Tips for talking to a financial security advisor for the first time

Canada Life - Jul 25, 2022
Does the thought of financial security planning feel like unknown territory?
Discussing your financial portfolio with an advisor

Planning your financial future

Not everyone has a background in finance, but we all manage our money on a daily basis. You may be one of many people who wants to plan long-term but has no idea where to begin.

No matter how old or young you are, it’s never a bad idea to seek help from an expert. Working with a financial security advisor can help you set up a plan for your money. An advisor may also suggest things you may not even have thought of.

What do I prepare before meeting my advisor?

You might be wondering, “What will my advisor want to know?” Here’s a list of four common topic areas you can expect to discuss with an advisor.

1. Estate planning: 

Have you thought about what will happen when you die? Some expenses might include:

  • Burial costs, taxes/debts and mortgage payments
  • Anything you may want to leave for your family or a charity

2. Cash flow:

Whether it’s positive or negative, these types of expenses are for life’s unexpected surprises: 

  • Opportunities – large purchases, once-in-a-lifetime trips, etc. 
  • Emergencies – job loss, costly repairs, family-related problems, etc.
  • Paying off debt

3. Income protection:

It’s not fun to think about, but what happens if your health fails? Do you have money set aside for any of the following possibilities?

  • Loss of income and the ability to continue paying your bills
  • Expensive specialty care in facilities 
  • Maintaining your savings and emergency funds

4. Retirement:

What will your retirement look like? Advisors can help you plan for this too. Your plan should or may include:

  • Your lifestyle expectations
  • Travel plans
  • Leisure time and activities including memberships and hobbies
  • Tax-effective strategies
  • An idea of how long your income will last

Building a plan

You want to be ready for anything and everything. Advisors get that. After covering your needs and wants, your advisor can help you build your plan.

Just what makes a good plan? Picture a plan as a three-section pyramid. The largest section (and bottom of the pyramid) is based on preparing for life’s uncontrollable events (for example, job loss, emergencies, etc.). The mid-section focuses on the things you have control of or your controllable events (for example, retirement, home ownership, debt elimination, etc.). From there, topping off a solid long-term plan, you can consider possible growth opportunities for your portfolio (for example, real estate, investments, etc.).

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Financial security planning takes energy and patience. Your plan will change and evolve to keep pace with your life. Just remember, your advisor wants to help. Do you need tips on your budgeting? Have your short- and long-term goals changed? Maybe, you’re buying a house or have started a family and you need your plan to change? Your advisor can help coach you on ways to keep your financial security plan current. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or bounce ideas off them.

Contact me today to get started!


Ask an advisor: Why work with an advisor? – Canada Life

Learn the benefits of working with an advisor to help build a financial plan for your future.



View video script


Description: This animated video introduces two characters named Lauren and Amina and illustrated graphics to show how an advisor can help create a financial plan to reach your goals.

Text “Ask an advisor” appears. The camera zooms out as the text lands in an outlined square. “Why work with an advisor?” fades in below. An illustration of a handshake draws on the right side of the frame.

Lauren: I could buy my insurance and investments online. Why should I work with an advisor?

Description: Lauren sits outside at a café table with a lemonade in front of her.

Amina: My advisor sees the big picture of how all my finances fit together.

Description: Cut to show both Lauren and Amina sitting at the table.

Amina: I might miss something important doing it myself.

Description: The frame fades to reveal various graphics representing a new pet, life insurance, marriage, estate planning, new home, luxury car, speed boat, health coverage, travel and cottage.

Amina: There’s a plan to achieve all my goals,

Description: A line enters the frame to select Lauren’s goals: life insurance, a new home, health coverage and a cottage. All other graphics fade away.

Amina: even when new ones pop-up.

Description: The advisor’s hand moves into the frame to add a travel goal.

Amina: If something unexpected happens in the economy or the markets, I won’t freak out thinking I have to change or fix something.

Description: The line and goals move up and down to represent a shifting stock market.

Amina: My advisor updates me regularly, so I feel confident I’m on track.

Description: Amina’s hand moved into frame, holding her phone. A notification appears on her phone with a mail icon that reads: “New message.

Amina: With an advisor, my financial future is one less thing I need to worry about.

Description: Cut back to Amina sitting at the table, showing Lauren her phone.

Text “Let’s talk. Contact me today.” appears onscreen with the Canada Life logo and legal line: “Canada Life and design are trademarks of The Canada Life Assurance Company. 1-204-946-1190.”


This information is general in nature, and is intended for informational purposes only. For specific situations you should consult the appropriate legal, accounting or tax advisor.

Canada Life and design are trademarks of The Canada Life Assurance Company.