Lisa Elle

Lisa Elle,
Financial coach, Ellements Financial Group, Calgary

When clients divorce, financial planners often play defence, doing financial triage to stop the money bleed and to help the divorce move forward with as little financial damage as possible.

A couple recently came to me hoping to divorce amicably and wanting to have a good handle on their financial situation. They currently live together and raise their kids in the family home, but realized the relationship wasn’t going to last. I helped with cash flow and net worth so they could pre-plan the divorce and how to move toward separating their assets cordially while maintaining their lifestyles.

This situation was about growing assets and dividing them fairly, all while planning for future cash flow on split income.

Tony Mahabir

Tony Mahabir,
Financial planner and CEO, Canfin Financial Group, Toronto

I recently faced a unique challenge after one of my clients passed away suddenly. The family had to get organized to settle the estate, and the required information was scattered. The client and I had interacted a lot, but he was secretive with his family, who faced the challenge of collecting all the missing pieces. Knowing about my relationship with the client, the family came to me. I helped them piece together parts they didn’t even know were missing.

Advisors commonly work with only one family member, so I often emphasize to both clients and other advisors the importance of working with both spouses — and even the children, if possible — to avoid these situations.

Abe Toews

Abe Toews,
Chartered financial consultant, Beyond Wealth Management, Regina

I recently helped a 75-year-old client get a mortgage. She wanted to move from her lake property to the city because she found it increasingly difficult to get around, but didn’t want to give up the lake property yet.

She’s financially stable with a number of assets and investments, and she didn’t need a mortgage, but my calculations showed that a mortgage made the most sense. The substantial growth on her investments would have resulted in tax, and the investments were making quite a bit more than what the mortgage’s interest cost.

It wouldn’t be the best solution for everyone, but it was best for her.