BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

November 19, 2014 09:00 ET

Financial Planning Week: A Little Planning Goes a Long Way-BMO

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 19, 2014) - To mark Financial Planning Week (November 16-22), BMO Financial Group reminds Canadians of the importance of financial planning to stay on top of their finances and to help achieve their goals.

"Financial Planning Week is an ideal time for Canadians to take stock of their financial situation and spend some time charting out their objectives," said Caroline Dabu, Vice President and Head, BMO Wealth Planning Group. "Going through the financial planning process can help you identify your short and long term needs, what you need to save and what you need to do to reach your goals. Ultimately, a financial plan should provide you with more security and confidence about your finances."

A financial plan outlines personal and financial goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Goals can include saving and investing, purchasing a home, continued education, leaving a legacy, protection from unexpected events, starting a small business, career change, saving for a child's education and planning and maximizing income in retirement.

The planning process begins with a financial professional understanding a person's short and long term needs and goals, review of their total financial picture, including assets, liabilities, income, spending habits and investments. Then, a personalized plan is built that takes these items and risk tolerance into account and fits them with the rest of the person's life.

Despite the many advantages of having a financial plan, a BMO study found that 40 per cent of Canadians said that they do not have a financial plan in place - potentially putting them at risk of not being able to fund key life events.

The study also found that Canadians who have a financial plan see value in having one in place: 82 per cent said having a financial plan helped them achieve their financial goals and 69 per cent said that they wish they had created one sooner.

The BMO Financial Planning website, at bmo.com/confidence, features a full range of online tools to help Canadians get started, including:

  • Retirement Savings Calculator: Allows you to see how much money you will need for retirement and determine if you are on track to finance your ideal retirement lifestyle.
  • Major Purchase Calculator: Helps you prepare for big expenses such as a house or cottage by assessing if you have the right savings strategy.
  • Education Savings Calculator: Allows you to see how much money you will need for your child's education and if you are on track.
  • Cash Flow Worksheet: Will help you outline your cash flow, where you are spending your income, which expenses are necessary and where you could potentially start to save more money to achieve your goals sooner.
  • Net Worth Worksheet: Allows you to compare what you currently own (assets) and what you currently owe (liabilities) to give you a better understanding of your finances and how you can reach your future goals.

BMO offers the following tips on how to get started with financial planning:

Examine your future: Consider the things you want to achieve and your desired financial situation in five, ten or even twenty years. Make a list of these lifestyle goals, objectives and milestones.

Collect the facts: Assess your current financial situation, noting your assets, liabilities, income and spending habits.

Seek expert advice: Consult a financial professional to develop a financial plan based on your short- and long-term goals. A financial professional can help you make the right decisions about managing your finances today to ensure you achieve your financial goals in the future.

For more information on BMO Financial Planning, please visit www.bmo.com/financialplanning.

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The survey was conducted by Pollara between April 25 and April 28, 2014 with an online sample of 501 adult Canadian women with children. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.4%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.

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