Finance

Building a financial fortune with Jackie Porter

Jackie explains how Canadian freelancers who are single — whether by choice or chance — can design a life that covers financial and personal goals.

December 1, 2020

Jackie Porter is an awarding winning financial planner, best-selling author and public speaker who has helped thousands of clients grow their net worth, build a fortress around their finances and keep more of their cash in their pocket.

Jackie has been featured on a number of shows and is a regular contributor to financial publications. In fact, she was recently named Mackenzie Female Trailblazer of the Year for 2019. Jackie is a leading expert in women and money and is also the co-author of Single by Choice or Chance.

In this episode, Jackie and Mohammed talk about how Canadian freelancers who are single — whether by choice or chance — can design a life plan that covers not only their financial goals but also other life priorities such as their career, relationships and personal goals.

Short on time? Skip to the parts you're most interested in.

[01:49] How Jackie got started as a financial planner

[08:51] Three types of leverage to make your money multiply

[12:38] How single women can build a fortune

[15:17] How to create multiple revenue streams

[18:44] Defining "fortune"

[20:03] Misconceptions about building a financial fortune

[25:17] Preparing for a future as a single person

[28:13] Unexpected challenges you might face

[30:39] When it doesn't make sense to build a financial fortune

[32:37] Examples of how others built a financial fortune

[37:16] Establishing an income replacement plan

[38:14] Ways to talk to others about money

If you enjoyed the conversation, check out more episodes of our podcast. You can subscribe to Freelance Canada on Apple Podcasts or listen to it wherever you get your podcast. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the episode.

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Jackie: I am feeling awesome. 

Mohammed: Perfect. Well, I'd love to know what is it that you do?

Jackie: So I'm a financial planner and when I got into the industry, I started to realize quite a few things. One was, I didn't see a lot of people that looked like me. And my background is in psychology and I started to realize the way that I talk to people might differ from my peers in terms of how I approach financial planning.

When you come from a therapeutic background, you learn a lot about giving positive regard and giving people space to talk and all of these things. And all of those things struck me as really interesting because they were never applied to, or at least I never saw them applied to, finance. And I started to realize working with people on their money, that people have a lot of shame. 

I have a lot of clients who are female and they have a lot of shame when it comes to talking about money. And because money is something we all need to learn about — and my passion is getting people to lean into money — I started to call myself a confidant. Like a financial confidant, because I think that's a more accurate description of what I do. I help people to kind of come to terms with their money trues and try to help to empower them around their money. 

And so I feel like that's a much more fitting description of what I do rather than just a financial planner app. I help people plan, but before they can plan, they have to feel first and foremost, confident in me and what I do as a financial planner. So I have to have credentials, I need to have a certification — so that's my certified financial planning designation. 

But they also need to feel like I'm relatable and that they can trust me and talk to me because unless I can get to the heart of their financial truth, I'm not truly in a position to help them. And I think in this pandemic, in particular, our industry is kind of turning on its ear and realizing that all advisors need to be better confidants. 

Mohammed: And you've been in the financial industry for about 22 years. Do I have that right? 

Jackie: I got to update my bio. It's 24, but it makes me feel old to say that out loud. But thank you for reminding me.

Mohammed: I mean, I didn't mean it in any way of feeling old. 

Jackie: I'm just having fun with you. It's all good.

Mohammed: I suppose if you look at the market, and we talk about compounding interest being the eighth wonder of the world, I feel the same can also be applied to human knowledge. And the industry that we're in and the amount of time we put in and the things that we learn and develop over time, I feel they also have a compounding effect that a lot of times we don't think about.

So when I bring up the 22 to 24 years, for me, that's where I'm thinking where you've been in this industry now for over two decades. And... 

Jackie: Oof! You're a hundred percent right about that. One of my favourite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, talks about 10,000 hours. Like you become an expert when you truly put in 10,000 hours. And I think that there [are] some truth to that. The more experiences you have, the more you become an expert on something.

