Whether it is opening the pool, the cottage or even just the windows, Spring usually brings a desire to clean our environments and start afresh. Of course, organizing and de-cluttering is not always as simple as the magazines and TV shows suggest. When the clean-up project involves items about which we have questions, our energy gets diverted from cleaning into investigating options, family discussions and making difficult decisions. Should we keep Aunt Aida’s stamp collection for our grandchildren? Sell it? Or just give it to the neighbour’s child?

To make matters even more complex, a financial issue may be at the root of what appears to be a simple decision. We need to recognize the extent to which our financial situation affects us, including times when we are not aware of it. For example, we do not really relax and enjoy a weekend at the cottage if on some level our brain is worrying that we cannot really afford it. Science shows that this subconscious worry makes us more irritable and creates muscle tension and pain which reduce our physical and mental abilities.

Alternatively, you might not be doing something enjoyable just because you are not sure if you can afford it, when in reality you can. Have you been saving for the future? And is the future now?

Spring cleaning your financial situation means taking the time to review where you stand in relation to your current and future priorities. You might do this on your own, with a partner or an advisor. Some projects should be done at least annually (meeting with your investment advisor) and others, once done, can be off the to-do list for a few years (like getting an up to date will and powers of attorney).

We hope this newsletter offers some tips that you and your family will find useful. You may not necessarily enjoy doing the actual Spring cleaning, but remember how good it feels once it is done! And as a bonus, your financial Spring cleaning might make other projects easier to accomplish, and your summer more relaxing.

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