Episode 1 – You Can’t Do This Alone

You Can't Do This Alone by Astra Financial

Our circles of people who are in our corner are so important – whether it’s your friend circle, family or financial. Oh wait, have you ever thought about your financial circle? 

It’s that group of people who you look to for guidance, help you feel confident with your money and set you up for financial success 💪

A main source of guidance in your money circle should come from a certified financial planner, and this means ensuring that this member of your financial team is actually a certified financial planner. In this podcast, I’m going over how to  find one that you trust and has a duty to put you first 🙌 You deserve expert advice when it comes to your hard-earned dollars, and planning for retirement is no joke! 

Listen to it here and start connecting with your money circle.

Show Notes: 

Hey, there it’s me Zena. So this money thing can be overwhelming. I know I share my story in my book, the Heart of Your Money. I was a stay at home young mom and my husband had just left. I had to find the courage to pick myself up off the kitchen floor and build myself up financially. Fast forward 17 years and I’m here with you to share everything I know. I run a successful financial planning firm. And my passion and experience has led me to my favorite thing: educating people about finances and being a part of that, their success. We’re here right now to get you making the right money decisions. So you can retire whenever that may be.

Maybe it’s 10 years, five years, or maybe it’s this year. What I want to share with you today. Right now in this moment, we all need a form of support and information that we can trust. We need safe expert advice. We want to feel confident with our money. We want to set ourselves up for financial success.

Well, you’ve come to the right place because this podcast is going to cover it all. I’m so excited to kick it off with you. And what better place to start this podcast than to talk about who should be in your money circle right now. Before I can share with you all the other juicy topics coming up this season, I have to start today with the number one important step: lining up your money and retirement support circle. That’s everything and everyone you need on your retirement journey. Think of the top influencers and peers that you surround yourself with and now ask yourself, are they influencing my money, habits and thoughts decisions in a positive way?

Your inner circle can cultivate your financial success. Remember that according to motivational speaker, Jim Roan, you are the composite of the five people you spend the most time. Who are they? Be mindful about who you’d like to attract into your money circle. I often talk with people who after learning what I do for a living and hearing me speak with passion about financial awareness and literacy asked me to review their investments and financial decisions.

You know, kind of like when you’re on the plane next to a doctor, you really, really want to show them your rash and ask him his opinion. Well, that usually happens to me. After they asked me, I then say, do you already have a financial planner? And usually the answer is, yeah, I have an advisor, the guy that does my investments, but I don’t really like him or trust him.

And we never talk about anything else. Can you just check my stuff and make sure it’s in my best interest? Really you don’t trust the guy who handles all your money. Should this person really be on your team? Would you hand your child to a babysitter you did not trust? This is a sign that you have not found the right person yet.

You need someone you can trust. And who talks to you about the entire big picture? You deserve someone who will have your back and bring out the best in you. Today is an era of distrust and outrage and rightly so, they make movies about the wealth and carnage in the financial industry. When people approach me and tell me they don’t like or trust their current advisor, it’s because there’s this little intuitive voice inside that has picked up on the fact that the relationship with that person may be based on purchasing products.

Well, listen and acknowledge that voice inside you. Does this person on your team have your best interest at heart? A main source of guidance in your money circle should come from a certified financial planner. And this means ensuring that this member of your financial team is actually a certified financial planner and that’s an accreditation with the financial planning standards council, you deserve expert advice from someone that adheres to a professional designation training code of ethics.

You might not know this, but a financial advisor can call themselves a financial planner in certain provinces. And that’s confusing because that person may or may not be certified. The term planner is not yet regulated in all the provinces. So when it comes to finding a trustworthy financial planner, you’re at risk, you would think that everyone presenting themselves is a certified, qualified, competent, and ethical financial planner.

But that is not the case. Back in 2017, there were approximately 80,000 individuals in Canada whose only qualifications were related to selling products. So by finding a certified financial planner, you can at least weed out some of the questions that might be there. There is testing, there’s a years of education, some really hard exams, there’s standards.

And then there’s an ongoing education piece there, and they have a written obligation to put the client’s interests ahead of their own. So ensure that this main center of influence in your money circle. This member of your financial team is a certified financial planner. And that is the acronym behind the name of CFP.

And then you can actually go to a website and check to see that they’re in good standing. So by going to FP Canada, the financial planning standards council, you can put that into Google. You can find the website, you can find a planner in their search menu, and then you can actually see if they’re accredited, you can actually see where there are any ongoing complaints against that person.

So that’s an important step. Because pensions can be complicated. We’re talking about your life savings here, and there’s a changing environment currently happening with employers savings plans, never before has there been a strong need for financial leadership to help interpret these changes, the taxes, the options, and what I’ve seen in our offices is that people come in, is it they’re starting to feel overwhelmed. And when it comes to the options that are available right now through COVID, you might be going through it, job change. There might be some changes to pensions coming down the pipeline that you’re going to have to take a look at, and there may be severance packages.

So this is a feeling of overwhelm. And if you could find a center of influence, or if you can find your money circle, they’re going to help you out. And your circles should also provide you a sense of community. It should feel like a safe place to learn and grow. I encourage you to take action. Find this number one leader of your money circle.

If you do this, the benefit will be that your net worth will flourish and your money confidence will grow with it. So your takeaway right now, You don’t need to do this alone. Find that center of your money circle. This is a key to getting ready for that successful retirement. So there’s a few other things though, that compliment that, and you can find other things that can be a part of your money circle.

So where do you start looking? Well, does anyone close to you possess the qualities you were looking for? Is there a friend out there who has similar financial interests to yours? Can you do check-ins and now we’re not talking about. You know, opening the closet and having all the money skeletons fall out because that can be a hard place to start.

Yeah. Oh yeah. And here’s how much I owe and here’s my debt and here’s how much I make every year. No. Yeah, you don’t have to share numbers, but you can share a financial goal. You can share some interests and you can check in with each other regularly. I know that, one of our offices, there’s a retirement breakfast group in his corporate office and it started up as a coffee group. It’s mixed with past employees that have retired and current employees starting to plan their retirement and they meet for breakfast and coffee and they share things. That’s a beautiful money circle. You can also find some books and blogs that share great information and insight into the money and retirement world.

There’s a website, has great info, retirehappy.ca. there’s a great book. How to Love Your Retirement. And that one is talking more about how you picture your entire money. It’s not just about the math and the money part. And of course, there’s our own newsletter that you can sign up at astrafinancial.ca.

So my final words for you today, you don’t have to do this alone. I have a question for you. I want you to answer it right now. Take a second. Who is in your money circle and where do you go for support and trusted advice? Okay. I hope someone came to mind. I hope you have a great circle. Find them reaffirm and keep listening to this podcast because we’re going to take you through this money and retirement journey together.

You’re not alone. I’ve got some great things to share with you this season. So stay tuned. And until next time I’m Zena.