Snow Valley branch manager Wendy Kraft and senior wealth advisor Angelo DeMelo are ready to help you get your financial fitness in shape at Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, in Kitimat. Photo by Gerry Leibel

Financial fitness: Start working with an expert personal trainer

Choose how you can build your personal ‘wealth care’ plan this year

The new year is a time many people start on self-care programs. But do you ever include your financial “wealth care” in that train of thought?

Looking at your finances and coming up with short-term and longer-term plans can be a great way to relieve stress, says Wendy Kraft, Snow Valley branch manager for Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, in Kitimat.

“Having a plan in place and having something to fall back on empowers you to do things you might not otherwise think about,” she says. “Most people, when they get a plan, they feel such a weight lifted off their shoulders.”

Here’s some ways you can get started:

  1. Make an appointment Call or stop by your branch to book a time to chat with an advisor about your financial situation. It’s never a bad time to take stock of where you’re at.
  2. Picture this Envision Financial has a great tool called the Financial Snapshot. It’s a questionnaire that helps you spell out where you’re at in four key areas of your finances: your regular banking, outstanding loans/credit, insurance and investments. Book and complete your snapshot by March 30 and be entered to win $7,000 toward travel, your mortgage, loans or education.
  3. Consider RRSPs or TFSAs The March 1 deadline to reduce your 2018 income tax owing, by contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan and/or opening a Tax Free Savings Account, is fast approaching. Talk to one of your local Envision Financial branch staff to find out how you can take advantage of these options.

Get help from your local experts

The upcoming LNG project and its potential to boost prosperity in Kitimat and the North Coast means many area residents will have more disposable income. Knowing what to do with that extra cash is not as easy as it might seem, says Envision Financial senior wealth advisor Angelo DeMelo.

“You take your car to a mechanic because they’re the expert. You get medical advice from your doctor because they’re the expert. Your financial health is no different,” he says.

You might feel bashful asking someone about your finances, believing you should know more than you do. But that’s where an advisor can help you make sense of the multitude of products out there, DeMelo says. And no matter where you are financially, he adds, you can always start planning now.

Educating you about your options

“We want to make a difference in the financial lives of our members, that’s our goal,” Kraft says. “Whether you invest in something new, or simply receive good advice that tells you to stay where you’re at, it’s always good to talk to someone about your financial health.”

You can find the Snow Valley branch on Wakashan Avenue and you can also follow Envision Financial on Facebook.

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