Saving for retirement

How big life changes can affect your retirement plan

Sometimes the best-laid plans don’t go as planned. But luckily, with help from a great advisor, you can get your plan back on track. 

When your retirement plans suddenly change, what can you do? An advisor can help get you back on track. But a great advisor can help you not just financially – but emotionally too.

3 life events that can change your retirement plans

There are three main ways retirement plans can change:

1. A serious illness or death of your spouse.

2. A divorce or separation.

3. A loss of income or change in finances.  

Getting advice from an advisor leading up to your retirement can help if one of these major events happen.

Having the right advisor on your side means you have someone to help you:

How can an advisor help you get your retirement plan back on track?

A sudden death of your spouse can have a major effect on your future. Both emotionally and financially. Having a plan that considers this can help ease these burdens.

1. An advisor can help you plan ahead.

Let’s take Sun Life Client, Cam, as an example. During their working years, he and his wife planned with their Sun Life Financial advisor to retire at 55. A year before their planned retirement date, Cam’s wife Shannon passed away suddenly from cancer. Cam was relieved that they planned with their advisor, Blake Griffith, for this scenario.

“When Shannon passed away – we had insurance for this type of illness.” By setting them up during their working years, Blake made sure they “were looked after and being helped,” explains Cam.

2. An advisor can offer emotional support during a stressful time.

Not to mention the emotional support Cam received from his advisor. “When Shannon passed away, Blake was one of the first ones to ask if I was okay. He worked hard to keep me going,” he adds.

Despite the sudden change to his retirement plan, Cam was still able to retire at 55 – because he had a plan in place.

Watch Cam as he shares his experience of working with an advisor to help him retire. 

How can an advisor help you during a financial crisis?

A sudden change in your finances can affect your retirement date. Whether it’s from job loss or other reasons. Having a plan that considers this can help save your retirement plan.

1. An advisor can help you deal with an unexpected setback.

Let’s take Zelma and Ashley as an example. Part of their retirement plan was building their dream home while they were working. However, weeks before they were expecting to move in, they received some bad news with a financial impact.

“We sold our house. We went on vacation. And we got a call from the builder saying they're in receivership,” says Ashley. “We were four weeks away from moving and they couldn't complete our house. We didn’t have a home.”

Who was the first person they called? Their advisor, Blake.

2. An advisor can recommend other professionals who can help you.

During this stressful time, Blake was able to help them in a few ways. Firstly, he recommended a realtor. Advisors can often recommend other professionals, like realtors, when you need help they can’t provide.

Secondly, Blake helped Zelma and Ashley with their finances. “Along the way it was stressful. We were constantly reaching out to Blake,” she recalls. “He advised us how we could get cash out of our savings without any implications. We listened to his advice.” And Blake’s great advice got them into a new home and back on track toward their retirement.

Watch Zelma and Ashley share how their advisor helped them through a difficult time before their planned retirement. 

Getting professional help from an advisor

Are you thinking of working with an advisor? You can meet with several before choosing one you feel you can trust. Most advisors offer to meet with Clients virtually. Find an advisor today.

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