Bradley Pascoe, in Ottawa asks: Why do so many people profiled in your Financial Facelift feature have incomes/net worth far in excess of the average Canadian? Low-income Canadians are more in need of advice than the well-off.” The Globe’s Investment Editor, Sonali Verma, says she completely agrees:
We would be delighted to have more applicants who represent the average Canadian and who could use free, confidential advice from a financial planner.
Almost anyone can apply for a Financial Facelift. The process works by interested applicants emailing the author, Dianne Maley. They need to be comfortable disclosing your financial details and having their photograph taken in a clever way (here are some great examples) so that your identity is obscured. We find a lot of potential candidates get cold feet at this point.
The applicant needs to have an income or an asset that can be converted to income, so that the planner has something to work with. They also need to be a resident of Canada.
Pretty much everyone who follows through gets a Facelift. But, as Maley points out: “Most applicants have pensions, management jobs or money. It’s not that we set applicants of more modest means aside. We jump on them!”
She adds: “For the most part, we reject people who are extremely wealthy and people who are writing in to show how well they are doing. Many readers don’t understand that it’s not a showcase for successful money management.”
We can only work with what we get. Speaking for myself, I love learning about different strategies that financial planners use for our applicants from different age groups and financial situations, each with a different set of challenges – and I would love to see that range be even wider. So, if you or someone you know would like free financial planning advice, please ask them to email us, in confidence.
Follow Sonali Verma on Twitter. You can also read some recent Financial Facelifts that represent some financial challenges the average Canadian deals with – debt, mortgages, retirement planning, and unwise spending:
· Couple needs to get back on track to a comfortable retirement
· Can Elise, 54, down-shift to part-time work by age 60?
· Risk-averse, 64, and ready for her own condo
· Single mother needs a firmer rein on her expenses
· Millennials with debt face rent-or-buy dilemma
· Couple’s retirement plan meets cold reality
· This couple must stop money from slipping through fingers
· Should this medical resident, 27, repay debt or build investments?
· Couple wants to retire, but their investments are down $350,000 since 2005