The Elephant in the Room
Recently I sat down to dinner with two of my clients from the LGBT community and had an informal yet frank discussion about what kept them up at night. The number one issue was not money in of itself, but rather their failure, and one partner’s refusal to sit down as a couple and have a discussion about money and their financial future. This is not uncommon regarding many of the LGBT families that I serve every day, and too often the failure to have frank, difficult and uncomfortable conversations about money has destroyed many relationships.
When was the last time you sat down with your partner and discussed your individual and collective goals and your current financial situation? Do you have a solid yet flexible plan in place? Have you reviewed your plan within the past 12 months? Is simply making your “RRSP contribution” every year going to get you there? Should you be investing your money in RRSPs? Do you even know what your RRSP is invested in? What does retirement mean to you, what does it look like?
I like the definition my clients came up with -:
“Retirement is about how we manage the money we have today, to ensure that in the future we can maintain and finance the lifestyle we desire. It is all about our ability to do all the things we currently do and love to do, and then some, even though we are no longer working. It is the process of ensuring that our income doesn’t stop when our employment stops”
Retirement is a process and therefore the actions we take today will determine the quality of our lives tomorrow. If Canadians put 10% of the effort that they put into planning a vacation into planning for their financial future we would significantly reduce the risk of anyone outliving their money, or having families destroyed financially when the unexpected happens.
It is not a difficult or complicated process, it’s a matter of putting in place a plan to pay off debt, minimizing your tax liability (legally), keeping more of your money, having emergency money, and growing your money all at the same time. Debt and taxes are two of the silent killers of many retirement dreams, and unfortunately the destroyers of many families including LGBT families like yours.
Would you like to pay off your debts, minimize your tax liability, keep more of your money, grow your money, have a guarantee that you can never lose your principal, and ensure (especially if you are self employed) that you will have a guaranteed pension for life?
If you answered yes then its time to deflate the elephant in the room. Have that difficult but necessary conversation with your spouse/ partner, and then sit down together with a financial advisor who is passionate about showing you how to pay yourself first, so that money isn’t something you have to worry about.
About the Author
Karl Marshall is President of lgbtinsurance.ca (a division of Marmac Financial Services Limited) and specializes in serving the insurance and financial needs of the LGBT Community. On Saturday nights he hosts The Party Mix on G98.7 FM in Toronto. You may reach him at 416-554-0892, www.lgbtinsurance.ca, @insurance4lgbt on Twitter or on Facebook.