Pete B. has been a client of IG with Vassalo & Associates for three years. “Working with Irene and her team has brought me peace of mind and confidence in my financial future,” says Pete, a recent retiree. “She is professional, reliable and shows real empathy for her clients”.

Pete attended a seminar on retirement planning presented by Irene three years ago and was immediately impressed by how well she related to the audience using terms that were meaningful to them.

“I set up a meeting with her and quickly appreciated her relaxed, yet professional approach to helping me define my life and financial goals. With Irene, there is no “cookie cutter” approach to financial management. She takes the time to draw me out on what I wish to do in the next phase of my life while taking care of important details as part of a wealth plan she created with me.”

Irene began the conversation by gaining a clear understanding of his financial situation “and how my family’s well-being influences my financial plan and decisions.

“She told me that her job is to help me make the most of my money today while remaining comfortable about my financial future,” he says.

“When I received my retirement settlement, I consolidated my RRSP (held with my former employer) and retirement settlement with Irene. She invested the funds in my RRSP and other types of accounts such as a Tax-Free Savings Account. She and her team managed the process and took care of all tax-related and other issues, some of which involved transferring foreign investments in my former RRSP,” Pete said.

Irene and Pete meet approximately every two months, when he updates her on his transition into retirement and what he’s been up to, including basement renovations and plans for a dream vacation in Europe. Two years ago, his daughter’s wedding plans took centre stage. He and Irene also discuss potential changes to his wealth plan to reflect his new retirement lifestyle and Irene updates him on his portfolio and market performance.

“Irene is very much in the present with an eye to the future. For example, we have had conversations about insurance strategies and trust and estate planning and down the road, the legacy I want to leave. When our daughter turned 30, my insurance needs changed and with Irene’s guidance, we as a family decided on a last-to-die insurance policy to cover tax and disability insurance costs,” he said.

As part of his wealth plan, Irene has provided a full budget projection for each phase of Pete’s life, including the future establishment of a Registered Retirement Income Fund.

“Irene understands what is important to me. She encourages me to live my dreams as she helps to ensure my financial well-being in a professional and non-judgmental way,” says Pete. “She is a friend as well as a trusted advisor.”