Our Mission

We believe that you need the tools to create financial success on your own terms.

Conflict-free financial planning equips you to make educated decisions about your future with the information available to you today.

Our Mission

We believe that you need the tools to create financial success on your own terms.

Conflict-free financial planning equips you to make educated decisions about your future with the information available to you today.

Julia Chung, CFP, CLU, FEA

Julia Chung, CFP, CLU, FEA

Partner, Sr. Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Retirement Planning, Private/Family Business, Cross-Border Planning

Sandi Martin

Sandi Martin

Partner, Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Retirement Readiness and Income Planning, Portfolio Reviews, and Cash Flow and Goal Planning.

 

Connect with the team on social media

What We Do at Spring

We believe that you need the tools to create financial success on your own terms…whatever they may be. Although our process is the same with every client, the outcomes are always delightfully different, and as unique as the people we have the privilege to work with every day.

Your values are the driving force behind any recommendations we make.

We want our recommendations to our clients to be influenced only by what’s in your best interest, and never by the potential for referral fees or third-party compensation.

We don’t sell products , accept commissions, pay or receive referral fees, or earn affiliate income.

We sincerely believe that financial planning – done well – can benefit everyone, and are actively invested in mentoring and developing new financial planners.

We’ve been running a practice management peer-mentoring group since early 2016…it’s how we met, in fact!

  • Comprehensive Financial Planning
  • Retirement Income Planning
  • Cross-Border Planning
  • Family/Private Business Planning
  • Portfolio and Cash Flow Audits

Our Process

Discovery

More than just document collection, we want to understand your personality, values, and strengths so our work together is productive and valuable.

Analysis

We roll up our sleeves and dig in, putting our expertise to work in testing our assumptions and developing concrete recommendations for you to follow.

Implementation

Your plan is only the beginning. We’re here to help implement your action list and adjust your plan as life unfolds.

What are your fees, and how do you calculate them?

We charge for our services based on the amount of time required and complexity of the planning – much in the same way that accountants do. Unlike tax returns however, no two plans are the same, because everyone has different questions and different service needs. Since the plan is customized to the individuals involved, the pricing is as well.

Planning costs can range from $3,000 to $15,000. A $3,000 plan would be for a client who is a Canadian citizen and resident with only Canadian assets, a standard employment situation (no corporations, holding companies, family enterprises), and a focus on retirement. Complexity increases as you add in dual citizenship, multi-jurisdictional assets, requests for multiple planning scenarios, multi-generational wealth planning, succession planning, legacy planning and so on.

What services do you offer?

Our standard process looks like this:

  • Discovery Meeting
  • Proposal
  • Engagement
  • Data Gathering
  • Foundation Meeting (to review data and confirm scenarios)
  • Plan Presentation
  • Check in meetings/calls at 6 months and 12 months
  • Open door for email and telephone queries for 1 year

We offer assistance with:

  • Cash flow planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Planning for U.S. citizens who are resident in Canada
  • Planning for individuals who own corporations and family trusts
  • Planning for individuals with disabled family members
  • Pension planning (including the interaction between Social Security and Canada Pension Plan)
  • Tax planning (not to the point that we complete your tax returns or implement specific planning strategies, but to the point that we plan your retirement/estate around tax concerns)
  • Estate Planning
  • Insurance Planning
  • Post-Secondary Education Planning

We don’t manage investments or offer specific investment advice. Canadian regulations requires that, in order to provide specific investment advice, you must be registered as an investment advisor – and therefore, manage investments. We can tell you what your goal rate of return is, advise on the dollar amount to allocate to specific types of accounts and when to draw from them, review the accounts you have, and point you in the direction of investment managers who we like and think would be a good fit. We do not accept referral fees or commissions.

What is your experience in cross-border US/Canada financial planning and tax differences?

Julia has been working with individuals with cross border US/Canada concerns for over 6 years. This work began when she was partnered with a Fraser Valley accounting firm that specialized in tax planning for private corporations and cross border individuals. She worked directly with the U.S. Tax Specialist for several years, and has a very clear understanding of where her work ends and an accountant’s work begins.

She has taken multiple courses in U.S. tax and estate planning, generally with CPA BC, and regularly work with clients with these specific concerns. She continues to work in partnership with cross border tax and legal advisors, as it must be a team effort in order to be successful.

