PROGRAM GUIDE

WHERE TO START AND WHAT'S NEXT

 

You are the only one who can define your life

Part A - Describe your Life Today

1. Property

 

Property includes any non-financial assets you own with meaningful material value like your house, car, cottage, art collection etc.

 

In your "Life Today", navigate to "Property" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • Any cost that would stop when the item is sold can be included in the operating costs (lease payments, insurance, property tax etc.)
  • If you add operating costs here, DO NOT add them as part of your basic expenses (you can uses the notes feature - top right of the entry/edit form - to keep track of details if you wish)
  • Vehicles will automatically depreciate.  If you have a vehicle that will not depreciate, add it as an "Other Asset"

2. Expenses

 

Expenses are any costs that you incur which will repeat year after year with little variability.  Include expenses like groceries, life insurance premiums, club membership, pet care etc.

 

In your "Life Today", navigate to "Expenses" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • You can add as much or as little detail as you like - we suggest starting with a single entry and best guess value, come back and refine the detail later
  • DO NOT include any operating costs you entered with "Property"
  • Any expense you add in "Life Today" can be modified in the future
  • You do not need to add taxes as the system calculates taxes for you automatically

3. Income

 

Income is any new money that comes in to your life like your salary, Canada Pension Plan, or money you earn by renting out a property etc.

 

In your "Life Today", navigate to "Income" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • Income linked to rental property will automatically end when the property is sold
  • In "Life Today" you only include recurring income not one time events like an inheritance which can be added in the future
  • DO NOT included dividend or interest income you expect to earn from your investment/savings portfolios
  • Use before tax values

4. Savings

 

Savings are all your financial assets.

 

In your "Life Today", navigate to "Savings" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • The system does the with withdrawals you only need to input your recurring savings activity
  • We treat all future portfolio growth on a worst case basis for taxes and assume that all growth is effectively interest
  • Be sure you are not over contributing to registered accounts like TFSA's or RSP's

5. Debts

 

Debts are any significant sums of money you owe, excluding lease's which should be including with property operating costs

 

In your "Life Today", navigate to "Debts" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • If the debt is linked to a property, ownership must be the same for both items
  • Debts will automatically be repaid, when a linked asset is sold
  • In the future you cannot adjust your regular payment, however you may add lump sum payments to accelerate the rate at which any outstanding debts are repaid.

Part B - Make Future Choices (What do you want to do?)

1. Property

 

In all likely hood you will not live in the same home or drive the same car for the rest of your life.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Property" and add/update entries.

 

  • Sell  your current home / car by clicking on the description and adjusting the "Sale Year"
  • Buy / Rent / Lease a new property / car using "Add New".   Remember most people shift to some level of assisted living in their later years
  • When it comes to cars, how long did you keep your last car, a best guess says you will keep your current car for the same length of time and spend about the same to replace it
  • Choices start with best guesses, you can always come back and change them

2. Income

 

Modifying Income, is how you can set your retirement and include future dollars you expect to receive.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Income" and add/update entries.

 

  • Set your retirement, by "ending work"
  • If you are not already receiving CPP and/or OAS add them in.
  • An inheritance can be added using "Other Income" and setting the tax-free status
  • Survivor benefits will automatically be paid to you or your spouse after one of you dies

3. Vacations

 

Vacations are they travels you want to make for which you have not allocated costs/budget in your recurring expense.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Vacations" and add/update entries.

 

  • Think about your "bucket list"
  • Be specific in the near term and general further in the future
  • It is as simple as what you want to do, when you want to do it, and your best guess at the cost

4. Renovations

 

Renovations are the major improvement to properties you own.  Adding them here links them to the property so they are automatically canceled if you the property sale date is moved ahead of the planned renovation.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Renovations" and add/update entries.

 

  • Typically, a house will need a new roof about every 25 years
  • A furnace will last roughly 15 years
  • Wishing for a new kitchen or bathroom - put it in and discover what's possible

4. Savings

 

There is a good chance how and where you will save over time will change.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Savings" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • You only need to think about the savings you want to make, they system will cover withdrawals
  • Before the system can start making withdrawals from retirement accounts you will need to set your convert to RIF date
  • Be sure you are not over contributing to registered accounts like TFSA's or RSP's

5. Expenses

 

Expenses are your recurring costs, but occasionally new expenses will start, old expenses will stop or the value of the expense will change.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Expenses" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • You can add as much or as little detail as you like - we suggest starting with a single entry and best guess value, come back and refine the detail later.
  • DO NOT include any operating costs you entered with "Property"
  • You do not need to add taxes as the system calculates taxes for you automatically

6. Other

 

Other is used for any future activity not covered by the other categories, including tax deductible charitable donations and education expenses funded from RESP's.

 

In your "Future Choices", navigate to "Other" and add/update entries.

 

Keep in mind that:

  • You can add as much or as little detail as you like - we suggest starting with a single entry and best guess value, come back and refine the detail later
  • Family RESP's are not supported.  What do to if you have a family RESP can be found in our FAQ's after log in
  • Donations entered here will lower your taxable income

Part C - Choice Assessment