Happy Spring to all! Soon enough we will be back in the outdoors hiking, gardening, and enjoying food and drinks on a patio while the beautiful sun shines down on us.
As we shift to the warmer weather, we continue to work on Annual Reviews and to stay on top of our client portfolios.
Around the Office:
We are still working physically here in the office since the start of COVID and are available by telephone. Please feel free to call our office as we would love to hear from you.
Kristin works diligently to ensure our Annual Reviews with clients are on track and ensuring review matters most important to our clients are being looked after. Our office has been busy working to help provide Lifestyle Financial Planning to those who require it. Kristin has been in constant communication with potential new clients helping education them with regards to our requirements, services, procedures, and how we can best serve them. We do thank all our clients for the referrals they have been sending to our office.
As we edge closer to beautiful spring weather, Kristin is looking forward to getting outside with her kids, and has several fun outdoor activities planned to ensure that the nice weather is not taken for granted.
Cody is licensed, in both Investments and Insurance and continues to assist Roman in providing clients with services tailored to their unique Financial Lifestyle circumstances such as retirement planning, monthly cash flow planning and portfolio analysis. He has recently been reaching out to industry experts to keep abreast of any changes that have occurred or are coming.
Earlier in the year he completed the Law, Estate Planning and Tax Supplement through an Educational Provider in the industry to further his knowledge. This has helped to assist clients during Annual Reviews to ensure that key Estate Planning (Wills & Powers of Attorney) documents are still meeting their current wishes. Furthermore, with this knowledge clients are being encouraged to consult with their Tax Advisors regarding Tax Planning opportunities to ensure more money goes in their pockets and less into the government’s (CRA).
With the warmer weather on the way, Cody is excited to get back on the golf course and to his favorite wineries – Peller, Trius, & Gretzky for a glass of wine (white/red… he isn’t picky).
He is also excited as the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games are quickly approaching, as he is an active member of the team. He is working with a team in the final planning process of preparing the Legends Golf Course for the August 2022 competition dates.Lastly, he continues to spend time with his “Little Brother” from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program on the weekend. Recently they did a few promotional videos for the annual Tim Hortons Bowl for Kid’s Sake at Parkway Social in St. Catharines – Saturday, April 30th. Please reach out to Cody if you’d like to participate in this great event to help support local youth development in our community 😊. Cody is thankful to be apart of the team and is looking forward to the rest of 2022, hopefully with less flooding in his basement as the ground thaws.
2021 Tax Slips & Contribution Receipts
With the introduction to our New Client Portal at the end of 2019, our Head Office is trying to make the process of receiving documents (statements, etc.) electronic. For those of you who have signed up for “E-Delivery” on your Client Portal, you will not be mailed your Tax Slips and/or RRSP Contribution Receipts. Instead, you will be emailed a notification when your slips are available on your Client Portal. You will then have the ability to download them directly from your portal for you to print off. If you are active on your Client Portal but have not signed up for “E-Delivery”, you will still receive your Tax Slips & Contribution Receipts in the mail. Please note: Any slips that are sent directly from the individual investment companies will still be mailed out as per usual, such as T3, T5 slips. Should you have any questions or if we can assist in any way, please contact our office.
As a reminder, at least once a year we prepare an Annual Review for each of our clients. This is an important process to ensure we are up-to-date with the most current information, as well as ensuring your information is accurate and meeting your Financial Lifestyle needs. Preparing your Annual Review involves a detailed process that not only has us look back on the past year but also look at the upcoming year for potential financial needs that might arise and ensuring client files are up to date and accurate. Spending the time to go over your entire portfolio is even more important given the current situation in the world. A lot has changed for many people, and many things that may have not been thought about before have come to the forefront. To help ease some of your scheduling stress, we are currently booking Annual Reviews via virtual meeting, telephone, or in person, depending on your preference and comfort level. For those doing their Annual Reviews by Zoom/Microsoft Teams or by telephone, the reviews will be uploaded to your Client Portal and/or mailed before the scheduled meeting date.
For clients requiring an evening appointment, Roman and Cody have set aside Monday and Thursday evenings during the next few months to be available. Please be advised that due to the high demand for evening appointments, we are booking these appointments at times as much as one month in advance.
Please note: For those clients who wish to have in-person meeting, we are recommending a face covering to be worn during your time in the office, and please sanitize your hands upon arrival.
