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

Co-Founder, Sr. Financial Planner

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

Sandi Martin

Sandi Martin

Co-Founder, 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

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...

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"...

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...

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 

Why You Don’t Want Your Child to Be a Genius

“Find experts in the fields that your child is interested in,” said Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning. “Talk to them and ask them for help and support. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help.”

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.

Magic Potions, Snake Oil & Get Rich Quick Schemes

Multi-level marketing, supposedly free seminars, pyramids, ponzis and more – oh my. Lately, it seems my radio, television, and internet feeds are promising more and more straight up cash for less and less effort.

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...

Why Budgets Don’t Work (The Real Reason)

Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish: The Dark Side of Personal Finance, says in an article for Slate that budgets don't work because hardly anyone's income is predictable and somehow the government is to blame. That budgets- in fact - "offer the illusion, not the...

The Because Money Podcast | Episode 11: Home Buyer’s Plan

In this week's episode of The Because Money Podcast, we finally got to fight a little. Agreeing all the time is so boring, isn't it? What did we cover that was so controversial? Only the Home Buyer's Plan, that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 tax-free from your...

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...

Success = Joy + Freedom

Have you ever set goals and just felt kind of… “meh”? Julia’s latest article for Niche Magazine gets to the heart of why that happens, and how you can change it.

I Feel For You, But Busy Isn’t an Excuse to Ignore Your Money

The point of this post: being busy doesn't excuse you from having to pay attention to your money. You know that feeling you get when your to do list is so long that you have to turn pages to see it all? When you're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work that your...

Planning for Summer… Within Reason

Summer is pretty exciting for most of us here in Canada. No matter which province or territory you live in, the season is often short and spectacular. We save so many things for summer, from barbecues and weddings to vacation days and that book we always wanted to...

Why Your Rate of Return Matters (and what to do – and not do – with it)

I sent my kids to school on the day after Labour Day with a feeling that it hadn’t been a great summer. We hadn’t gone swimming or canoeing enough. I worked too much. Woe, etc. This isn’t a new feeling. Friends will testify that I become a mopey sad-sack in the last...

Now What?

Hi Sandi I know you are often looking for article ideas and I'm wondering if you would feel in the mood to write something to motivate folks who are doing okay, have a plan, no debt,....but need to avoid the temptation to go into debt (aka buy a cottage). It's nice...

Women & Money

In honour of International Women’s Day, Julia Chung of JYC Financial collaborated with Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance and Krysten Merriman of Modern Advisor to create a free e-book for women (with tips men can use too!).

Sorry, Who Is It That’s Suffering? Advocis Doesn’t Want Embedded Commissions Banned, Because Financial Advisors Will Suffer

Sometimes, someone says something that is so egregiously wrong that it can’t be ignored. Take, for example, this piece, published this afternoon on Advisor.ca, an online magazine for financial advisors in the investment and insurance industries, which elicited this...

Practice News: Collaboration with JYC Financial

It's the best time of the year! Summer in Muskoka with three young kids means lots of late afternoons at the beach, so if you happen to be in Gravenhurst on a sunny day right before dinner...you'll know where to find me.Typically, the summer months are when I try to...

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.

Salesman or Advisor?

The point of this post: If your financial advisor is paid a commission based on what products they sell to you, instead of a straight fee for their advice, that advice is compromised by self-interest. What if I told you that your otherwise competent and experienced...

Christmas, Stuff, and Money

The point: frugality isn't a virtue, especially when you're hitting your family over the head with it. Repetitious, I know. Are you upset by the amount of stuff that your family is going to give your kids this Christmas and resent them for their materialistic, showy...

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.

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.

RRSP Basics

Many people feel pretty confused about RRSPs – how they work, and why they’re useful. At the same time, people can feel embarrassed to ask for a full explanation. 

To help you move forward with this useful tool, here is your RRSP Primer!

The Power of Confusion

The point of this post: the world of personal finance can be as confusing as a room full of five-year-olds playing soccer, and the financial industry needs to stop pretending that it's not. Yesterday was my oldest daughter's first day of soccer.     It...

An Admittedly Biased Argument in Favour of Banning Embedded Commissions and Instituting a Fiduciary Standard

The point: I stand to benefit if embedded commissions in mutual funds are banned, and if a fiduciary standard for advisors is enacted. I don't think it invalidates my argument, but - unlike some of the voices clamouring against the increased safety for investors - at...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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!...

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...

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...

A Spender Marries a Saver – Now What?

You’ve heard that money is the cause of many arguments between partners. But can a spender marry a saver and live happily ever after? BBC Capital interviewed Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning to find out.

June’s Great Reads

I've got a monster reading list for you this month, and I'm still fighting that nagging feeling that there was way more good stuff out there than I managed to catch. If you've got the time, scroll through the entire list down there at the bottom, and catch Preet...

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.

Important Changes to the Principal Residence Exemption

On October 3, 2016, Finance Minister Morneau announced new measures to address the housing market, with the intention of improving fairness and integrity of the tax system as it relates to the principal residence exemption. The changes include new reporting requirements, modifications to the calculation of the tax-free amount for individuals based on a residency requirements, and an extension to the period in which a reassessment may occur.

When You Can’t Afford Your House, Do this

If you’re in a cash flow bind, you don’t want to wait too long before you take action. But you should take some time to calculate the size of the problem. “A lot of times people don’t really look at their expenses,” said Julia Chung, a financial and estate planner with Spring Financial Planning in British Columbia in Canada. “They have a hard time managing the numbers.”

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.

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...

Life is a Highway: Sequence of Returns and You

The particular sequence of market returns that you’ll enjoy throughout your lifetime starts when you’re born, ends when you die, is entirely outside of your control, and, if you’re not careful, will heavily influence when you start investing, how you’ll do it, and your outlook on life when you turn those investments into income.

The Best In Canadian Personal Finance News

The point: There are all sorts of people online that write all sorts of personal finance advice. I read about sixty posts a day, and share some of the best on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Jackson Middleton and I are collaborating to put the best Canadian...

How Much Do Mutual Funds Cost, and Relative to What? Part Two

The point: management expense ratios do a poor job of communicating the price you're paying for a mutual fund and the value you're getting in return. This is the second of a two-part rant, and you can find the first part here. If you walked into the grocery store...

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...

Profiting from Real Estate

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

Announcement: Sandi Martin

Announcement! A new collaboration with Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance…

RRSPs: Hunting Season

The point: buying an RRSP sometime between January and March doesn't mean you have a retirement plan. Go into any bank between January 2nd and February 28th and you will be haunted by the specter of an underfunded retirement. You will be offered "retirement planning",...

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...

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.

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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