Financial advice and planning for separated,divorced, and widowed

Our typical clients:

  1. Are in the process of separating and divorce.
  2. They want to be organized and are looking for guidance with investments today and for retirement.
  3. Have a strong desire to provide for loved ones in the future and to be prepared for the unexpected.

Callum Sutherland, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner
Investment Representative

A certified financial planner (CFP) plays a crucial role in assisting individuals who are going through a separation and divorce in navigating their finances. The emotional and legal complexities of this process can make it challenging for individuals to make sound financial decisions. However, with the help of a CFP, individuals can gain clarity, develop a financial plan, and secure their financial future. In this article, we will explore the ways in which I,a CFP, can provide invaluable support during a separation and divorce.

First and foremost, a CFP can help individuals understand their current financial situation. They will review all assets, liabilities, income, and expenses to provide a comprehensive picture of their financial standing. This includes analyzing bank statements, tax returns, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, and any other relevant financial documents. By having a clear understanding of their financial situation, individuals can make informed decisions about property division, spousal support, and child support.

Once the current financial situation is assessed, I,a CFP, can assist in developing a post-divorce budget. Going from a dual-income household to a single-income or altered financial circumstances can be daunting. A CFP can help individuals understand their cash flow requirements, prioritize expenses, and create a realistic budget that aligns with their financial goals and new circumstances. This budget will consider factors such as housing, education, healthcare, and any additional financial obligations.

In addition to budgeting, I can provide guidance on long-term financial planning. They can help individuals set goals for the future, such as saving for retirement, children's education, or purchasing a new home. By considering factors such as risk tolerance, time horizon, and investment options, a CFP can develop a personalized investment strategy that maximizes the potential for growth while minimizing risk. This long-term planning ensures that individuals have a roadmap for their financial future beyond the divorce.

I can also provide assistance in navigating complex financial issues related to property division. They can help evaluate the financial implications of different settlement options and provide advice on how to minimize tax consequences. For example, they can advise on the potential impact of keeping or selling the family home, dividing retirement assets, or valuing business interests. Their expertise ensures that individuals make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and protect their long-term financial well-being.

Moreover, a CFP can collaborate with other professionals involved in the divorce process. They can work alongside divorce attorneys, mediators, or accountants to ensure that the financial aspects of the divorce are properly addressed. This collaboration helps individuals understand the financial implications of legal decisions and provides a comprehensive approach to resolving financial issues.

Lastly, I can provide emotional support during this challenging time. Divorce can be emotionally draining, and individuals may feel overwhelmed by the financial aspects of the process. I can provide a supportive environment, offering guidance, empathy, and reassurance. They can help individuals focus on their financial goals and make rational decisions rather than being driven by emotions.

In conclusion, a certified financial planner can be an invaluable resource for individuals going through a separation and divorce. From understanding the current financial situation to developing a post-divorce budget, creating long-term financial plans, navigating property division, collaborating with other professionals, and providing emotional support, I offer comprehensive assistance to ensure individuals can successfully navigate their finances during this challenging time. By working with myself, individuals can gain clarity, regain control over their financial future, and achieve long-term financial security.

Contact me today to learn more

Ask an advisor: RRSP or TFSA? – Canada Life

Find out the reasons to invest in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or tax-free savings account (TFSA) and why an advisor should help you decide.



View video script


Description: This animated video introduces a character named Hinata and his advisor with illustrated graphics to show the difference between an RRSP and TFSA.

Text “Ask an advisor” appears. The camera zooms out as the text lands in an outlined square. “RRSP or TFSA?” fades in below. An illustration of a vault draws on the right side of the frame.

Hinata: How do I choose between investing in an RRSP or a TFSA?

Description: Hinata sits in his advisor’s office with a cup of coffee on the desk in front of him. His advisor’s head nods to the right of the frame. A laptop is placed in between them.

Advisor: Well, first off, it depends on several things,

Description: Cut to Hinata and his advisor sitting behind her desk. She leans in and gestures towards the laptop.

Advisor: including your age, income, tax rate, the goal you’re saving for, and how long it’ll be until you need to use the money.

Description: Cut to five squares with icons and text, labelled “Age,” “Income,” “Tax rate,” “Goal” and “Time.”

Advisor: A registered retirement savings plan or RRSP is used to save for retirement.

Description: A pie graph labelled “RRSP” animates into the frame. An illustration of a Muskoka chair appears in the middle of the graph.

Advisor: When you put money into an RRSP, you get a tax receipt that can offset your income taxes.

Description: The advisor’s hand enters the frame and moves a coin into the pie graph. Cut to an illustration of a receipt. The advisor's hand brings the coin over to the receipt.

Advisor: You only pay tax on this money when you withdraw, and in retirement, you generally pay less tax than in your working years.

Description: Cut to line graph showing age from 20 to 90. The line representing income rises until retirement at age 65, then decreases gradually afterwards.

Advisor: A tax-free savings account or TFSA can be used to save for retirement

Description: A pie graph labelled “TFSA” animates into the frame. An illustration of a Muskoka chair appears in the middle of the graph.

Advisor: or any other goal.

Description: The camera zooms out to show two more pie graphs, one with an illustration of a new home, the other with an airplane.

Advisor: When you put money into a TFSA, you don’t get a tax-receipt like with an RRSP.

Description: The graph in the middle of the frame grows larger. The advisor’s hand enters and moves a coin into the pie graph.

Advisor: However, you also don’t pay tax on any increase in value in your TFSA,

Description: The hand pulls the coin out of the pie graph as the camera pans to a line graph representing savings over 15 years.

Advisor: or on money you withdraw from it at any date.

Description: An illustration of a receipt with scissors fades in as the graph drops slightly at the 15-year mark to show a withdrawal. The line graph continues to increase over another 10 years, another drop appears at 25 years, then finishes growing at 35 years.

Advisor: RRSP or TFSA or both? I can help you choose the best option for you.

Description: The camera zooms out of the laptop to return to Hinata and his advisor in her office.

Text “Let’s talk. Contact me today.” appears onscreen with the Canada Life logo and legal line: “Canada Life and design are trademarks of The Canada Life Assurance Company. 1-204-946-1190.”

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