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

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...

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...

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,...

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.

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.

Profiting from Real Estate

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

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.

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!

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...

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.

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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...

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...

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",...

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 Biggest Mistake New Entrepreneurs (Almost Always) Make

The point: have a plan for the money you earn within your business, and be ruthless about it. Otherwise, you'll only succeed through sheer luck. A short meditation, today. Losing power for forty-one hours during the busiest week I've had in my practice has set me back...

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...

How A Financial Planner Can Lighten Your Load

...

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...

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...

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.”

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...

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.

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...

Because Money Episode 14

Despite +Robb Engen's absence from this week's podcast, +Jackson Middleton and I had a great time talking with our guests about why regular Canadians should care about the regulation of financial advice. I've written about the incentives that are holding even the most...

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.

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...

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...

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.”

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.

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...

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...

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.

Making it on his own

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

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.

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...

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....

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...

Family Values: How to Pay For a Large Family

Want to have four, five, even six children? Plan ahead and make some smart decisions early to ease the financial burden. Full article on BBC Capital: Family Values: How to Pay For a Large Family...

What do YOU want?

It sounds like an easy question.

Double the Trouble…

Two kids in university at the same time means double the costs. The secret to saving for – and affording – two.

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...

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.