Growing up in the seventies, I participated in a lot of the side hustles that my mother had [along with] her full-time job. So whatever she was involved in, I kind of was involved in as well. So she kind of taught me how to work hard. And another thing she taught me was never to rely on a man and to have your own money.

Mohammed: And what was that moment that led you to go from being in psychology to finance? How did that transition happen?

Jackie: Well, there [are] a few things. One is like most people, I didn't come from a household where. I learned a lot about finance. My mother was a single mom and she was a very proud immigrant who was proud [of] working really hard. Growing up in the seventies — since you've kind of [out] my age when you do the math — I participated in a lot of the side hustles that my mother had [along with] her full-time job.

So whatever she was involved in, I kind of was involved in as well. So she kind of taught me how to work hard. And another thing she taught me was never to rely on a man and to have your own money. And by the time I was seven, she was drilling that into my head. And so I learned a lot about really working hard and talking about the 10,000 hours, my mother was instrumental in making me the resilient person that I am.

Unfortunately, when I was around the age of 16, my mother passed away. So I've been on my own since I was about 16. I've had to do a lot of adult things that are really around money and life. And truthfully that has contributed to me being a very resilient person. So I kind of went on that path. Got my psychology degree. I decided I wanted to be a psychologist or a journalist. I wasn't sure which one. And pursued that in university. Got my first full-time job then got transitioned from my first full-time job.

And one of my friends, actually that I lived with during my teens and twenties referred me to my very first financial planner. And that person was also instrumental in my life because unlike my mom who talked about money, me working hard, this individual, talk to me about money working hard, and I have to tell you, bye.

That time. So I was 16, so it was probably around 26, 27 when I entered the financial industry. So I was already really tired. I was looking forward to retirement. And so for me, the opportunity to, to learn about my money working hard, that was like, Something that was game-changing for me. It was the very first money conversation I ever had with anyone.

And as she was talking to me about it, I just, she was fully in, I know this sounds probably corny to your viewers, but it was true. It's like this heavens opened up and I kind of went, this is what I'm supposed to be doing because I really wished I had more of these kinds of conversations and it led me to get all of my licenses.

I asked her, how can I get into this industry? Cause I need to learn everything I can. About money for myself because I desperately wanted financial security and I was a really good saver, but I still had no idea how to make money work for me. So after — because I spent the next three or four years learning everything I could over time — I built my seven-figure net worth.

And then I kind of wanted to impart that information to other women, into other people, because I realized the difference it made in my life. And you know what I. I wanted the opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives as well. 

Mohammed: This person that changed your mind around money and perhaps working hard for versus I don't want to say working smart, but essentially delegating the work to your money, I suppose.

Jackie: That's it, that's it because I love that concept and that's a Robert Kiyosaki concept around. Turning money into your employees, right. And making your money work as hard as you do. And I just love that idea, that excited me. 

Mohammed: Right. And I suppose, what are maybe some of the concepts or some of those things that are having your money work for you? At least maybe a few that come to your mind.

Jackie: I'm really big on three types of leverage. So I love the idea of leveraging. So making money work hard for you is up to me about leveraging because when you work hard, it's kind of like adding and subtracting, as money comes in, money goes out versus leveraging is about making money multiply.

Right? And so what are the different ways you can make money multiply? So I usually try to talk to people about three ways you can leverage money. You can leverage your tax bracket. So if there [are] someone who pays taxes, [did] you know that investing in RRSPs, for example, you can get money back on the money that you were already going to invest?

So that's a way to get free money from the money that you were going to invest anyway. So how can you do that? How can you get more mileage? Cause I look at doing that when it comes to -- if I'm going to get a credit card, can I get a credit card that gives me points so I can get more mileage? Free money on the money I was going to put into to buy something.

