Awareness Series #4|Planning for the Pan Am Games

23 Jun

What can planning for the Pan Am games and Parapan Am games teach us about our personal finances?

Close to 7,000 athletes plus their coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators will participate in 36 Pan Am sports and 15 Parapan Am sports in July 2015.  Like many other Torontonians, I am working out how I can avoid commuting headaches.  The government is banking on citizens reducing their road use by 20%.  It needs this road capacity to chauffeur the participants to the various venues.

Toronto TrafficWhat does this have to with investing and insurance?  To quote Smart Commute, “The best way to prepare for the Games is to know what to expect and to plan how your business will operate.  By examining your travel habits, you can identify areas and actions that will make your travel during the Games more efficient.”

Planning your financial resources is similar to planning how you will move around the City during the Games:

  1. Know what to expect: Staying within your financial means and setting out a realistic spending plan that provides for your needs and wants, while saving money.  Know, however, that there will be unexpected life events that may require you to change your plan.  Disability and critical illness insurance can be very helpful tools here.
  1. Plan how you will operate: There is an almost 100% certainty that you will need emergency savings at some point in your adult life.  You may get ill or become disabled, decide to change jobs or careers, have to go back to school, or have an unexpected large purchase such as a car.  Be sure that you put aside enough money to cover 3 – 6 months of expenses and keep it in a safe and liquid investment you can easily access when needed.
  1. Examine your habits: Making a plan presents an opportunity to identify areas and actions that will give you a more solid financial base.  Your Advisor should share best practices and alternative strategies for reaching a goal, educate you, and help you avoid obstacles (or at least mitigate their impact) on your road to financial success.
  1. Identify areas and actions that will make achieving your financial goals more efficient: Saving up an emergency fund and covering some risks with insurance are just two of the options. Choosing suitable investments for your age, risk profile and time frame is another area where the Financial Advisor’s education and experience can guide you.  For example, growing wealth for your children’s post-secondary tuition and your eventual retirement requires different types of investments that convert this wealth into income for when you need these well-earned resources.

The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are going to be an exciting time in the Toronto area.  I am eager to attend both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Finals  – I purchased my tickets over six months ago!  Your life will be full of exciting moments too – growth of a business, new family members, special events and holidays.  Planning for these life events will help you to grow your wealth and to reduce risks to your financial life (it may even earn you a personal gold medal).

It’s just good advice.

If you would like to talk about financial planning, you can reach me at 416-939-2000 or mheenan@assante.com.