I've always had a healthy relationship with money - and not just because I like to spend it. I learned early on from the weekly visits to the bank clutching my Dad's hand, that saving money was positive and smart. I had my own savings account in which I deposited small gifts and later babysitting and part-time work cheques. I loved watching it add up, and turning into purchases like my first car. (A mustard-hued Chevette!)

 

Photo by Tara West

Starting an RRSP in my early 20s was a no-brainer. As a freelance writer (for clients such as The Vancouver Sun and Flare) I knew that I needed to take full responsibility for my future financial needs, even though retirement seemed like a million years away. I contributed a small automatic deposit to an RRSP account monthly. I never missed the money, and have since watched it grow into a nice nest egg. 

Now that I’ve returned full circle to a freelance life, RSP season is more important than ever. After 20 years of corporate life where my employers contributed to my retirement fund, I’m now taking care of the next chapter myself. At this stage in my career, I can’t put the planning on a backburner (as much as I’d like to) and hope it takes care of itself. I'm looking forward to collaborating with Scotiabank on my retirement goals before the contribution deadline of March 1st. 

I've got a lot of questions that I'll be asking my Scotiabank advisor to make sure that my financial future doesn't skip a beat. 

*My current RRSP mix is a variety of Canadian and American blue chip and dividend-paying stocks. Is my all-stock portfolio risky? I like to invest in conservative companies of products that I use and like. No risky ventures or industries that I don't know much about. Should I be considering other investment tools like Mutual Funds or GICs?

*I want to know where my hard-earned money is going. Am I doing the right research? It’s pretty basic – reading the financial section of the Globe and Mail daily. 

*I need some advice. I’d like to meet an approachable advisor who understands my freelance life and will clearly explain my financial plan.

*I hate thinking about a budget but I need help creating one to make sure that I’m going to meet my retirement needs. When that happens, I plan to work part-time and travel a lot but my weakness is designer shoes. Am I on track?

Next step – an appointment with a Scotiabank adviser. Stay tuned!

MY RETIREMENT GOALS:

 

Travel is a key goal for me. I have so many places on bucket list - from Croatia to New Zealand.
An annual do-nothing week down South is part of my retirement planning.
And who am I kidding? I'll always need some money for my designer shoe weakness.