So I just loved playing with that idea of leveraging. When I was talking about leveraging your tax bracket to leverage the amount of taxes that you pay. And if you're in a higher tax bracket, look at the way the government, the tax system can give you money back. So make sure, especially as freelancers that you get every single deduction that you are entitled to.

And then the second way, like I was talking about, is leveraging your money to make money for you. So that's that concept of, can I use a points card and use that points card to give me more money back? So how can I, again, [leverage] the money I have to make [more] money for me? So that could be [a] points cards.

It could be points cards for travel. there [are] a really good site called greedyrates.ca that you can check [for] all the different points cards out there. That could be travel or it could be places where you shop. So you get the most money back on your money. Get more mileage; make your money work harder.

And then third is [to] leverage your time, right? So leverage your time is about the fact that the earlier you start investing, the more you can have money accumulate for you. So basically you can use [the] time to help make money work for you. Sometimes people come to me, and they're 60, and they're thinking “I want to save for retirement.”

I'm like, “Well, how much do you already have saved? Because you have less time to work with.” So you have less time for money to accumulate and work for you. So leverage your time, leverage your tax bracket, [and] leverage your money to make money.

Mohammed: I love it. I'm rather excited to listen back to this episode and write down all the notes. I think a lot of times, certain things can be like, “Well, of course, that makes complete sense.” But when you add the context of how it works with your situation and your money, I think that's where the piece is coming together. It's been, “Oh, right. It's a simple concept, but I see the big benefits and the impact of it.” So I really enjoyed that there. 

Jackie: No, no problem. Like I said, I love multiplying versus adding and subtracting. That's kind of what people do with money — money comes in, money goes out.

If you're a single person and you're your only stream of income, you feel more at risk. So how can you create another stream of income? It could be as simple as “Can I offer a complimentary service in my business?”

Mohammed: Keeping on track of money and keeping on top of getting into this idea of leveraging, getting into this idea of multiplying, getting into this idea of [making] your money work for you. I know you also focus quite a bit on the concept of people who are single, whether it's by chance or by choice. And you also wrote a book with Jill O'Donnell. 

Jackie: Yes, she's one of my mentors. And we wrote a book around single women and it's funny, at the time there wasn't even one book in the library about single women. So it's actually exciting to think there might be 10 at this point about single women. So hey, this is a win as far as I'm concerned. 

But what I was going to say, I think you had asked me about “How can single women build their fortune?” And that kind of comes around with creating additional streams of income. Because it is more expensive and I'm not going to lie to your audience. It is more expensive to be single, right? You're not splitting costs with somebody.

And so consider if you're a single person and you're your only stream of income, you feel more at risk. So how can you create another stream of income? It could be as simple as “Can I offer a complimentary service in my business?” So I have a lot of clients who are makeup artists who are freelancers. So if I'm a makeup artist and I'm selling makeup, can I sell a complimentary service like skincare, where I can also make another stream of income from.

Or could I become an influencer where I could make money from repping one of the product lines out there? But think through, cause keep in mind, these are some of the things that big companies do. They look at buying other [businesses] to create another stream of income and they're much more resilient than one person. 

So how could you as one person create another stream of income? I'm somebody who also believes in creating an income stream from my investments like real estate. I purchase properties that create another income stream to help me have additional income streams in retirement.

But the other thing your audience should know is [to] keep in mind that the average millionaire has five to seven streams of income. So how many streams of income can you build to make yourself as a single person more financially resilient? Especially when we're talking about the pandemic. That if you had one single stream of income from your business and then all of a sudden that stopped, it made you much more vulnerable.

Mohammed: I think you've touched on something here that I know can be hard for people to grasp at first, but once that concept sort of clicks, it just sort of becomes [a] way of life. And for example, you'll have freelancers who believe to your point of addition and subtraction where it's like, “I work this many hours, I get paid this much.” Where you're challenging them to think through what are other ways or what are additional ways that you can actually start multiplying that? 

Jackie: That's exactly right.

