How professional financial advice can make your dream a dream-come-true
By ATB Financial 15 January 2020 4 min read
Do you ever hear those wild success stories of someone accomplishing a financial goal and wonder how those people got there? Did they just get lucky, was life always this way for them or did they work hard to achieve their goal?
You might recognize Kari—her face and story have been shared on TVs and billboards across the province. She had this audacious dream of retiring in Costa Rica at 55, and with the help from her financial advisor Tiffany Daw at ATB, it’s going to happen. But, how did Kari’s dream become a reality?
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t something that came naturally or easily to her. It took a lot of strategizing, planning, and trust on Kari’s part—and she didn’t do it alone. It’s a good reminder that even though dreams don’t often come free, they certainly are possible. Let’s take a peek into Kari’s journey.
How her investment journey began
Kari had a big dream and she knew she needed some help to make it happen. The first step was clearly identifying her financial goals and focusing on where she wanted to be in the future. She had extra money saved up and she was about to pay her mortgage off.
When Kari met with her banker, Yuval, he encouraged her to think beyond paying off her mortgage. “Right away Yuval said, ‘you seem to have a substantial amount of money in your savings account and you’re paying your mortgage off. How do you feel about talking to somebody about what you could be doing financially to achieve other goals you have? You’re meeting a massive goal right now—don’t let yourself down and stop there.’”
For Kari, this question was a game-changer. Paying off her mortgage was no longer the end goal—it was what would make her dream come true.
You’ve got the goal, let’s make a plan
When Yuval connected Kari with Tiffany, the planning began. Kari didn’t just want to retire at 55 in Costa Rica—she wanted to buy a place down there and have it paid off by retirement. Audacious? We think so. Impossible? Definitely not.
“I had this idea of what I wanted and Tiffany walked me through it step-by-step, and said that there’s no reason we couldn’t make this 55 goal if I could do things like renting the condo out to pay the mortgage payments. That’s kind of what got me thinking, ‘Wow, I can actually do this.’"
However, even as a self-professed saver, Kari wasn’t used to navigating the world of investing.
“[Tiffany, my financial advisor] knew that I am a saver and I tended to put things in a savings account and not put it towards any kind of investment. She helped me move money into where it was going to make money for me, instead of just kind of sitting there and being the security blanket that I like to hold onto. She helped me figure out what kind of investments I wanted to do that would make me most comfortable and get the most value for my money in order to reach my goal.”
Going above and beyond guidance
Tiffany made sure that Kari was educated about investing, even beyond investing with ATB. Turns out, Kari had additional opportunities to invest through her work, and Tiffany went through the portfolio with her and helped her make the right investing choices so she could make extra money towards her Costa Rica goal.
“It was something she didn’t have to do, but something she was more than willing to do, which made me feel like my best interests were her best interests.”
Success—it doesn’t come overnight
Kari’s life wasn’t changed in one meeting—it took consistent efforts to get her Costa Rica-ready.
“We spent a lot of time talking about what I was going to invest in, how I was going to invest, and how old I’d be when I’d hit my target.”
Overcoming financial fear together
Sometimes it just takes knowing someone has your back to help grow your confidence with your finances. That’s what made all the difference for Kari as she transitioned from being an avid saver to a first-time investor.
“I felt that [Tiffany] was supportive, but she didn’t push me to the point where I was uncomfortable. So I felt good about the decisions we were making. I'm confident in this plan that ATB has given me.
I’m not worried about finances anymore, I’m worried about keeping myself busy when I retire.”
If you're new to investing like Kari, we have the perfect guide to get you started. Our ATB Wealth Investing Fundamentals Guide includes easy-to-follow explanations of the fundamental investing concepts and will help you grow your savings and increase your confidence around managing your money.
Editor's note: This article was previously published in May 2019 and has since been refreshed to make sure the insights we bring you are timely and curated specifically to help you thrive.