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even good friends – as long as the total contributions don’t exceed the RESP limits for each future scholar.
You need every advantage you can get when saving to help your children pay for a post-secondary education. And the sooner you start, the more opportunity your children will have to afford the college or university of their choice, follow their dream career, and achieve the earning power they need.
Responding to Career Change
Changes to your career can happen, whether you’re looking to make them or not. Sometimes an opportunity comes your way that you can’t possibly refuse. And other times, your company has offered you an early retirement package or unfortunately downsized, leaving you without an income.
Regardless of why you leave your current job, there are many things you need to consider. If your pension benefits vested before your employment ended, you may be able to collect a reduced pension now or a full pension later. You may also be able to transfer the value to another retirement plan or the pension plan of a new employer. If your pension benefits haven’t vested, you’re entitled to a refund of your contributions. You will need help understanding the tax and other financial implications of each option before making decisions.
You could lose some or all of your benefits when your employment ends. You will have to decide which benefits to replace. If you have dependants, you may need to update your insurance plan to replace group insurance coverage.
If you were laid off and received a severance, keep in mind that the full amount is usually fully taxable in the year you received it. We will help you understand your severance payout and discuss ways to defer tax on some or all of it.
If it takes you a while to find regular employment income again, you could find yourself living on less – possibly a lot less. If you’re taking early retirement, you may have less pension and other retirement income than you had expected – and it will have to last longer. Managing on less isn’t easy. We can help you develop a plan for your new circumstances, helping you manage your day-to-day expenses and save for the future.
Living with Illness and Disability
No one likes to think about life’s "what if" questions. But if you or your loved one is living with a disability, you understand how precious peace of mind can be.
If you’ve recently been in an accident or afflicted with an illness or disability, now is the time to revisit your plans. Whether you are still earning an income or no longer able to, you’ve likely had an increase in your expenses from related costs, including prescriptions, supplies and perhaps even home care. We will help you evaluate your new circumstances and identify opportunities to adjust monthly spending and saving habits to help you stay on track and be prepared for what the future may hold.
Perhaps you’ve been living with a disability for several years. Do you know if you are benefiting from the various medical, disability and caregiver tax credits available to you? We can help you identify opportunities to improve your financial outlook by taking advantage of these credits as well as government-assisted savings programs like the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).1
Finally, if you are watching someone close to you struggle with an illness or disability, you know the emotional and financial toll it can take. And although you can’t guarantee you’ll never have a similar experience, you can protect yourself and your family against unnecessary stress by preparing now. We’ll help you understand the myriad of options and terms available, such as life, disability, critical illness and long-term care, and advise on what would be best for you. After all, planning ahead can help you provide for the people you care about, even if you can’t.
As the Canadian population ages, the need for at-home family caregiving is expected to increase substantially. And while caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, it can also be very challenging, with multiple responsibilities and complex demands on your time, energy and finances.
If you are in a caregiving role, you’re likely experiencing increased physical and emotional stress, and need medical and legal information. You may also find yourself involved in sensitive conversations about a loved one’s physical or mental limitations. We can help make these difficult conversations easier by coming at the topic from a different angle – perhaps by starting a discussion about updating their financial plan or will.
You may also now have financial concerns, especially if you find yourself subsidizing the cost of care. Whether they live with you or have moved into an assisted-living space, the additional cost of caring for a loved one can be difficult to manage if it is not planned for. We will help you review your circumstances and create a revised budget that considers these additional expenses.
And finally, if you haven’t already, we will help you look carefully at your own life and put together a caregiving plan for yourself. It’s best to do this before the need becomes critical, when you have time to talk things over with everyone involved. Establishing a plan gives you the opportunity to express your wishes for housing and long-term care and also helps you prepare financially. Removing many of the unknowns will leave your loved ones feeling less anxious and more confident about their role when the time comes to care for you.
Remember that caregiving is a process – usually beginning with the need for "just a little help now and then" and often escalating as the person’s functional ability declines. It is important to stay on top of your changing situation and make adjustments to the plan as you need.
Dealing with Loss
Whether swift and unexpected or the result of a lengthy illness, the loss of a loved one is a painful experience that can lead to unexpected changes in your life and your finances. Under the stress of uncertainties combined with your grief, you should not make any substantial, irrevocable decisions until you feel emotionally able.
Meanwhile, a number of details cannot be put off, such as funeral plans and settling the estate. We can help make these difficult times easier by looking at your financial situation and developing a plan to help you cover immediate costs.
Work with your lawyer to fully understand your responsibilities after your loved one’s passing. If you find that you are the person named to take care of details in the will, you will need to handle important tasks like making certified copies of the death certificate and providing them to financial institutions. If your loved one was retired and receiving a pension, you must notify the pension plan administrator. Final tax returns are best left to experts like tax accountants, who have the specialized knowledge to find opportunities to reduce or defer taxes.
If your loss impacts your financial future, such as how the loss of a spouse would, you’ll need help reviewing your living expenses, any assets you’ve inherited and those you already had. If you have young children, for example, you may need daycare or domestic help, so expenses may increase while income drops. We can help you get a clear picture of your financial situation and develop a longer-term plan for your future.
And finally, you should make sure your own affairs are in order. Let us help you review or establish your own will, powers of attorney, investments and life insurance policies to ensure your family has peace of mind if you are ever confronted with unforeseen circumstances