When is the best time to find out your roof leaks: when the sun is shining or when it is pouring rain and the forecast calls for nothing but rain for the next week?

Spoiler alert: it’s the first one.

When it’s sunny, it might feel unnecessary to hire a contractor to hoist themselves up onto your roof to take a look. Why should you do that when the roof has never leaked before? Why bother going through all that effort before there is even a problem?

Because being proactive is a LOT easier than being reactive.

Frantically calling roofers in a thunderstorm because the entire contents of those big black clouds have emptied themselves into your living room through the shingles, only to be told no one will work in a storm and that you’ll have to wait until it stops raining before they can send someone out…that is not a situation you ever want to be in.

This metaphor applies perfectly to financial planning.

A new prospective client came to me in desperation because her wife had recently had a stroke. She was in and out of the hospital, taking time off work and paying through the nose for parking and take-out meals. Her insurance would not be nearly enough to cover what she needed (and didn’t even cover so many of those “small” expenses that were rapidly adding up). She only found that out once she already needed that money.

With some strategic planning, we ensured she didn’t dig herself and her partner into a financial hole. Still, it was far more challenging to do that than getting them critical illness insurance coverage before anything terrible happened.

I hope you’re not thinking, “Great, so we can wait until the roof leaks because a great financial advisor will figure out the solution” – that is not the rule; it’s the exception, so don’t feel tempted to take your chances!

A different prospective client came to me after being unexpectedly let go in a mass layoff. He quickly discovered that the amount he thought he needed to sustain himself was far higher than planned. He did not want to dip into his savings, so we had to do some very strategic cashflow maneuvering to keep him on track. It would have been much easier to have corrected his emergency fund number and boosted that amount before he needed it rather than while he was actively drawing from it.

Another one of my new clients came to me with an exceptionally skeptical partner. He did not see the need for a dedicated financial planner or a formal financial plan. They both made healthy incomes and had been saving for retirement since their mid-twenties. They had an emergency fund, decent portfolios, and went on yearly vacations. Their life was “sunny.”

Through the process, though, we discovered many oversights. They weren’t taking advantage of tax credits. They didn’t have a plan for how to draw income best once they retired. They had no clear idea of the easiest way to pass on the family cottage. Their cash flow was nowhere near optimized. It was taking them almost twice as long to hit their financial goals as it should – and they didn’t even realize it!

Financial planning is about fixing the roof – or even getting a whole new roof! – when it’s sunny.

The best time to work with a Certified Financial Planner is when you don’t think you need to.

If you want your roof repaired before it rains, or if your roof is already leaking and you need help repairing it – book a call!