With easing COVID-19 restrictions, protecting our clients, staff and their families is still of our upmost priority. At the beginning of each week, our staff members continue to take a COVID Rapid Test to ensure we test negative. We also recently updated our contingency plan that if a staff member were to test positive, he or she would need to complete 5 days of isolation and present a negative COVID Rapid Test to return to work as per Public Health rules.
At this time, our office continues to remain closed to public/walk-ins. We are available by telephone and in person meetings by appointment only.
Reminder - Daily Office Staff Meetings - 9:30am to 10:30am:
Should you call during these periods, please leave us a message on our voicemail. We conduct our daily office meetings during these times and phones will not be answered. This time allows us to organize our day’s tasks, review the previous day’s work, discuss and complete client reviews and enquiries, as well as review current rates, markets and updates on the latest news.
Part of our daily process includes having meetings with each other to review how the day has progressed, any client contact to keep the office aware of and opportunities to make improvements in our processes/day to day activities.
During their daily meeting, Roman and Cody like to ensure they are keeping clients updated on any changes happening. Also, they review different client files as part of our process to discuss Annual Reviews and the items most important to clients. These discussions often can lead to different perspectives and ways of thinking. Emotions at times makes things challenging; that said, after reviewing the reports and financial data, every recommendation for our clients is made in their best interest. Sometimes doing nothing is doing something; this at times is easier said than done.
During their daily meeting, Roman and Kristin meet to go over any industry changes that could impact our teams’ processes and procedures, client paperwork that needs to be addressed, items needing to be followed-up on, ensure the office health and safety procedures are being followed and ensure our client service is improving every day for our clients.
During their daily meeting, Cody and Kristin meet to ensure Annual Reviews are on track and our office is focusing on the items most important to our clients. In the morning, Kristin and Cody meet to review any outstanding client inquiries, any tasks that are required for completion and an overall preparation for the day ahead.
There are many upcoming changes happening in the industry for client benefit - one such item being full disclosure of fees (as disclosed on your December 2021 year end statement). As well, companies such as Dynamic Funds will no longer be able to cover Annual Trustee fees. 2022 will be the last year that Dynamic Funds will be covering the Annual Trustee fee for many of our clients. Clients that are in our Option 1 (Fee Based) fee plan will continue not paying this Trustee Fee as outlined in Investia Administrative Fee Schedule as handed out during Annual Reviews. Our office has made a proactive and conscious effort prior to these changes to show full disclosure. During Annual Reviews (past or upcoming) we are meeting with clients to identify which of our updated fee options best suits you and your family.
How Can I Protect My Loved Ones from Probate and Privacy Issues?
We have found sitting around often leads to pondering thoughts and new opportunities. Recently we have been re-discovering opportunities to protect those we care about regarding several issues that may persist near the end of one’s life. Many ailing seniors struggle with having too much money and not knowing how to make sure it goes to their children without the silent beneficiary – the government (CRA) taking a portion of it. As well, if not planned correctly with a lawyer and financial advisor – this money which some wish to keep out of the public eye, goes through the Will, which is public record and is potentially subject to probate fees depending on dollar value. Unfortunately, if planned incorrectly, that happens all too often.
We have seen it time and time again: an account at the bank with a large amount in a GIC or savings account, or the wrong beneficiaries on an account causing the Will to go through probate and costing your loved ones more money. Luckily, there are options not only save more for your loved ones but do so in a tax efficient manner that bypasses probate and is done quickly & privately outside of the Will.
During the last few months, our team has been assisting our clients to ensure their estate is reflective of their wishes. Whether your wish is to make sure your money goes to your children or a new grandchild who may have entered your life, there are options to look after your loved ones. If you have any questions, feel free to give Roman or Cody a call to discuss. We’d love to provide you with peace of mind and assist with your wishes.
Client Success Story
Throughout the past few months, our office has focused on ensuring important financial details are all up to date for our clients. Roman and Cody recently met with a couple that was looking into their insurance options. What started as a simple review of an insurance policy coming up for renewal quickly turned into a larger discussion.
Should I really be covered? How much do we need? What’s the purpose?
That answer is different for each person. Is it your spouse you wish to protect? Your children? To provide a safe nest egg if you were to pass? In this couple’s case, they wanted to ensure that if the husband were to pass before his wife, she would have a lump sum available during a stressful and emotional time.
They were very thankful we helped them through this difficult decision - not only did we ensure they were protected if anything bad were to happen, we noticed in our analysis that the beneficiaries were out of date and the children were not contingent (backup) beneficiaries. Another huge opportunity to further protect themselves and their family.
