2023 March Update
“Tell me what you value and I might believe you,” management guru Peter Drucker once said, “but show me your calendar and your bank statement, and I’ll show you what you really value.”
We beg to differ, just a little.
We believe that if you show us your calendar and your bank statement, we’ll be able to show you your habits.
Some other person somewhere that Julia overheard (or maybe read in a comic book) also said (or wrote) that if a certain amount of personal work isn’t completed by age 35, your entire personality is simply habits. We suspect this one is pretty true, based on the work we’ve been doing with our clients for over 25 years.
Habits can run our lives to the point where we aren’t really sure what we want anymore. We’re not sure what we like. We only know what we’re used to doing.
This can result in a career we don’t enjoy, a financial situation that causes us stress, or a “retirement” lifestyle that doesn’t feel like really living. When you get out to that point, an existential crisis occurs.
We’d prefer it if you had that a little earlier. Not because we want you in crisis. It’s because we want you to really understand what’s important to you. Sometimes a little crisis is necessary. Other times, we can get the job done without the crisis. It all depends on you, where you’re at, and what you need. We’re happy to support you as you figure that out.
At Spring Plans, we definitely want you to be well positioned and well informed so that your finances are the non-spiraling kind. More importantly though, we want to help you design your finances and the decision-making frameworks you use to support the life, lifestyle, and you really want. It’s why our cutesy little tagline “your life, well spent” means so much to us. Your finances aren’t your life in and of themselves, but they sure do support it.
When you have a strong idea of what your best life looks and feels like, and can envision that clearly, we can then figure out all the steps to get there. Some of those steps might feel really odd, like saving more – or less – than you’d thought you would, opening a different kind of account, talking to your lawyer about getting those documents in place, signing up for insurance you hope you’ll never need.
Those steps might feel so strange that, although they make perfect sense and you are, in fact, interested in taking them, they fall by the wayside. There’s more urgent and frankly interesting stuff in your life. So how do we make your best life happen?
If we go back to your calendar and your bank statement, but now we have your values and those steps we want to take to get you to that really exciting vision of your future life… we can determine how to make the implementation of those habits mindless.
Some of the tools we use for habit development and maintenance include:
- Automatic transfers from one bank account to another or to an investment account to get both short and long term savings going without you having to think about it each time you get paid
- A payroll system in your corporation rather than “I think I need this much money” and “oh no now I owe taxes”
- A monthly payment program from your retirement accounts that’s reviewed annually with your personal finance team
- A regular review of your plan, your legal documents, and your investment accounts with your entire team so together they can help you make decisions and implement them
- A regular conversation with your spouse or business partner with your steps front and center, to reassure each other that everything is still making sense, or have the opportunity to call in support if for some reason, the sense stops making itself
The habits that work for you are the ones that feel comfortable and don’t require a lot of thought. They’re the ones that are supported by your professional advisory team – so they can do some of them for you! They’re the ones that continue to make sense when you sit down with your spouse, your children, and all the other people you care about, while you’re living your life, well spent.
Want to break or make a habit? You know where to find us ([email protected]).
We will all be taking an extended Easter weekend between Friday April 7th and Monday April 10th. Outside of that, we’re here!
“Free” Fridays remain booked permanently in our calendars. These days are free to us at Spring in the sense that they are our opportunity to work on becoming better planners, whether through collaboration and discussion, education, research, or even a little down time. It’s been a regular practice since the summer of 2017, and we will continue to set aside the time to become better versions of ourselves every week. Even 1% better is solidly worth it, because we know that will be reflected in the work we do for you.
Julia will be presenting at the Vancouver Estate Planning Council on May 2nd, alongside Kathy Bright from Trella. They’ll be sharing “fun” stories about pain points in family business governance and succession.
Julia is excited to be the co-emcee of the upcoming Family Enterprise Canada Symposium in Ottawa May 29-31. FEA designates, family businesses, and family offices are welcome to attend (early bird pricing until March 24) – read more here.
Spring in the News:
Julia spoke at the Pacifica Partners Event in February. The event focused on retirement planning and Julia will shared her knowledge on designing your life-after-work, creating purpose in the last chapter of your life, and how to use that purpose to create a retirement income plan that actually works. Watch the full event here.
Julia had a great chat with Purdeep Sangha on his podcast recently, discussing money, values, and family business. Watch the full discussion here.
Julia & Rob Carrick had a great talk about how parents might support children in buying their own homes. Read all about it here in the Globe and Mail.
When the world is your office, as a digital nomad who do you pay your taxes to? Julia discusses tax obligations for digital nomads in Montecristo Magazine. Read the full article here.
Pick up the March edition of Zoomer Magazine and you’ll find Julia, along with two other members of the Financial Planning Association of Canada (which the Spring team cofounded!) in the article “A Recession Toolkit”.
Planning News Digest:
- The Underused Housing Tax (UHT): New in 2023, the Underused Housing Tax (UHT) and those who are not exempt must file a return by April 30. You may be surprised who must file – and the penalties for not filing are stiff. Read more about this new tax in the Globe and Mail.
- Penalties on Foreign Bank Accounts: US citizens reporting their foreign bank accounts will be interested to read this about this recent Supreme Court ruling on penalties as discussed in this article in Forbes magazine.
- Is it a good idea to take out your CPP early, and invest it?: The Globe and Mail discusses the benefits and disadvantages of withdrawing your CPP early and using it as an investment. Read more about the good and the bad of this idea here.
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