Dan St. Yves: Financial planning, simplified

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Dan St. Yves 2010Have you ever waded through the assorted advice columns regarding successful financial planning and tried to decide who has the most effective strategies? Have you ever struggled with clients who were desperate to become homeowners, yet couldn’t seem to come up with enough down payment dollars to qualify? Who hasn’t?

Relax. In today’s column, I’ve got you covered. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m at least going to try and offer a few solutions that could be helpful in the long and short term, for you and your clients. I would advise trying them yourself first, before recommending them to clients.

1) The insurance industry used to have a saying: “You’ll earn a million.” This concept indicated that the average individual would earn at least $1 million during the course of their working lifetime. So, here’s Tip No. 1 – go to your local bank and simply borrow that amount IN ADVANCE of actually earning it. Try and make your appointment during RRSP season, when things are generally quiet in the branch offices.

2) Become a tycoon. Nothing removes the pressures of day-to-day life like being a bazillionaire.  You can do it, for example, by starting your own business. In Tony Linoleum’s best-selling book, “The Wealthy Berber”, he describes how he made a personal fortune selling carpet rembrandts. Turn your own hobbies into infinite bundles of spendable cash, or at least develop a pyramid scheme that will allow others to do it for you!

3) Become a professional athlete. Much like becoming a law enforcement officer, as a professional athlete you will only need to stay in shape until you’ve got the job. Simply develop above-average skills in one of the major professional sports, find an aggressive agent and watch the teams line up to give you millions of dollars. Until your knees (or moral willpower) give out. Warning: you may be legally obligated to marry a Kardashian sister as a professional athlete.

4) If you feel that any of the previous tips limit your options, try being adopted by a wealthy family. Your birth parents probably won’t mind, as long as you share a portion of the booty. This particular option also happily avoids any of the work ethic of the prior tips and ensures that you will be as pampered and prosperous as the average housecat. (If you are over 40, this will not be as easy as it may be for a younger reader. Remain upbeat and persistent. Seek out country clubs and travel agencies.)

5) Finally, there’s always the lottery. It is true that one often reads about an elderly shut-in who hits the big payday after 77 years of faithfully buying lottery tickets. However, divide that win by the cost of purchasing all those tickets and about the only splurging you’ll able to do is buy the bigger bucket of chicken at KFC.

Personally, I recommend Tip No. 1. You’re going to earn the money anyhow, so why wait for your future employers to pay it out?

Call your banker today and get started on your healthy financial future!

Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at www.nonsenseandstuff.com, or contact him at [email protected].

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