Mohammed: And I guess as we think about this a little bit more, what could be some examples of different revenue streams that you've seen work well in practice? You've mentioned real estate for one, complimentary products for another. What are some top of mind for you? 

Jackie: Even side hustles, right? Like maybe it could be something that has nothing to do with your day job. It could be, and I'm definitely not speaking about myself for the people who know me out there, so don't come back to me for this one. But, I know some people who are fantastic bakers, fantastic caterers, cooks and they'll post these beautiful pictures of things that they've made online.

As a result of that, they started another stream of income. So they do catering on the side, even though they have a full-time gig. So that could be something that you do. It could be something that you do for free, like something you're passionate about that could create another stream of income for you.

So for some people it's baking or I have this other company that now is a seven-figure business, but they did all of these sort of — I want to say resiliency cards, but they're like the good news card. So she's been sending people throughout, even before the pandemic.

She's like, “You know, we need some good news.” So she's been sending people little messages of good news about staying healthy, being zen, that kind of thing. And that's taken off as another business for her, that's turning into a seven-figure business.

If you're doing your freelance work, think about what your passion is if you have other passions and how you could potentially turn those other passions into a stream of income.

Mohammed: I mean, it's funny, we're talking about this because I woke up two days ago with essentially my mind just racing for ideas on passive income and I've listed 50 different things that freelancers can do to start generating passive revenue. So hopefully I can break this out by the time this episode comes out.

Jackie: That would be great. Cause I think the idea is to don't be vacant of ideas. Think of as many ideas as possible. And I would probably say if you're doing your freelance work, think about what your passion is if you have other passions and how you could potentially turn those other passions into a stream of income.

I do an Instagram live at five every Wednesday, and I've had people on the show talk about the pandemic and pivoting their business. And so it could be you offered your services, face-to-face with people, but now you're offering it online and you're realizing, “That actually opens me up to markets that don't have to be in Canada.”

Do you know what I mean? So it could be as simple as that. Maybe let's just change who you market to from a postal code standpoint, because www is the worldwide web. 

Mohammed: I like that. And earlier you mentioned fortune, how do you define fortune?

Jackie: I think fortune can be many things to many people. And I know as a part of what I do, initial financial conversations with people, I want them to define it for themselves. Because it's all about being aligned with your definition of what money means. So for me, fortune means time freedom and time freedom is [for me] the absolute, most amazing thing to have from a financial perspective. 

You have to understand for me, my mother passed away when she was 36 and that's always been something that's been top of my mind. So I'm always thinking about, “How can I make the most of the time I have on this earth?” So I'd like to travel. And so having money to do things like travel, spend time with family, create an impact in the communities I have doing good work.

Those are all things that are really important to me, and that's one of the reasons why it was important to me to create my own seven figure income stream. Those are the things that keep me going, but I think people need to define what fortune means for you because that's what will motivate you to the finish line — to truly have your wealth. 

Mohammed: So given that it is subjective — and a hundred percent agree with that — I'd love to understand, what are some misconceptions freelancers, and especially single freelancers, have about building a financial fortune themselves?

Jackie: I think a lot of times when I've met with freelancers — I have a number of clients who are freelancers. And I have to say, and if this doesn't apply to you, please don't feel like I'm putting this on you unless it applies. But what I'm seeing, unfortunately, is a number of freelancers who come to me and they haven't done their taxes in many years, they're behind on their bookkeeping, they might owe HST.

And so what that suggests to me is they're putting off dealing with their money. They're putting off dealing with their finances and a part of it could be that they're just afraid of dealing with their money and afraid of having that financial conversation with themselves, that we all have to have FYI, or they feel like they have time and they could deal with it later. And as I had said earlier, one of the things that we have a finite amount of is time and time is something that you can leverage to make work for you. 

So I'm here to tell you that instead of being afraid of your money, lean into having those money conversations, especially with trusted professionals. If you feel like this is something you can't do alone, get in touch with me, ask for referrals for good advisors that you can work with and trust your gut.