What We’re Writing

The Family Cottage

One of the great joys of summer for many Canadian families is a family cottage, cabin, or camp. No matter what name you may give the place where your clan gets together to enjoy the outdoors and each other, it’s often an important part of who you are, and how your...

Price Shock: The Sting of Moving Abroad

Imagine being asked to do your job in an exotic city in a far flung country… Julia gives BBC Capital her planning tips.

A Little Discouragement To Start You On Your Way. You’re Welcome.

The point: Learning to live on a budget is hard. Pretending it's not is stupid, and counter-productive, and will eventually end up being the reason you quit. Let’s talk about the most important part of personal finance: debt repayment investing budgeting. I’ll wait...

Dear Everyone, Mutual Funds Are Boring. Please Go Buy Some.

Mutual funds are profoundly boring, although their ETF cousins have been known to be a little saucy. As an investor, you probably have a vague feeling that by buying mutual funds, you're performing the financial equivalent of buying a pink tract home and driving the...

Julia Chung at PowHerTalks Victoria June 18th

We’re proud to announce that Julia Chung has been selected to speak at the upcoming PowHerTalks Victoria on June 18th! We invite you to join us at this powerful event.

Women & Money ebook

On March 8, 2016, we released the Women & Money ebook in honour of International Women’s Day. It’s still relevant, and still free.

The Budgeting Resource Everyone Has (And Nobody Uses)

Does this sound familiar? You've read a book or a blog series or watched a show about budgeting and getting your money under control. You're all fired up, ready to really get it together, and get to work on that budget. The first few lines are easy: Monthly net...

Violating the Foundational Tenets of Personal Finance for Fun and Profit

The point: There's no universal equation into which you can plug your details and receive a perfectly optimized solution to all your personal finance questions.     I still pay bank fees. (Hear that? That's the sound of ten thousand personal finance bloggers picking...

How Your Advisor’s Bad Investing Behaviour Costs You

The point: Yes, your own bad investing behaviour costs you, but your advisor's bad investing behaviour has the potential to cost you a lot more. First off: I'm not a portfolio manager or an investment advisor (or adviser, for what it's worth). I was a registered...

Avoiding the Useless Retirement Plan, Step One

The point: A realistic retirement plan doesn't start with a number and work backwards; it starts with the question "why?" Quick, go to the personal finance section of you newspaper or feed reader and count how many articles and posts from last week start with the...

UPDATED: How (and Why) to Choose Between NestWealth, Wealthsimple, WealthBar, ShareOwner, and Steadyhand

Each online investment management company has a slightly different fee structure and value proposition. Calculating their relative cost for your circumstances will let you compare their relative value depending on the kind of service you want to pay for. (Includes a link to the Canadian Online Investment Advisor Fee Calculator.)

Profiting from Real Estate

Planning on earning a fortune in the real estate market? Read this first. 

Planning for Retirement: Uncertainty is Certain, so Pick Your Poison

If you're planning for retirement and make the mistake of scrolling through any finance section in a slow news week, you have to ask yourself: what kind of questions are they asking to produce breathless headlines like these? Half of Canadians don't think they'll be...

What’s Sandi reading?

Sandi Martin reads a lot – and she tells everyone which ones were the best every month.  Starting in January, we will be sending you her reading list directly (if you’ve signed up for our email newsletter).  In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek:

Another List: The Best Personal Finance Posts This Week

The point: Last week, I started adding the best Canadian personal finance posts I read to a weekly list. Great idea, since whether I share something to Google+, Facebook, or Twitter is largely dependent on where I happen to be sitting at the time, and adding posts to...

How to Get the Best Discount on Your Mortgage

The point of this post: do the work to understand how the mortgage lending system works so you can save the most money. If you want to get the very best interest rate (read: lowest bottom line price) on your mortgage, you need to know how to see yourself the way the...

Rainbows and Unicorns: What lenders really mean when they say “affordable”)

The point of this post: it's your job as the borrower to figure out if you can actually afford the mortgage the bank says you can. When you think about how much money you make, do you use made up numbers or real ones? If you think that's a strange question, then...

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers: Avoiding the Useless Retirement Plan, Step Two

The point: You can't plan where you're going until you know where you want to go and where you're starting from. Do you know what you want out of life? If that sounds like a surprisingly navel-focused question coming from a financial planner, it's only because - dare...

