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Turn a dream into a financial opportunity

(NC) For years, Janet loved her job as an office manager for a medium-sized company. She had really earned her boss' trust and the respect of the entire team, but something was lacking. She just stopped feeling the spark and now wanted to try something new. Perhaps a yoga retreat in BC or she might pursue a fine arts degree in England, just for kicks. All she knew is that she desperately needed a change.

Taking a long sabbatical from ordinary life is all well and good if you happened to win the lottery, but what if you're a mere mortal with family responsibilities? You can't just throw everything away when you might still be carrying mortgage debt. So how does one begin to plan a year or two away from the daily grind? The financial planning experts from Desjardins Insurance suggest that allowing yourself to dream big is the first step towards successfully achieving it.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Basically it starts with a financial conversation between spouses, parents and children — it might not be easy at first because often a positive net worth reflects back to a positive self-worth. But it is possible to help Janet and her family find a way to save for this new change and to still stay financially viable at the same time. The most important part of the conversation is setting goals and developing a plan to reach those goals. In fact, you may need to create three different plans that address your financial, insurance and retirement goals.

Important differences

While financial, insurance and retirement planning each focus on money management, they each address different issues and objectives. Financial planning is the most comprehensive of the three. It helps to determine how you can best meet your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs. Everyone's goals are different based on their age, values and objectives. And these goals change over time as your life circumstances change. The key is to take into account all relevant aspects of your financial situation — The Big Picture — and to find the best way to help you succeed.

The sense of freedom Janet feels now is due in large part to the planning she did before leaving her job. In the not-too-distant future, she'll return to work, stronger and wiser for having taken the time she needed to think things through. To learn more about personal financial planning to help you reach your goals, visit the Life Events section on the Desjardins Insurance website at

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