First comes love…. then comes marriage…. then comes Lena with a baby carriage.
Okay, so I managed to stick to the script. But for a large percentage of the Canadian population, life’s milestones typically happen out of order. Think about it: the once traditional sequence of life events used to read like a “to-do” list – finish school, get married, buy a house and have kids. However, this sequence is far less common now than it was for past generations. In fact, a recent TD survey found nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) Canadians have completed or are on track to complete their life’s milestones in a different order than they originally expected.
More specifically, Gen X Canadians are more likely to complete or be on track to complete them in a different order (64 per cent) than Millennials (52 per cent).
I can attest to this. I have girlfriends who have purchased their own home, returned to school, and had a baby – all before getting married. And to tell the truth, I am in awe! I took great pains to plan, budget and save accordingly based on my life’s own milestones, and for the most part, they followed a predictable timeline that I was equipped to handle. Therefore, I salute those who are able to swim against the current to achieve their own life goals, especially they happen out of the typical order.
Of course, while the order of life’s milestones may vary, thinking ahead about your goals and putting a financial plan in place can help manage the financial impact of these significant life moments, whenever they occur. We know that preparing for life’s big moments requires planning and saving, and regardless of your age, it’s never too early to build a financial plan and set goals for your future.
If you’re at a point in your life where you’re looking to make big choices, it is important to ask yourself some key questions and then meet with a financial planner to map out a plan that is unique to your situation and aspirations.
– How do I handle multiple milestones occurring at the same time?
– Is it smarter to plan a wedding or buy a home first?
– What costs should I factor in when contemplating buying a home?
– How much do I need to save to comfortably enjoy a parental leave?
– How do I know if I’m on track to save enough for retirement?
You may be looking at the list above and thinking, whatever Lena, it’s not rocket science, but consider this: according to the TD survey, many Canadians who have already completed these milestones report having experienced unexpected costs, especially for Canadians buying a home (52 per cent) and having their first child (43 per cent).
Today, only four in 10 Canadians say they have properly budgeted for having their first child, or are properly budgeting for retirement. It all starts with a savings plan; from long-term dreams to short-term wishes, TD can help you build a plan that meets every milestone.