Effective Retirement Planning is About Spending, Not Saving

The point: planning for your retirement isn't just about your investments, although you can be forgiven for thinking it is. It involves exactly the same activities as planning for tomorrow, next week, and next month: active budgeting, debt elimination, robust savings,...

Take Their Business… Please

“We’ll be there between 10 and 2 on Tuesday.”

This is not a utility company, which generally has customers at their mercy due to a bureaucratic structure that has legislated monopolies. This is a furniture company – a “high end” one at that. A private business that, just like any other business, needs its customers.

What I Want for You in 2017

What I dearly want for you this year is structure. (Just what you'd expect from an introverted money nerd who once answered "spreadsheets" when asked to name one thing that made her happy to her son's kindergarten circle, am I right?) Listen, when you hear "structure"...

You’re Just Not That Interested In Cars

The point of this post: It makes sense to hire a professional for an essential job you can't make time to do yourself. Do you take your car to a mechanic? You're smart. Presumably you can read. Why are you paying someone else to do work that you could - with a little...

October’s Great Reads

A real short list this month since we’re all still figuring out how this back to school stuff works (are those of you with kids surprised every year? I’m surprised Every. Single. Year.). You have to check out the top three, but if you have time for more there’s a...

New Love: A Retirement Dream – or Nightmare?

You’ve found true love in your 60s.  It might be a dream come true, but there’s far more to consider than just companionship. BBC Capital interviewed Julia Chung from Spring Financial Planning for her tips on starting successfully.

In the Trenches: Living With Your Financial Plan and Avoiding Budget Fatigue

The point of this post: living on a budget is (most of the time) tedious and hard. Reward yourself and remember why you're doing it to make it seem less so. If you are in the first, exciting stages of setting up your financial plan, organizing your money, and living...

10 Signs You’re Not Ready to Retire

Have you been retirement planning, but now you’re not sure if you’re ready to retire? The Motley Fool notes 10 signs you’re not ready, and Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning weighs in on #6 and #8.

On Bank Hating Skepticism (Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot)

The point of this post: treat the people you're dealing with like people to reduce the chances of getting screwed by a faceless institution. Also because it's the right thing to do. I'm going to warn you: all this talk about skepticism is going to sound a bit rich...

February 11th: Living & Investing In the Trudeau Era

Join us for a free evening of cocktails, dinner, and insight on February 11th. RSVP today! tycuda@3macs.com 

VIDEO SERIES: Carrick Talks Money

I had a chance to meet with Rob Carrick at the Globe and Mail in February and record three Carrick Talks Money segments. Our goal was to demystify financial planning for regular people and to demonstrate that it's not an exclusive exercise for the wealthy. Carrick...

HST and Small Business: Onus is a Dirty Word

The point: Trusting the government to tell you what you need to give them and when is like asking your three-year-old to make supper: remarkably inefficient. This post ends with an appeal to write your MP begging for a change in the way small businesses are notified...

Distressingly Common Investment Advice

I was recently part of a presentation for financial advisors, put on by someone whose work I respect (and who I imagine probably would not have said this if he had had more time to think about it). Just before the end, this came out of his mouth: Words I just heard!...

Quick Update: Retirement Income Interview

In case you've been missing Because Money (on hiatus as we plan for Season Three), I just did an interview with Kornel Szrejber on retirement income planning, and we managed to squeeze a few laughs out of what is traditionally a less-than-hilarious topic. Some of the...

Capital Dividend Account: Changes to Note

The March 22, 2016 federal budget has resulted in significant changes to the credit to the capital dividend account arising upon the receipt of life insurance proceeds. While these proposals are not yet final, it is expected they will be enacted before the end of 2016 with certain retroactive effect.

RESP Rules & Tips with Sandi Martin & Julia Chung

Summer is the best time to learn about saving for post-secondary education. Julia Chung and Sandi Martin chatted with Modern Advisor on July 21st. Click here for the recording.

Financial Planning: Speak Up for Consumer Protection

This month, you have a chance to speak up on an issue that is close to our hearts, and affects all Canadians: better protection for those seeking financial planning.

