It seems like just yesterday that we first started hearing about the COVID 19-virus, and now it’s been almost a year of uncertainty with only a blurry horizon in the future. What that horizon will look like, or when we will reach it, is still unknown but the hope is that we get there soon…and that we can hold our loved ones tight again!

As we all know, life can change in an instant leaving our best-laid plans torn to pieces. However, it is critically important to pick up the pieces and find the new course we are to take so that despite the interruption, we can get to where we want to be. As a Certified Financial Planner with Wiegers Financial & Benefits for almost seven years, I have experienced with every client some kind of change in their lives and ultimately their financial goals. Given that life is not stagnant, it’s critically important that your plan and goals change with it to keep up.

What kind of life changes can impact your financial plan? Any number of things can change your goals but some of the most common changes are those concerning:
• Job and pension
• Income
• Marital status
• Dependents (children or elderly parents)
• Real assets (e.g. primary residence or rental properties)
• Other investments
• Insurance policies

For instance, if you changed jobs due to COVID-19 or something else, your pension might have changed too, which will impact your projected retirement income. Without advising your advisor and potentially modifying your plan accordingly, you might find yourself behind, or ahead, of your retirement goals.

As another example, a change in your marital status or in how many dependents you have and who they are could make your beneficiary designations outdated. The last thing you likely want is for your insurance benefit to be paid to people you no longer want to receive it, or for any loved ones – including children – to be left out (and potentially taking the issue to court in an attempt to get it sorted out in their favour). Given that the solution to avoiding this kind of upset is a simple beneficiary change, it makes a world of sense to ensure that you regularly review your beneficiary designations to ensure that they remain current with your plans and wishes.

Life changes; so should your financial plan. If you have any questions or wish to review your financial plan, please speak with your financial advisor.

Kim Chicoine, CFP, B.Comm.
Insurance Representative, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.
Financial Planner, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.