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Have you planned your financial wellbeing LONG TERM? You really should.

Cheerful Seniors

Where did your wealth come from or where is it sitting today? Is it primarily associated with a business or with pension? If neither of these, is your wealth related to inheritance, fortuitous winnings, or other savings? I’m not asking if your wealth is larger than someone else’s – all that matters is that you want results from it!

“Values” have an astonishing role in your success with money. I don’t mean the value of your money, I mean the inner values we associate with our life and resources. People typically lose the money they win because they didn’t have time to develop core values around that money. People even lose inheritance money because they don’t establish what this wealth meant in the lives of their parents or benefactors, nor what it could signify in their own lives and future. Sometimes people get locked into business lifestyles so deeply they die without ever selling and unlocking the value of their business – or having sold the business, they live in fear of losing or outliving their money.

Pensions come with decisions too, such as what kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy, and whether you want to keep some of the pension as a gift for your grandchildren. Finding such “values” is like finding uranium – this is the power that can open the floodgates of financial wellbeing for life (and beyond).

“Process” is vital as you follow the steps to unlock and align wealth for the life you choose. If you own a business you likely have a few trusted professionals who can help advance the sale or succession of your business. If you fail to use these peoples’ skills, you won’t get the results you want.

Business valuations and strategic preparation to move out of your business will be a team process. Even pension decisions are a process because you should know who the other parties are and what their positions represent for you.

If you’re going to truly align your wealth with the lifestyle, security and freedom you choose, then getting a feel for this process will support how you move forward successfully.

“How not to lose your wealth” is of course the underlying purpose of my work. I refuse to accept that people would just lose their wealth through factors they didn’t understand or through presumed strategies that could never work for them. For this purpose I wrote a book and web-resources to help other advisors, their clients, and yes, even people who don’t have an advisor today. Here are just a few of the rich ideas you can explore in “A Lifetime of Wealth – And How Not to Lose It”.

  • Focus on the lifestyle you choose, and then develop income strategies to enjoy life on your own terms. Otherwise people get trapped in the obvious money choices like keeping it all in bank deposits instead of making the money work effectively. Explore what I mention about “life horizons” and how spending will adjust to changing needs as we age.

  • Be sure to own a certified financial plan. This probably isn’t something you do yourself, but a fee-only or included service where you invest. The plan may say you need to work two years longer than you had hoped, or it may say you could have retired safely years ago! Your written financial plan is the evidence of your security, and a carefully detailed map from today to age 95 or 105, supporting income-for-life plus an estate for your loved ones.

  • Inflation is the silent thief that steals the future if you’re not aware. If you realize inflation is near 3% you may not have considered health inflation is closer to 10%. Securing wealth against such burden of inflation is, very simply, one of the most important things you can do now to avoid eventually becoming dependent on your children.

  • Lack of sustainable “income mandates” will sabotage your wealth and cause you to outlive your money. I’ve seen this in life, and it’s a terrible fate. If people think CPP, OAS, and some term deposits are going to pay them for the rest of their life, such people risk finishing their days in poverty. We can look at a five-fold combination of income streams to maintain the security you choose to age 95, even 105 and beyond.

  • “Estate planning by accident” destroys the wealth of many families. We can choose to maintain strong income and also offer a healthy remainder for loved ones. But many families never engaged in the planning that would maintain or reimburse their wealth and for next generations. Financial planning, trusts, and insurances have ways to unlock such values.

So what is “A Lifetime of Wealth,” and what would it mean to have “Guaranteed Income for Life”? It’s a planning process that can begin with what I’ve shared with you here, and continue in the book and the website. It’s not about guaranteeing a fixed income, but it certainly guarantees that resources can last for life and beyond. I welcome you to explore this further. If you have a trusted advisor certainly share this with your advisor. If you want to do-it-yourself then use the learning modules on the website, and engage directly with the questions in each learning module which will help you gather your thoughts and strategies to secure your wealth and wellbeing for life! •

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Brian Weatherdon, MA, CFP, CLU, CPCA, of Sovereign Wealth Management Inc., can be reached at 905-637-3500, extension 223, or by email to Further educational resources available at and

The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the issuer of any financial products for which the author may act as a distributor.

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