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

Is Private School Worth The Cost?

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

 

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...

Financial Facelifts, Eric and Ilsa, Soundbites, and Showing Your Work

Most of the value in a financial plan (or facelift, or makeover, or what-have-you) is in showing your work, not in the answers themselves. That is, the fact that recommendations are made for you is equally – if not more – important than the fact that recommendations are made at all.

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,...

Money 201 with Yours Truly and John Robertson

Once you’ve already mastered the basics of paying off debt and saving, what are the next steps to take in your financial life? We’ll walk through long-term planning to provide the context for how to fit the financial pieces of your life together, that takes into account your individual needs and goals, and will help you make sensible investing decisions.

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.”

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.

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...

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:...

Dear Big, Enormous Bank With Little Competition, Please Blow My Mind

Hi. You probably don’t remember me. I was one of a series of warm bodies in that cubicle in Newmarket, the office (with a door!) in Huntsville, and the other office (with a window!) in Bracebridge. I mostly didn’t meet my sales targets and never made my cold-call...

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.

What I Want For You In 2016

Last year, what I wanted most for you was clarity, remember? How would your life be better if you were absolutely clear about what you want your life to look like, the resources you have or will have at your disposal, and the obstacles that you’ll have to get over,...

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...

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 

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...

August’s Great Reads

I love my reading list this month, I really do. I know I say that almost every month, but guys: there’s some real gold in here for everyone, whether you’re spending the month of August toiling away at work like you do every month, relaxing in a canoe or on a beach...

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...

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...

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,...

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.”

Cooking At Home To Save Money Will Still Cost You

If you want to get your spending on food or any other category to line up with your income and goals, you’ll have to spend one of your other resources – your time, your capacity, even your social capital – until it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice anymore.

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...

Introducing: Kathryn Mandelcorn

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

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...

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...

Making it on his own

Sam Omeretti feels financially ready to live on his own. His parents aren’t so sure.

Bankosaurus Rex: Finding a Banker Who Cares

The point of this post: there are bankers out there who actually care more about doing a good job for their clients than for the bank, and they're worth finding...and keeping. Today, we're making friends with bankers. Lets pause here for a minute, so you can catch...

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...

The Screaming Ninjas Are Coming

The point: Learning to live within your means is discipline you have to practice. Financial catastrophe always strikes, and having the necessary skills already mastered will mean the difference between dealing with it and moving on or being overwhelmed and giving up....

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...

Money Matters: Take Control

Julia Chung’s article in the Spring 2016 PowHerHouse magazine outlines the basics of goal setting.

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...

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...

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.

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.)

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...

I’m 22…do I need a financial planner?

Hi Sandi, I am a 22-year-old and just starting my career. Do I need a financial planner and is talking to a financial advisor at the bank the same thing as talking to a financial planner?  Thank you, Denise -- Hi Denise, You know, you have an enormous opportunity to...

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.

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...

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...

Life Insurance as an Investment

We get asked about this every once in a while. Life Insurance and its salespeople get a bad rap. Some of it is incredibly well-deserved, and some of it is just not. Here’s a breakdown of some life insurance basics that you should understand.

Frugality Isn’t A Virtue

The point: being frugal just for the sake of being frugal isn't being virtuous. It's being cheap. Let's pretend this is the first time you've been on the internet, and you feel like you need personal finance advice (one of these scenarios is probably easier to imagine...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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.