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Matt McNeill Financial Security Advisor

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 09:44 -- Sheila Kozmin
Matt McNeill

Matt McNeill has a wealth of knowledge.

With an incorporated company inside London Life, McNeill is an independent financial security advisor and an investment representative with access to multiple companies’ products. Matt is third generation in the field, following his grandfather, Jack McNeill and father, John. “Our mission is to build a financial security plan tailored to meet your specific needs,” he said. “We’ll help you understand the choices to be made and the solutions available.”

McNeill’s advice for parents of young children is simple: “Look after the breadwinners first.” He maintains that life insurance of at least $500,000 is necessary to provide security for children in the event of the sudden death of a parent. “Young families need a ton of insurance,” he said.

Home ownership is key to an over-all financial plan because the asset remains tax-free. “Leave money in the house as long as possible instead of putting it into investments in which growth could be taxable,” he said. This strategy limits income tax after death.

As hard as it might be, McNeill advises saving 10% to 15% of gross income each year. Investments inside TFSAs should target high yielding returns where the money can grow tax-free. High-income earners should also contribute to an RRSP. “Lucrative company pensions seldom exist anymore,” he said. “And, pay down debt!”

A new banking trend for millennials is robo-advisers offering do-it-yourself low-cost online investment plans. However, McNeill cautions that talking to an advisor in person helps avoid missing important life issues. “We’re always looking out for your best interest; we want you to listen to our stories and cautionary tales,” he said.  

When it’s time to retire, seniors have many decisions to make and they must be informed. “They need to ‘flip a switch’”, said McNeill. “They have spent most of their life saving and find it difficult to start spending; it can seem counter-intuitive.” He advises that retirees should go and do want they want to do, especially between 65 and 75. “After that, health begins to fail,” he said.

Older people require a tactical approach to wealth management and estate planning. Unlike most banks, McNeill has access to wealth products that will bypass the estate. “We can help generations pass money down efficiently,” he said. Probate rules changed in 2015 and today, the role of an estate executor is very serious and complicated. “We can help to bypass the government,” said McNeill. “There are so many tripping points, but with access to estate specialists I can get the right people talking to the right people. Let us be your quarterback.”

Powers of Attorney (for property and health) must be put in place when we’re still healthy. Update wills at least every decade. Estate insurance is life insurance to offset taxes payable at death; it can be expensive, but is cheaper than most tax bills. Strategically removing money from RRSPs first in early retirement— before liquidating other assets— can prevent a huge tax bill after death. “For us, it is very satisfying to help people with the uncertainties of life,” said McNeill.

Reach Matt McNeill in downtown Sarnia through www.mattmcneill.ca  519-336-5540 ext. 247.

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