If you're sitting with someone that you can't tell your money truth to, this is a good opportunity to leave the conversation. Because it's your money and you — [as] I said, that's one of the reasons I call myself a confidant. You have to be in a position to work with people that you feel comfortable with.

And it's not just financial planners. You want to have a trusted tax professional because typically, as I said, when people that I'm getting referred to come to me for the first time and they have their receipts in a shoebox, they're behind on their HST, they haven't done their taxes in a few years. I'm referring them to the trusted professionals in my circle because I can't do everything. 

So I have tax professionals that I can put them in touch with and get them organized. And then I'm like, “Come back to me once you've done that so that we can do the work in terms of the financial planning work.” I think there [are] a real need for training for freelancers so that they understand how money works. 

there [are] no — as we were talking about before — there [are] no training for freelancers to become a freelancer. So here you are. If you're not understanding how money works, if you're not comfortable around being a business owner, you don't have a sense of how you set up your cash flow, it could truly be something that scares you. 

So I think getting organized around your finances as a freelancer — so that means making sure that every time you receive income, you take 25% for taxes. And just have a separate account that you keep that money in. Understanding where your money goes, like your needs and your wants. So having a spending plan for your money.

I think what I've seen as well is freelancers tend to go into the feast and famine route, depending on what's coming in. So there [are] months for things that are great and so let's live it up. And then the months when they're not, and they're like, “Oh no, these are bad months.”

Instead of doing that, why not have a plan for what you need to spend this year? And then anything extra that comes in goes to a separate account — after you take the 25% out for taxes, the rest goes into a separate account that helps you in those months where you don't have the full amount that you need to for your spending plan to live.

And then at the end of the year, depending on what's in that second — let's call that account your fortress account — so what's in your fortress account to pay the bills when you don't have all the money you look at and you say, “Okay, what do I have leftover? What do I need to put back into the business next year? Can I give myself a little bit of a bonus to take [a] vacation?” 

Some of my wants, not my needs, but some of my wants and then organize yourself accordingly. I think when you're a freelancer, consider yourself just a business. Because keep in mind, corporations kind of run them themselves that way. They're on a salary all year. And then at the end of the year, they look at their entire income and then they pay a bonus out based on what's left. 

So you kind of want to apply that same mentality to your income. But the key thing a single freelancer needs to think about is getting financially organized because it will create so much relief in terms of planning and freedom — peace of mind in terms of planning for the future.

People who don't plan to be single, and now I'm talking about women in particular, who don't plan to be single from a financial perspective who don't plan to take responsibility for their finances, tend to have much more negative and adverse outcomes. They tend to be the people living on the lowest income level in retirement.

Mohammed: I suppose there are people who choose to be single and live life in that matter. But of course, there are also people that end up being single as a result of a divorce or somebody passing away or some other means. And that's where I feel the unexpectedness that can also affect you. 

So let's say I'm now thinking about my future and whether I'm single or whether I'm with a partner, but I still want to plan my future in a way that should I end up single, I have my fortune that we talked about, planned for me. What are some ways I can get started and get into that mind frame?

Jackie: I think that's a really good point and I can't emphasize that enough, that first and foremost, your audience should know that.

People who don't plan to be single, and now I'm talking about women in particular, who don't plan to be single from a financial perspective who don't plan to take responsibility for their finances, tend to have much more negative and adverse outcomes. They tend to be the people living on the lowest income level in retirement.

Especially because people don't necessarily plan to divorce. but unfortunately what the research is showing is the fastest rising group of divorces are actually seniors. So instead of retiring on the beach together,

the average age of a widow, and this was something that shocked me when I wrote the book is the age of 56. So I think if you're someone who is thinking, “As a single person, what can I do to make sure as I get older?” Consider that you live four years longer than men if you're a woman out there.

