Dear Santa

It was Christmas 1995, and I had a child looking for the newest, hottest item on the list of many children.  Oh no, how was I going to get my hands on one when they were sold out everywhere.  What is a Furby anyway?  To make matters worse, they come in different colors, and well wouldn’t you know one color was more popular than the other.  Now which one do you think she wanted?  You know as parents you are going to go to great lengths to see that smile on Christmas morning.  Great lengths, well that was an understatement.

Low and behold Zellers was holding a draw with an opportunity, not a guarantee, to purchase a Furby.  Now this required either myself or my husband to give up a day of work.  How could you not make such a sacrifice?  As it turned out, my husband was one of the lucky ones and even managed to get the most popular one.  We had ourselves one happy little girl on Christmas morning.  The cost, PRICELESS!

Now, that Furby is one special little guy that sits in his box upon a basement shelf.

Well,  when digging out the Christmas decorations what do you think was staring right at me reminding me of how much time and effort my husband and I put into getting it.  You ask, “why is she telling us this”?

As a Financial Planner, I try to educate and enlighten individuals and businesses on the importance of planning today to protect tomorrow.  We plan everyday of our lives.  Plan what we wear, what we eat, and at this time of year we give considerable time and effort to planning.   Have you spent countless hours shopping for that perfect gift?  Did you plan a day off work to go shopping?

So is finding the time to plan so that you can set and meet your financial goals and objectives,  short-term and/or long-term, really that difficult?  I stress to clients the importance of investing their time and the importance of engaging in planning for all their financial goals.  This does not have to be an uncomfortable, daunting, depressing process.  Rather, it is a very self-rewarding process and I try to ensure client’s look at it that way.  Think about Financial Planning as a Santa Letter for yourself and your family and the best part is it doesn’t have to contain just “three” things you would like.  You must remember though YOU ARE SANTA.

This is a really great time of year to start thinking about your Financial Plan or maybe lack thereof.  Most of us sit back, reflect on the past year , and set goals for the year ahead, so why not get started on that letter to Santa.  Your first item, a Financial Planner.  Santa always has a helper and The Financial Advisors Association of Canada has developed an informative piece on how to shop for one, visit  http://www.advocis.ca/forPublic/interview.html.  Secondly, reflect on the Christmas budget, did it balance?  Should I be checking it twice next year and maybe spending less on gifts that quickly make their way to the basement shelf and more on gifts that could last a lifetime, such as my child’s education or that of a niece or nephew’s.  Maybe increase deposits into that Registered Retirement Savings Plan or Tax Free Savings Plan.  Commit time to taking stock of your current financial situation: where are you now? where do you want to be in 10, 15, 20 years from now?   Is my house in good financial order and am I on the road to achieving everything on my list?

It is never too early or too late to start planning today to protect tomorrow!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Michele_ORiellyMichele O’Reilly is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) with one focus in mind, helping clients “Plan Today to Protect Tomorrow.”  Contact Michele at mor@nf.sympatico.ca or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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