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


In 2017, I decided to join the Financial Services industry to serve people and business owners who want to improve and feel secure about their finances and their future. My goal is to simplify complex financial matters so people can make better decisions with their money and have more confidence in the financial future they want for themselves and their families.

Now that I have been in the business for a few years, my mission is to use my knowledge gained while earning the Certified Planner Designation, and my experience to provide guidance and support to people who are going through or have gone through a separation, divorce or are widowed. It is a difficult time in one’s life, I know mine was and I have seen the hardship faced by others. Dealing with money when you are emotional is precisely the time when seeking guidance is important. Dividing finances and other assets is complicated. Oftentimes, one person looks after the finances during the marriage. After the breakup, this creates a lot of stress and anxiety for the other person because they now have to figure it out, and often don’t know where to start.  This is where I can help you get organized, and help you start your new chapter on the right foot financially.

My Philosophy

I am a huge advocate of focusing on what you can control when it comes to being physically, mentally, and financially fit. Emotions affect the decisions you make with money. Being physically and mentally healthy will help you with your emotions and therefore your finances.

1. Pay yourself first.  When you are looking at your day, plan when you will exercise first and build around it.  Your body needs movement. We are living longer and if you want the longer to be quality, you need to move.  You need to save first and then spend the rest of your money. If you spend first, you won’t have money left. 

2. You cannot go to the gym once, work out for 2 hours, and then consider yourself in shape and look like the Rock. It takes time and consistency.  Saving money and investing is the same.  You need to give it time to allow compounding to work. During a workout, you are breaking down the muscle and it repairs itself and is stronger. This happens over and over and one day you will notice.  Investing is the same way. You won’t necessarily notice growth in a month, but in 10 or 20 years you will see the magic.

3. You need to make it routine. When we are under stress, we fall back into our habits. If you have a solid routine, when you are under stress, you will continue to exercise and eat right. For saving and investing, you can set it up so your saving and investing is automatic every two weeks(example).

4. Diversify.  There are many ways to exercise. You can walk, run, cycle, do yoga, do weights, etc. Mix it up and get your muscles working.  Weight training(using weights or body weight) is essential for a long and healthy life. For your investments, you should diversify across different assets and geographies. These are some ways to help you have a well-diversified portfolio. Some examples of investments you can use to diversify are gold, real estate, fixed income, index funds, and, mutual funds.

5. Nutrition and insurance.  You can exercise all you want, but you can’t outrun a bad diet. You are literally what you eat and for exercise to be effective and to be healthy, you need to choose to eat healthy foods.  Likewise, you can save and invest regularly, but if you don’t have the right tools in place when something unexpected happens, your investments and savings will disappear quickly. None of us expect to die young, become seriously injured and unable to work, or become critically ill but it happens.

6. Don’t look at the scale or your investments every day. It will drive you crazy because of the ups and downs.  Focus on taking the right actions and set up a time when you do a review or look at the scale.  How often you do that is different for everyone but frequently is not recommended.

7. Keep it simple. Save. Invest. Move. Make good eating choices. There are no quick fixes so don’t get caught up in the next big thing.

I am not a personal trainer nor a nutritionist and do not offer those services. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and it has shown me how valuable time is. We tend to live thinking we can take care of our health and finances tomorrow. This is not always the case, and it is why I am focused every day on being physically, mentally, and financially fit. The concepts used in becoming financially and physically fit are similar. The above 7 steps increase your likelihood of achieving successful results.

Ask yourself, what if there was only one more? What if you only had one more day to get your things in order? What if you only had one more day to exercise or you would become ill? This question is a great way to inspire you to take action today.

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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