And, and I think it all starts with meeting into those money conversations. Because typically when I do financial plans with people, we're having these conversations, what if the spouse passes away? Or what if you're the second person to retire? What do you need to save as a person? If it's just you and it was just you in the relationship.

What does, what would you need to save if it's just you, so we're planning together, but we're also making sure that the two people in the relationship are ensuring that no matter what happens, they're going to be okay. So when you're having conversations, with your advisors, you just want to do the math and make sure “What do I need to live?”

What are all the worst-case scenarios? So God forbid if my partner passed away, What do I need to have in place if it's just me and I'm a single person and you know, I want to plan for just being on my own, how much do I need to put away for retirement? Give me all of my best-case scenarios, worst-case scenarios.

So I can build a plan. That's truly resilient under all those things, right? And as the freelancers are building this out, what are some unexpected challenges that they might face? I think [a big] unexpected one is taxes. I mean, there [are] so many different taxes to pay us as a Canadian, right.

But the taxes to pay period, right? You have to pay HST, you have to pay income taxes. You have to pay payroll. If you pay other people, like if you have to pay payroll taxes. So there [are], that's just, that's just income taxes, but there [are], there [are] lots of taxes to paint. And I think what I've seen freelancers struggle with the most is like I said, falling behind on their income taxes on their HST.

And being in a situation where they have they're behind. And so they have to come up with a plan to pay the taxes they owe already while trying to manage their finances as they move forward. And, and I think going back to, feast or famine money coming in every month, and it's not the same amount.

So sometimes it makes it much more challenging to plan. I think on that front, I think that's another challenge that freelancers are having to deal with is just trying to figure out how much do they have in terms of income to work with. And as I said, that's why it's so important to get financially organized.

Around your finances because otherwise can get overwhelming. And I think sometimes when freelancers are overwhelmed, that's one of the reasons why they just simply avoid it and it starts to, it starts to create this vicious cycle for them. So I think that earlier you, especially if you're a new freelancer, the earlier you get organized, get, get connected to a solid accountant and for your audience out there, who's like, how do I find a solid accountant?

I'm happy to email you an article I wrote on how to find a really good accountant to work with. Just. What questions to ask, how do you get organized around your finances? How do you get your bookkeeping sorted out? like I said, I'm happy to pass on that information to you, but I think taxes are probably one of the biggest challenges that I see.

And along with organizing, how much income do I have so I can plan with -- because I think once you know those two things, then you can more solidly plan for your future. And you can have that financial confidence that you need. To move forward. 

Mohammed: And when does it not make sense for a freelancer to start building their financial fortune?

Jackie: Okay. One, it doesn't make sense is if they're facing debt, I think if you're behind in taxes or you're carrying a lot of credit card debt. I think the key thing to do is get, prioritize, paying off the credit card debt and start paying off the highest interest rates. On the credit card first. And if here's the thing that I recommend, all of your listeners to do is go check out your credit score and you can check it out credit karma.com.

It's a free site to check out your credit score, because if you've got good credit. So if you have at least 650. Or more, you might be able to transfer your high-interest credit card to a low balance or a balance transfer [to a] low-interest cards, like 1% or 2% for six months or a year, depending on your credit score.

So you can truly focus on getting that debt behind you. And then really at that point, you can start building your financial fortune. If you're someone who has fallen behind on your income taxes, you're going to need to talk to a solid, trusted tax advisor to work with the CRA to get your taxes organized, get you on a payment plan.

So you can kind of, get that out of your head. Like. Be free of all of that. Right. All of that financial stress. And again, so that you can start planning and preparing for the future you want. Like, I know we talk about retirement a lot as financial planners, but I just like to say, how do we retire your assets?

Like when, when do you want to be in a position that you can start relying on your assets if you want to. I know lots of freelancers who work into their seventies because they love what they do. So it's a question of knowing that you have the choice to retire. Not that you have to.

