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

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...
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Announcement: Sandi Martin

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

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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"...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Money Matters: Take Control

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

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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,...
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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...
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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.

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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...
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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...
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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...
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Kickin’ Chickens

Whether you’re gathering eggs, building a reputation, gathering customers, or just making enough money to pay the bills, you can choose to kick chickens like everyone else, or you can stop and think of a better way.

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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.

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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!).

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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",...
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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.

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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...
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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...
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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.”

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Go Ahead, Spend Your Tax Refund

Ah, spring. The time of year when flowers bloom, birds sing, and the entire internet starts yelling at you for getting a tax refund or - even worse - getting a tax refund and then spending it.The horror.The conventional wisdom goes something like this: You shouldn't...
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Pension Income Splitting

Yes, you can still split your pension income. The income splitting credit that the new Federal Government vowed to abolish in their 2015 election campaign was the Family Tax Cut. The opportunity for pensioners to split their qualified pension income with their spouses is still alive and well.

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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...
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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.

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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Double the Trouble…

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

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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...
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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.

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What’s Sandi reading?

Sandi Martin reads a lot – and she tells everyone which ones were the best every month.  Starting in January, we will be sending you her reading list directly (if you’ve signed up for our email newsletter).  In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek:

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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...
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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....
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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...
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Thoughts on Privilege In Financial Advice

Normally on the first or second Tuesday of the month I'm compiling and sending out a Top Three email to subscribers, highlighting the latest collection of thought-provoking, or informative posts on investing, the finance industry, retirement planning, or budgeting...
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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.

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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...
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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...
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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...
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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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