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Invest In You - Conferences For Women Thumbnail

Invest In You - Conferences For Women

On Wednesday NBF held the latest edition of the Invest In You conferences. Hosted by Jessica Moorhouse it was a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from the emotional and taboo aspects of managing money to concrete actions you can take today.

Let's jump in to what was discussed!

Section 1: Financial Health and Well-being

“Money and Taboos”

  • Money is emotional – it can cause feelings of stress, excitement, shame, fear, guilt, etc.
  • Money is private – this makes it hard to talk about with others.
  • Your comfort level discussing money likely depends how you were brought up 
    • Some families talk about money all the time while others never talked about it.
  • Hesitation can come when getting involved in finances because it is overwhelming and intimidating.
    • One way to make this less intimidating is to break it down by short- and long-term goals that align with your values.

Below are some very concerning stats:

  • More than half of women don’t feel comfortable investing!
  • We tend to delegate the money decisions to others (partner, parents, kids, etc).
    • There tends to be a knowledge gap (financial decisions tend to go through males)
    • Women tend to get intimidated about asking questions.
    • Women have a lot on their plate already!
  • 75% of women wish they started investing sooner!
  • It's important for women to be engaged/involved on the bigger investment decisions.
    • Financial decisions can be stressful if left to one person in the family.
  • There are many positive outcomes for women who take on a role in their finances:
    • Reduces stress of unknown.
    • Need to take charge to reach life goals.
    • We’re prepared for untimely events (illness, divorce, unforeseen circumstances, death, etc.)

Section 2: Having a Family Discussion

  • Women often shoulder the responsibility of care giving for their family.
  • With your finances, you want to be proactive – you don’t want to wait until something happens.
  • We need to have more communication: 56% of Canadians have not shared their wishes with their heirs.
    • This can lead to conflict, stress and misunderstanding when someone passes, a time where emotions are already heightened.

Goals without a plan are just good intentions.

  • More likely to get buy in from family members if you are proactive and have a conversation about financials with them.
  • Starting conversations opens up the floor to ask questions comfortably.
  • Not having a plan for your finances after you pass can put a lot of stress on family members. Preparation is key

Rules for a Family Discussion:

  • Have a neutral environment free of distractions.
  • Create ground rules to open conversations and make them a safe space.
  • Bring in a facilitator depending on how complicated your financial situation is.

Section 3: Giving a Living Inheritance

  • Living Inheritance: Giving money when you’re still alive
    • Executing your own wishes, seeing your own wishes out
  • Distribution of an estate upon death: Executor distributes your estate according to your will.
    • This will depend on the laws of the province
  • Is a good financial lesson for children to learn from a young age how to handle and responsibly spend money.
  • Caution: Giving a living inheritance is not for everyone
    • You need to ensure you have enough money in retirement for yourself.
  • Important to consider the tax implications of giving a living inheritance.
    • Ex. The sale of a property, the sale of investments, etc.
  • There are no restrictions on who you can give a living inheritance to.
  • It's very important to see an advisor before giving a living inheritance. This ensures this is the right path for your situation.
    • It is by no means an obligation to give a living inheritance.

Section 4: Maximizing your Benefits

  • Knowledge is power.
    • Get informed about what is happening in the world and how it impacts you/your household specifically.
    • Not all situations in the world will affect your family.
  • Get ahead of your finances.
    • Look at what savings the household has for uncertain times
    • If you have a mortgage renewal coming up make sure you meet with someone before it’s too late.
    • What kind of/how much debt are you carrying?
  • Can only control what you can control.
    • Can Control: Savings rate, variable expenses, lifestyle.
    • Cannot Control: Inflation, interest rates, the stock market, etc.
  • Solid, Liquid, Gas Analogy
    • Solids: Some expenses are necessary
      • Ex. Rent, utilities, mortgages, insurance payments, etc
    • Liquid : Some expenses are variable
      • Ex. The types of fruit/vegetables you buy – organic vs. frozen, etc.
  • Need to put time and energy into where your money goes
    • When you really break down your expenses you often find things you are spending money on that you don’t need to be
    • For example, do you really need 3 streaming services?
  • Analyze your Workplace Benefit Plan
    • Make sure you are maximizing it if possible and are not just on the default plan.
    • Choose a plan that has the best value for you and your family.
    • Revisit your plan as needed.
    • Coordinate your plan with your partner if they also have a benefit plan.
  • Matching Savings Plan (when your employer matches a certain amount)
    • Are you going to participate in the company savings plan?
    • How much does the company match?
    • Choose the type of account that suits you (ex. TFSA, RSP, regular savings, etc.)
    • Don’t overcontribute.
    • You are often able to choose the investments in these plans – make sure it isn’t just the default ones.

Calls to Action

  • Build your own net worth statement.
    • Keep track of all your accounts, where your money is, what debt you have, what you are spending on, etc.
    • This can be as simple or complex as you want.
  • There is no "right" age to have financial conversations which your children. 
    • There is no timeline but make sure you have everything in place and can approach the children when you feel they are ready.
  • When having financial conversations with your family (specifically elderly parents) start small.
  • Educate yourself on different investment products and how they work (ex. Stocks, bond, GICs, etc.).
  • Find voices that resonate/connect with you when learning about finances.
    • Can be intimidating to get started but find something that interests you and make sure they are reputable sources.
    • There are so many resources out there but don’t overwhelm yourself.
    • Maybe videos or podcasts interest you more than reading a book.
  • Take an interest and take an ownership in your finances.
    • Talk to those around you. Don’t be embarrassed or shy to ask questions.

For all of these calls to action, your JMRD Watson Mallender team are here to help!

We have access to plenty of resource we can share with you to assist you in your financial journey. Whether it be spreadsheets, book/blog/podcast recommendations or a conversation where we can act as a sounding board please don't hesitate to get in touch.