And my job when I work with clients is to help them to anticipate, to plan, to look forward to the best-case scenarios, but to also anticipate and plan for the worst-case scenario. 

Mohammed: I suppose as I think this through, and I really liked your approach to what is retirement, right. Or rethinking retirement, as you're putting it. And I think what's interesting is that it can be very easy to be like, yes, I need to start planning for my retirement and it's going to happen. I'm going to have my financial fortune, but it doesn't fully click in at times. 

And sometimes until you see another person and you see their success story, or perhaps even their nightmare, that you realize that it's like, “Oh crap. Okay, I need to get my house in order.” In your experience, what have been some stories that you can share that perhaps might bring home this idea of why building towards a financial fortune is important, especially thinking of yourself as a single person, even if you are in a relationship right now?

Jackie: I can think of this one makeup artist I've been working with for many years and she was somebody I can tell two different stories. One, she was somebody who was a great saver. She just wasn't a great investor. So, some of the things that we did, we really, what I did with her was helped her to build her financial fortune.

So we built investments, we built other streams of income. We also put in place because she was a single person. She owned. She was actually in the process when we met to buy her first home, we looked at a plan to pay off her mortgage faster. So, here she is now in the pandemic mortgage-free, she's bought two other properties.

She's got money and investments. She's now found a partner that she's thought about a partner that she's with, but she's, she knows that no matter what, she's going to be totally fine financially. And it started with her being in a position to save, being in a position to buy her first home, being open to these money conversations about how she can build her fortune and cause I'm pretty repetitive.

So what's great about her is because we've had these conversations over the years. And I started talking about something. She's like, I get it. I really get it. And she'll repeat something I've said back to her, which for me is just awesome to see her like a light bulb come on. And she feels empowered around her money.

And I think that's something I feel that I love seeing repeated in the clients I have when they're like, “No, nope. You don't have to say that again for me.” Awesome. I'm like, “Okay, I've done my job here. I no longer have to be a financial evangelist of this person.” I don't have to move on, but no, I think during the pandemic it's come to light.

When people are prepared versus not being prepared. So she's prepared. We did as I said, we did all of those things. The other thing that we did was we got her things like income replacement, because if you're a single person who, do you have to rely on? And her partner happens to be a freelancer, too.

So, because we set up these income replacement plans. It's interesting in the makeup artistry industry, some of it has dried up quite a bit during the pandemic and, and you know what unfortunately happened to her. She broke both her ankles during the pandemic, but we took up this disability, injury-only plan 10 years ago.

So even though she doesn't have as much income. Now, when we bought the plan 10 years ago, she was making [a] much better income. So they don't ask her for new financials. Now they pay her based on what she showed his financials then. So she's been receiving that income during the pandemic. So it's like good news, bad news that she broke her ankle? Forgive me if you're listening to this!

She's getting the income, right? So that's the beauty of it. And she got the income. She didn't get the amount that she earned. She got the amount she needed to pay her bills. That's all she needed so it was perfect. So, well, that's the kind of thing. I mean like you don't ever expect [anyone] to break their ankles, right?

Or get injured, nevermind during a pandemic, when your income has gone, has dwindled because the industry is currently changing. Right. So that's, to me, the important reason you need a plan, especially as a single person, because you never know what's going to come around the corner.

And my job when I work with clients is to help them to anticipate, to plan, to look forward to the best-case scenarios, but to also anticipate and plan for the worst-case scenario. 

Mohammed: I love it. I have two more questions around this, around the things you've said. So [the] first one let's talk and understand what is income replacement plan is, or at least in your context, is it more so getting insurance or...? 

Jackie: Yeah, it's income replacement is if you're injured or ill, the plan will pay out an income for you. And you know, we're talking about different income streams. That's an income stream if you're sick, right? So if you're sick or injured, who pays the bills. Right. So what do you have in place? Excuse me. And, and freelancers are notoriously underinsured. especially, I mean, even if you're in a relationship, you probably have responsibilities, financial responsibilities to your household.

