Five easy steps to spring clean your personal finances

April is when many of us embark on our spring cleaning. It’s also a great time to freshen up your financial plan.

Karin Rimnyak, a Certified Financial Planner professional and an Investment Advisor at Action Financial Group — HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., says there are five main areas to spruce up this time of year.

First, purge old paperwork. This includes utility bills, other bills and old bank statements and tax returns. Canada Revenue Agency suggests keeping tax returns for seven years, but anything older, as well as papers containing personal information, should be disposed of securely.

Rimnyak secondly suggests tidying up your personal budget. While trying to keep a record of every coffee you buy is impractical, you should be cognizant of the lifestyle your income can provide. A budget can help you live within your means, pay off debt, including credit cards, loans and mortgages, at a reasonable rate, and save a portion of what you earn for emergencies.

The third important area to check is insurance. Some topics to revisit include: Do you have adequate protection? Do you need tenant or homeowner’s insurance? Do you have disability insurance in case you become sick or injured and can’t work?

“Life insurance protects our loved ones if someone passes away,” Rimnyak says.

Fourth, while you’re at it, dust off your account statements to make sure your investments – for example, Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) – are still appropriate for your age and risk tolerance. It’s also a good time to see if your investments are growing at a reasonable rate of return.

“You should ask your advisor if your portfolio needs to be refreshed,” Rimnyak says.

The fifth and final area to consider is your will and Powers of Attorney (POA). A will provides instructions for your Estate Trustee (formerly an executor or executrix) to take care of your property, investments and other assets, ensuring they are disbursed to your beneficiaries when you pass away. If you have minor children, you should also name a guardian and a trustee in your will.

A POA is in effect when something happens and you are no longer able to look after matters on your own. A POA for Property makes decisions about your financial affairs, while a POA for Personal Care makes decisions about health care, housing and other aspects of your personal life.

“All of these areas will affect the quality of your financial situation,” Rimnyak says. “We recommend people pull these items out, dust them off and take a look at them to make sure they’re heading in a good direction.”

The team has been serving the St. Thomas area since 1980 and include:

Karin Rimnyak, Investment Advisor, HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities; Insurance Advisor, Hollis Insurance Inc., Gerald MacKichan, Associate Investment Advisor, HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc,; Insurance Advisor, Hollis Insurance Inc., David Dryburgh, Licensed Assistant; Shelley Leblanc and Nancy Watson, Administrative Assistants. HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. For more information, visit or call 519-631-4724.

This information has been prepared by Karin Rimnyak, who is an Investment Advisor for HollisWealth® and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HollisWealth. HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Investment Advisor can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered. Action Financial Group is a personal trade name of Karin Rimnyak. Insurance products provided through Hollis Insurance Inc. For more information about HollisWealth, please consult the official website at

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Action Financial Group.

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