For many Canadians, taking charge of their finances feels like being asked to scale a mountain. They may feel overwhelmed, intimidated, or afraid of making a misstep that sends them tumbling financially backwards.
Money Coach Annie Kvick, knows what it feels like to face a big challenge. At 25 years-old, and newly married, Annie and her husband left family, friends and careers in Sweden to begin a life in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The young couple realized that money management would be vital to establishing themselves in their new country, and Annie committed herself to the task.
In Sweden, Annie had earned her Bachelor of Education and worked as an elementary school teacher, but in Canada, her growing interest and understanding of personal finance encouraged her to take her teaching skills in a new direction. She began working at a financial planning company, eventually achieving her Certified Financial Planner designation and becoming a traditional financial planner.
“I enjoyed my work, but there was something missing,” says Annie, “I was advising people, but what I wanted to do was empower them. I think it’s important for people to know what their needs and goals are before they sit down with someone who is selling products.”
Annie found the freedom to empower her clients when she joined Money Coaches Canada in 2011.
“I’ll never forget one of my first (money coaching) clients,” she says, “She came to me in tears. She was 59 years-old and had been laid off. She had been told by a financial advisor at her bank that she needed to find a new job and work at least six more years, until age 65, to ensure a good retirement.”
“After we looked closely at what she had in place, and what her goals were for her future, together we determined that she could retire at that moment. She had the freedom to pursue new interests, knowing she was OK financially. By working together we reclaimed six years of her life!”
Annie enjoys working with individuals or couples ready to take charge of their money, even if they haven’t always done so in the past. In particular though, she likes working with people 45-65 who are ready and excited to create their ideal retirement.
“I like seeing people get excited about their possibilities,” She says. “It doesn’t matter what their current financial situation is, it’s about being ready to change, about having the mindset to learn and take action.”
Annie’s Money Tip: Have an annual financial check-up.
We can’t stay physically fit watching sports on TV and we can’t stay financially fit by passively letting others manage our money. You can do this check-up yourself or with a trusted advisor or money coach.
“Every year take a look at your cash flow; what is coming in, what is going out and to where. What do you own and what do you owe? Take a look at your investments; do they support your goals? When would you like to retire and what does retirement look like to you? And most importantly, what is your plan to get to where you want to be?”
Don’t be intimidated if it looks like a steep climb ahead. Annie Kvick knows that if you choose a path and begin to take steps, you can get to where the view is spectacular.