It feels like time has turned upside down during the pandemic. Working from home has disrupted our schedules, and the intense news cycle has us living our lives one day at a time. It’s hard to believe how much and how quickly things have changed since Canada went into lockdown only about six weeks ago.
Amid this uncertainty, it is no surprise that many people have adopted a short-term mindset. Yet it is precisely during times of day-to-day volatility that sticking with long-term strategies helps us avoid costly mistakes.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll be publishing a series of Back to Basics blog posts highlighting how focusing on financial planning fundamentals can help you stay on course toward your long-term goals during these uncertain times. In this first article of the series, we look at the big picture of what going back to basics means.
Proactive, not reactive
Sound financial planning is first and foremost proactive, not reactive.
If a major event such as the loss of a job disrupts your life, then of course it might significantly impact your finances and require you to take action. However, if your financial plan has prepared for such a contingency – for example, with an emergency fund to cover six months of living costs – you are less likely to be forced into costly decisions that are not in your long-term interest.
The booming stock markets in recent years lulled many of us into complacency, thinking only of the upside. The pandemic has brought those days to an abrupt end. It has also served as a reminder of the importance of proactively protecting our financial well-being with fundamentals such as diversification, insurance and long-term investing.
Different needs, different strategies
Our financial needs vary depending on our age, career stage, family situation and personal circumstances. Everyone is unique, so financial planning needs to be tailored to individual requirements.
This means that financial planning fundamentals should be customized to align strategically with your personal needs. For example:
- Alex is 28, living and working in downtown Toronto, and saving up to buy his first condo. For Alex, financial planning fundamentals include putting in place a clear, simple plan aimed at growing his assets.
- Eve is 42, has a thriving legal career and is concerned about saving enough for retirement. For Eve, financial planning fundamentals include safely investing for the future while freeing up more time to enjoy with her family.
- Mike is 48, runs a profitable consulting firm and worries that his finances are not optimized. For Mike, financial planning fundamentals include identifying tax-efficient structures that will see more money staying in his pocket.
- Alice is 67, loving retirement and eager to know that her money will not run out. For Alice, financial planning fundamentals include putting in place a plan for wealth preservation so she can enjoy peace of mind in her golden years.
Over the next four weeks, we’ll continue this Back to Basics series with a closer look at each of these four profiles.
We got this
The pandemic offers a powerful reminder of the value of going back to basics. Financial planning doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it should be thoughtful, strategic and focused on the long term.
If the recent upheaval has you worried that you’ve missed your chance, don’t worry: it is never too late to embrace the fundamentals to stay on course toward your long-term goals.
If you’d like to discuss your situation and find out how Rubach Wealth can help, contact us at 647-349-7070. Together, we got this.