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, BA, FPSC1

Sandi Martin, BA, FPSC1

Partner, Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Retirement Income Planning, Family Goal Planning

Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA

Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA

Director, Cash Flow Strategies

Areas of Specialty: Money Coaching, Cash Flow 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

Business Model, Schmizness Model

The point: Financial advisors who are compensated based on how much money you have invested with them have less time for the equally complex needs of less affluent clients. You know the old saw "you have to have money to make money"? Apparently you also have to have...

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.

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...

Three Great Reads You Might Have Missed

It's great to be back in the reading saddle again, and have I got some outstanding pieces for you! For those of you who are new around these parts, I'm a reader. (My friend Noel asked me the other day if I'd gotten to the last page of the internet yet. I haven't, but...

How Much Is Enough for Your Emergency Fund?

While the basic rule of thumb is to have enough money to cover at least three months of net income, even that may not be enough, says certified financial planner Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning in B.C.

“Most people severely lowball their expenses; they think they spend way less than they actually do,” Ms. Chung says. “If you spend 100 per cent of your paycheque when it comes in, as many people do, then your expenses equal your net income.

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...

The Best Discount Brokerage for Small Index Investors, and How Much it’s Going to Cost You

The point: If you're starting out as an index investor, and are going to be regularly contributing in a self-directed brokerage account, the best discount brokerage for you is TD Direct Investing, but not for any of the reasons most reviewers list. *UPDATED* This post...

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...

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...

July’s Great Reads

Another monster list for your July reading pleasure. These top three are the ones you shouldn't miss, but the whole list is down there...I'm sure you'll find something interesting on retirement income satisfaction, how to handle a windfall, surviving close encounters...

On Hiring a Financial Planner

The folks at Mint.com interviewed me a few weeks ago about working with a financial planner, getting started on a financial makeover, and advice for beginners on investing.  When enlisting help to manage your money, what should you look for in a planner? You should...

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.

What I want for you in 2018

For 2018, I want you to have time. Sweet, precious, time. And understand me: I don’t want you to have more time, or productive time, or fulfilling time - all good things, don’t get me wrong, but not the kind of time I so desperately want for you. No, the kind of...

UPDATED: Canadian Investment Fee Calculator

NOTE: The calculator has outgrown its old Google sheet and is now at autoinvest.ca. Welcome to the investment fee calculator, built to compare the cost of investing across Canada with online portfolio management companies like Nest Wealth, Justwealth, WealthBar,...

Income Splitting with Spousal Loans

Ah, tax strategies. Eyed with hopeful suspicion by the uninitiated, a tax strategy can feel like a fun Spy Vs. Spy game - but that other spy? That’s the government. Many a newly minted spy would consider backing away from anything that might have you facing that...

November’s Great Reads

I noticed when I was reviewing the articles I’d marked for sharing with you lovely people that there’s a pretty heavy behavioural finance theme in this month’s reading list, so if you’re a fan of behavioural finance theory, you’re in for a treat. If you’re not a...

Corporate Control: When Are Corporations Associated?

Associated corporations share the SBD, which provides access to a low tax rate on the first $500,000 of operating income.  Obviously, this could be a concern to small business owners.

Learn to Love the NOPE

There’s a mostly fun deluge of events, meals with friends, and parties just over the horizon, and, depending on what holidays you celebrate, what your family is like, and how much pie is involved, you might be looking forward to the end of the year with some...

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...

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...

I For One Welcome Our Robot Overlords: The New World of Investment Advice and Asset Management

Before I let you read the rest of this post, I want us to agree on a set of facts: It is extremely rare (but not impossible) for any one investor, investment professional, or investment management company to consistently and reliably outperform the market for any...

Incoming: Avoiding The Useless Retirement Plan, Part Three

The point: Retirement planning using general assumptions about your future income is just retirement guessing. And - surprise - it's useless. Seriously? Three posts into a retirement series and we haven't even answered the question "how much do I need to retire?" To...

Introducing: Kathryn Mandelcorn

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Kathryn Mandelcorn to our planning team!

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 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 sounded like...

Free Money for School: A Guest Post for Renegade Planner

Julia Chung from Spring Financial Planning is excited to provide a guest post for Renegade Planner, a “Startup Concierge” that helps businesses grow and learn.  Jessica Oman, the founder of Renegade Planner, is providing tips and information to her business owner audience on personal finance, something that really does confuse everyone.

Julia’s article “Free Money For School: Yes, Even Entrepreneurs Can Save for Their Children’s Education” provides a clear outline of how to use the RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) to maximize grants, reduce taxes, and pay for post-secondary school.

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!...

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.

Canada Pension Plan Maximums January to December 2016

With few exceptions, Canadians over 18 who work in Canada and earn more than the minimum amount ($3,500) must contribute to the Canada Pension Plan.  Your contributory period starts at  the time you begin work and ends at retirement.

How (Not) to Consolidate Debt

The point: it doesn't matter what method you use to pay off debt, or if you use any method at all. What matters is that you stop creating new debt. It's out there: the mathematically precise, strictly rational formula for paying off your three credit cards, small car...

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...

Is Private School Worth The Cost?

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

 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

See, Now This Just Makes Me Angry

"If you were to assume that many experts use their information to your detriment, you'd be right. Experts depend on the fact that you don't have the information they do. Or that you are so befuddled by the complexity of their operation that you wouldn't know what to...

Cynicism, The Canadian Pension Plan, And You

The point: scoff if you like, but we have a public pension system in Canada that will likely make up a good portion of your retirement income, and its existence should be factored into your plans. I hear it all the time - in banking, in financial planning, and now...

Your Financial Advisor Might Be A Nice Person, But… (Because Money, Ep 13)

Last week's CBC Marketplace episode Show Me The Money took an average investor (with a hidden camera and glowing lights in her pants) into BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, TD, Dundee Securities, Edward Jones, Investor's Group, Money Concepts, and Primerica shopping for...

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.

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...

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...

What happens if I don’t have a will?

Very few people get excited about estate planning, except for financial planners, and we’re admittedly strange folks. Talking about and planning for the moment of your death is not only dark and creepy but also kind of boring - unless you’re the type who gets super...

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 Surprising Downside of a Sunny Retirement

If your residency is changing, it may affect how you’re taxed. Canada, for instance, has many residents that spend half the year in warmer parts of the U.S. “One of the issues there is when you’re considered a resident of most countries in the world, you have to file taxes there,” said Julia Chung. “We have a lot of Canadian residents who are just finding out that they’re supposed to file a tax return with the U.S. every year.”

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.”

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...

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

Well, it’s been a year since we came to see you last and enacted our plan and we are writing to tell you that we are DEBT FREE on November 1ST ON SCHEDULE!!!

Coming to see you, using your services, was the best decision we ever made as a couple. We can’t thank you enough. We couldn’t have done any of it without you. Thanks, Kathryn.

 

K. & J. Shorrocks

Don't Be Shy

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and schedule a free inquiry call so we can get to know each other.