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Financial Planning Made Easy - Karen Erickson

Dealing with debt

The holidays are over but your mailbox continues to fill up – with holiday bills. Pile them on top of all your regular payments for your mortgage, car loan and other credit card balances and you begin to wonder how you can stretch your paycheque to cover it all … to say nothing about how you will ever secure your financial future.

You know you need to pay your bills, somehow find money for the investments that are important to achieving your life goals, and come up with enough cash to make your maximum contribution to investments held within a RRSP that will allow you to one day realize your retirement dreams – but how will you do all that? One method that could work for you is debt consolidation. Here’s how it can work for you.

Consolidate high-interest, high-cost loans

Consolidate medical bills, car payments, education loans, lines of credit and other high-interest debts like credit card payments into one, lower-interest loan. You’ll have a single, more affordable monthly payment than the many monthly payments you were making previously, your cash management will be easier, and you’ll generate new savings that can ramp up your repayment plan and get you out of debt faster.

 

Tap home equity

Consider consolidating your debt through a home equity loan with a much lower interest rate than your credit cards (which typically range from 19% up to 28% for a retail card). When you keep the same amortization period, your overall lower interest rate will create additional cash flow to help you meet other financial goals.

So … now that you’ve got your debt under control, it’s time to look at how you can make the best use of your new-found investment dollars. In other words, it’s time to start PAC-ing. A Pre-Authorized Contribution (PAC) program delivers benefits like these:

  • Automatic investments via a monthly amount you choose to have debited from your bank account and invested for you.
  • Eliminate the annual scramble to find money for your contributions into investments held in an RRSP. Use your PAC to make regular contributions to your investments held in an RRSP all year round and get your money working for you all year round.
  • Get the full value of dollar cost averaging. When you invest regularly, you are able to acquire a larger number of securities, such as mutual fund units, when the price is lower and fewer when it’s higher. Over the longer term, your average cost per unit will likely be lower than if you had made lump sum payments, and your overall returns could be higher.

Deal with your debt now through debt consolidation; get PAC-ing to solidify your financial future -- and wrap all your financial and retirement hopes and dreams into a comprehensive financial plan. That's the right recipe for feeling confident about your life as it is today and as it will be for all your tomorrows. The best place to start? Talking to your professional advisor today.

 

This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.



Read more Financial Planning Made Easy articles




About the Author

As a Regional Director at Investors Group it is my mission to grow the Okanagan Region of Investors Group. I help recruit, train and develop Consultants at Investors Group. I am always looking for professionals that would like to be their own boss and enjoy the training, support, rewards and compensation for being a successful Consultant. Also ensuring that we continue to be involved in the community in which we live.

As a Financial Consultant it is my passion to serve clients by giving them full financial planning advice. This includes investments, insurance, retirement & estate planning and tax reduction strategies.

Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-erickson/15/391/1b6

Click here to visit my website.

Contact Karen by email at:  [email protected]

 







The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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