As life changes, so do your wishes and how much we need to protect ourselves and more importantly, our loved ones. If you have any questions on protecting your loved ones, feel free to give us a call – Cody and Roman would be more than happy to help you ensure those important to you are well looked after.
With restrictions easing and the warmer weather approaching, our office is getting excited to start planning in person client events again. We are looking forward to getting back into the community and interacting with clients as restrictions start lifting.
Keeping Our Voice – Part 2 – Advance Care Planning
Life Happens... Be Ready. This compelling theme underscores the significance of our National Advance Care Planning Day held annually on April 16.
When we cannot speak for ourselves – who will speak for us, and what do we want them to say?
One of the greatest gifts we can give our close friends and family is the comfort and confidence of knowing they can direct your care and treatment according to your wishes, beliefs and values. Whether triggered through illness or accident, any one of us, regardless of our age, could lose our ability to express our wishes about our personal and health care preferences. It is essential to remove uncertainty and the potential for conflict and dispute during difficult and emotional times. Advance Care Plans that are prepared and shared free up your loved ones to be present for you and each other.
What are Advance Care Directives?
Advance Care Directives provide us with the opportunity to explore, discuss and document:
- what we want to be communicated regarding our personal, treatment, and health care preferences,
- who is in the best position to take on that role on our behalf,
- how we record our beliefs, values, and wishes, and
- where the document will be stored.
What Stops Us?
The Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association report that while 90% of Canadians acknowledge the importance of developing an Advance Care Plan, less than one-third have discussed their wishes with others, and even fewer yet (less than one-fifth) have made a plan.
Misinformed beliefs may cause us to put off preparing a plan.
- Some may mistakenly feel they are only necessary for the elderly and that we have plenty of time to get it done. A sudden car crash, fall while hiking or a critical illness are examples of how we can lose our voice for a short or long time at ANY age!
- We don’t want to make our loved ones uncomfortable about engaging in awkward and sensitive conversations. Having the discussion now will be infinitely less stressful than the anxiety of having to direct your care without the benefit of knowing what you want.
- Several folks wrongly believe that an Advance Care Directive is the same as a Do Not Resuscitate order. Your Advance Care Plan conveys your treatment preferences.
- Incorrect assumption that if you make a plan now, you cannot amend or change your wishes at a later time.
Who Should Speak for Me?
A Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) is someone you appoint to make personal, care, and treatment decisions for you when you cannot speak on your behalf. They may also be called an agent, proxy, or health care representative. The laws identifying who can serve as an SDM vary for each province and territory, so it is wise to check with a legal professional in your region.
Serving as an SDM is a tall order and certainly not for everyone. It is not about what your SDM would want for you — it is what you would direct for your care if you were able to. Choose someone you trust, have a comprehensive understanding of your preferences, feel comfortable expressing your wishes on your behalf, and are in a position to direct your care. The more your representative knows about you and your values, the better they will be able to reflect what you want in various circumstances. They need to be able to advocate for you during stressful times and to refuse or stop specific treatment if that was your wish — even if that may hasten your death. Remember that they will be operating on your behalf, likely while simultaneously experiencing their personal concerns, anxiety, and fears for your situation.
If no SDM is appointed, each province and territory defaults to their established SDM hierarchy of persons who can direct care on your behalf.
How Do I Start?
You start by thinking about what is important to you. Your values, wishes, religious and spiritual beliefs. How would you want your care delivered, and what treatments would you want to be pursued or terminated? You discuss with close family and friends and consider who to appoint as your SDM. Ask this person if they are interested and able to serve in this capacity, and if so, provide them with as much information as possible to help them adequately serve as your voice. Document your wishes, and let your family and friends know where they can easily find and access the document.
Outstanding Information, Resources, and Tools:
Advance Care Planning Canada
Babel Standardized Approach to Advance Care Planning in Nursing Homes:
Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Even if an SDM is appointed, and the granter has diminished mental capacity, they should still be involved in the decision-making to the extent they are able.
Care of Others
“One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.”
- Jim Rohn
“This article is reproduced with permission from Age-Friendly Business, no reproduction in part or in whole is permitted without consent.”
“This newsletter was prepared by Roman A. Groch who is a registered representative of Investia Financial Services Inc. (a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada and the MFDA Investor Protection Corporation). This newsletter is not a publication of Investia Financial Services Inc. and the views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this newsletter are those of Roman A. Groch alone and not those of Investia Financial Services Inc. Investia Financial Services Inc. does not provide income tax preparation services nor does it supervise or review other persons who may provide such services.