The “Invest Better” Calculator

  Our own Sandi Martin collaborated with John Robertson, author of the Value of Simple, to create this useful calculator to help investors make an educated decision when choosing from the variety of low-fee robo-advisors now open in Canada. You can try it out here:...

Because Money Podcast: An American in Paris (Ontario)

Julia joined the Because Money podcast to talk cross border planning, TFSAs and play silly money games with other money nerds.

Not A Litre Of Milk: Evaluating The Utility Of Management Expense Ratios, Part One

The point: When you buy mutual funds from the bank, or an advisor, or through your employee plan, how do you know if you're getting what you're paying for? I'm not a fortune teller, but I can probably guess what mutual funds you hold in your RRSPs. You have at least...

The Secret to a Successful Financial Plan

The daily practices of a life with direction can either be onerous, and chafe so much that you give up or grumble your way through a miserable life, or you can settle into them with an attitude of contentment and get happy on the way to your goals, not just when you eventually reach them.

What I’ve Been Reading While I Haven’t Been Writing

The point: It's been a busy week here at Spring Personal Finance, and client commitments trump writing commitments. I've always got a few minutes to read, though, and the best in Canadian personal finance news every week to an open list I share with +Jackson...

If You’ve Ever Tried and Failed at Budgeting

If you've ever tried and failed at budgeting, or if you've never tried at all because it sounds so hard and boring, this post is for you. Those of you with a budgeting system that works and that you possibly even love and want to have babies with are excused for the...

Kickin’ Chickens

Whether you’re gathering eggs, building a reputation, gathering customers, or just making enough money to pay the bills, you can choose to kick chickens like everyone else, or you can stop and think of a better way.

Is Private School Worth The Cost?

Sending your children to private school can mean making some big sacrifices.

 

OPTIMIZE!

Financial planning is misnamed. It really should be called Figuring Out How Much What You Want Out Of Life Will Cost And How to Pay For It By Finding The Happy Medium Between Doing What You Have To Do And Doing What You Want To Do. I imagine this will never take on....

The Coming Housing Crash, And What You Can Do About It

The point: there are two things you can do if there's going to be a housing market crash, and worrying isn't one of them. You're here, so I'm going to take a long shot and guess that you read about money online, unless you're here for the outstanding graphics, in...

Valuation – How Much is Your Company Worth?

Ever wondered how to do a company valuation? Mary Gamble, Chartered Business Valuator at iValue Solutions, provides answers to common questions she receives from business owners.

Couple Money

The point of this post: if you can't be honest with your partner about money and financial planning, why are you with them? A healthy financial infrastructure is cost-effective, simple, flexible, and intuitive. It keeps you on budget, moves you closer to your goals,...

Because Money Episode 21 | The Rise Of The (Not) Robo-Advisors

This month, we were delighted to welcome Michael Katchen of WealthSimple to the show to talk about what's wrong with the asset management industry, how he and others like him plan to break it, and why regular Canadians who, for whatever reason, shouldn't or can't DIY...

What I Want For You In 2015

My hope for you this year is that – no matter what your circumstances – you take the time to get really, really clear about what those circumstances actually are, and plan to repeat the process when they change.

September’s Great Reads

In my world, September is a BIG month. Summer effectively ends on Labour Day, the kids are at school, and it’s time for a hard reset (what I privately think of as a second New Year) to prepare myself for the whirlwind of the last three months of the year. In your...

Working with Sandi was everything I hoped for. I felt like you got to know me well and very quickly. I feel like your recommendations reflected my current reality as well as my personality. That is, you didn’t recommend things that I would never commit to.

After going through this process, I feel like I have a much better understanding of my financial picture. I so wish that I would have done this years ago!!

H. Bellerose

Having an impartial 3rd-party review our entire financial situation is one of the best business decisions my wife and I have made. We consider Julia our personal CFO and have incorporated her services into all aspects of our financial lives.

There’s no pressure to purchase any investment or insurance through her or any associate she has introduced us to; but rather an assessment and guidance on plans we have for the future.

C. Dewar

My fiance is currently in the first two years of business and Julia has been a pillar in ensuring that she invests enough money back in to her business to ensure stable growth, as well as develop a plan to save for long term life goals. This can be near impossible for entrepreneurs to strive for, yet Julia set aside a plan that was clear and achievable.

Julia is a fantastic source of knowledge and support for anyone running a business.

K. Foot

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