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Financial Planning:
Basics For Boomers

Planning ahead is the key to both personal and financial success in retirement.  Start with a Life Plan that focuses on non-financial goals such as health, lifestyle, and family involvement, without losing sight of the need to save and invest for a secure future.

Dorothy, an 89 year-old lady, told her children she never wanted to leave her home of fifty-three years.  When she fell and fractured her hip, her adult children wanted to honour her wishes. But when they looked at her finances, they realized she could not go home because she could not afford the cost of in-home care.

It may be too late for Dorothy, but if boomers are considering what they want for their own retirement and later years, they still have time to work with their financial advisors to make that possible. There are a number of financial strategies and instruments available. For example, consider Long Term Care Insurance as a hedge against eventual care costs - particularly if you are under 70 years of age.

Grant came to Canada from the USA in the 70's and decided to bring his parents to Canada when they retired.  What he didn't count on was the fact they had only limited financial resources and a very small pension. 

Today, Grant has to factor in the added cost for his parents who now live in a retirement home. Grant's experience spurred him to invest in long-term care insurance that will help him secure his own future.

A good financial planner will guide you through the maze of options, help you plan for the future and select what is best for your needs. How do you find a financial planner that's best for you?

  1. Think about your goals: where you want to be in 5 years, for example. 
  2. Decide what it is you want from an advisor.  Do you want someone who can help you with elderly parents, and act as a family advisor as well?
  3. Get names of advisors from people you trust: friends, colleagues, your accountant, or professional organizations.
  4. Make sure to check out and understand the professional qualifications of the person(s) you are choosing and the planning process they use. Ask for details about how the client/advisor relationship would work.
  5. Find out how the advisor is to be paid: fee-only or commission-based? Make certain you understand each fee structure and decide which would work best for your needs.
  6. Take time to interview more than one advisor, and don't make hasty decisions. Be sure you are very comfortable with an advisor before you engage their services.

Today's financial decisions can determine tomorrow's financial destiny.

This article was contributed by guest author, Jill O'Donnell, co-author of The Canadian Retirement Guide and the Founder of Complete Geriatric Care, based in Ontario. For more information, visit

Vol.4, No.6
� Jill O'Donnell 2008.
You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Publishing, a division of ElderWise Inc., Canada's "go to" place for families with aging parents, who want clear, concise and timely information about health, housing and relationships. Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.

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