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

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

Your Financial Plan is Not a Slap-Chop

The point: If you financial advisor is giving you a financial plan for "free", what's his incentive for doing it well? These days, we all want to believe that we're savvy consumers. We scoff at TV commercials for products that are worth hundreds of dollars but can be...
Read More

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.)

Read More

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...
Read More

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....
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

November 7th – Open House

Join Julia on Saturday November 7th from 10 AM to 12 PM at Steadyhand Funds in Vancouver, where she’ll be answering all your financial planning questions.

Read More

Caring for a Forever Child…

“These are things that are going to seriously affect your life and the lives of people after you,” said Julia Chung, a financial and estate planner with Spring Financial Planning. “Spend the money.” You will likely need both a financial planner and a lawyer that specializes in estates, and possibly an accountant to review tax ramifications.

Read More

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 

Read More

Julia Chung Live at PowHerTalks: 4 Fears to Conquer

Julia’s PowHerTalk in November was “Start Ups: 4 Fears to Get Over”.  Julia will be the Host and MC for the upcoming Vancouver PowHerTalks on January 30th. Register here

Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

Is Private School Worth The Cost?

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

 

Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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.

Read More

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"...
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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.

Read More

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...
Read More

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!).

Read More

Fun With Retirement Calculators

The point: retirement calculators are only as good as the information you put in them and the underlying assumptions of the calculator itself, and are useful only to model the future, not predict it. The lure of the retirement calculator is that it will tell you your...
Read More

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,...
Read More

Fill in the Blank (Part One): I Don’t Want to Spend Money On…

At first glance, it sounds like an incredibly stupid exercise, I grant you. Um, I don't want to spend money on insurance, on my mortgage payment, on those never-ending, teeny-tiny little school activity requests that dribble home every other day, on fixing my car...
Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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!

Read More

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,...
Read More

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

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.

Let's Get Started