What happens if you're not well enough to meet those responsibilities and remember you're your own insurance plan. So what do you have in place? What income stream do you have in place to replace your income? If you're sick or injured? 

Mohammed: Okay. That makes a lot of sense and I like it. And the other thing that you've also mentioned that I want to make sure I've captured is that this makeup artist had somebody to talk to you about money, right? And I find most people don't talk about money. there [are] so much stigma around it. It's like we don't talk about salary. We don't talk about investments. We don't talk about savings unless it's very rare. 

So for somebody who is thinking about starting making more of a concerted effort in their finances. What are some ways that can open up a discussion around money, especially if they have a partner? 

Jackie: You know, that's a very good question. I make a joke about this all the time because it's about having these key conversations with your partner, but keep in mind during the pandemic people have, unfortunately, lost their elder family members.

So that could be a grandparent or parent. And I'm hearing from clients, these nightmare stories of trying to figure out where their, their mom or dad's money is or where their will is, or how to find all of their legal documents. And, and I think having money conversations with loved ones, in general, is tricky.

And, I think. This is where having a trusted advisor comes in because I think working with clients, I've facilitated a lot of money conversations for the clients that I'm involved with. And I think about, for example, when we're talking about women who become single by choice in sheds and the perils financial parallels they face.

I think one of my roles when I work with women in particular, just because they stand to lose so much, especially if they go into a relationship and it goes wrong, is I advocate for clients when they come to me and they say, listen, I've met someone I'm so happy. I'm like, “That's wonderful. Now let's talk about cohabitation agreement, prenups, [etc.]. Remember those things that we talked about in our first meeting? I'm like, “Well, when are you bringing your partner in so I can help facilitate these conversations?”

And I think, advisors stand to gain a lot from being that person who can help facilitate those conversations. I've also facilitated conversations. With clients. I mean, cause I work with a number of families when they're like mom and dad, aren't safe living in the house anymore, but you need to talk to them about, considering downsizing and having the money go towards their retirement.

And I've been in some rooms and I'm like, “Wow, these people are really comfortable with me.” How can you be this comfortable having this conversation with me there when it got really, really heated and very emotional, I'm like, “I don't know if I should feel good about this or not.” I'm happy to facilitate those conversations and help families have some challenging conversations with their loved ones that led to, putting in place prenups and postnups for both parties involved.

When you're protecting one person, you're protecting the other person too or helping, family members, help their family have those conversations. Like I think about those conversations about downsizing. Sometimes it didn't happen right away, but it happened maybe six months a year later because we started that conversation.

They started to think about some of the things we said, do you know what I mean? So, you kind of have to just start them and be dogged about continuing them. And truly, I think it's helpful to have someone else at the table who can be a neutral third party and just can help facilitate the conversation as well.

Mohammed: Well, Jackie, I love everything you've said and I've really enjoyed this conversation. I'd love to know where people can find out more about you and your work online. 

Jackie: Yes, absolutely. So they can go to my website which is www.askjackie.ca. You'll find a bunch of financial literacy videos — I love doing financial literacy videos. I do podcasts — there are a number of podcasts there where I talk about different financial topics. I also have a quiz for those of you out there who want to find out what's your financial IQ. We have a financial IQ quiz on the website.

You can take the test and if you get your results and you want someone to hold your hand with the results, we're there to do that longer financial IQ with you, where we give you strategies. We give you [a] half an hour free strategy session on how you can improve your financial IQ.

So feel free to reach out to us. Also, feel free to check out my Instagram. I host a webinar host alive every Wednesday, and it's just about the financial issues happening for people during the pandemic. We usually do a personal issue and then we do a business issue. So I'd love to have you come on and listen to it live and give us your feedback.

Mohammed: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jackie. I really appreciate this opportunity to learn from you. 

Jackie: Wonderful. Listen, a pleasure talking to you.

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