Q&A

How does SunStone differ from other investment advisors?

We are not just investment advisors. While we have the education and do all the same investments like market based investments and best rate GIC’s — we are very different in two main ways: we design a retirement plan that is tailored specifically to fit you and we structure your retirement assets in a way that gives you both peace of mind and a steady income.

What makes a SunStone Financial Plan different from the others?

Our plans are fully written independent retirement plans and can be as in depth as you require. Each plan allows for information to be added, or changed as required. The cost for your individually customized retirement plan is based on the complexity of your financial holdings. Depending on your unique situation, your SunStone Financial Plan may give you multiple retirement scenarios and will include information such as your net worth statement, retirement scenarios, cash flow, travel/health insurance review, investment analysis and recommendations. The plan is written and flexible — like a financial prescription. We have no annual servicing fee and all of our investments are sold in some of the lowest cost structures available.

How do you get paid?

We charge a small fee for developing your financial retirement plan because all our clients have needs that are unique to them. We don’t do cookie-cutter retirement planning at SunStone. The fee we charge is based on the complexity of your financial portfolio.

Another way SunStone differs from many other financial planning companies is that we don’t charge a frontend fee when you purchase our lines of financial products. Instead, we rely only on the industry standard commissions that all GIC, investment, and insurance carriers pay to us when we purchase funds on your behalf. As well, each year the carriers may also pay a one percent annual trailer commission to us.

I don’t understand financial language. Can you still help me?

You are not alone. But at SunStone Retirement Specialists, our promise to you is that when you leave our office you will have the answers you need. We don’t try to make things complicated; we believe getting to the point in language that you feel comfortable with and can understand clearly. And we’ll keep working with you until you do.

Most of our clients have common types of questions and concerns:

  • Do I qualify for OAS?
  • Should I take CPP early?
  • When do I stop buying RRSPs?
  • Should I have a Tax Free Savings Account?
  • Where does my retirement income come from?
  • Do I take money from my RRSPs or pension first?
  • Will I run out of money?
  • Can I afford to travel?
  • What if I want to move or buy another property?
  • How does my health care coverage change in retirement?
  • How will income tax affect my retirement income?
  • I have my money with a few different institutions, does that matter when I retire?
  • What if the market drops while I am retired?

How are SunStone’s investments different?

Our investments are not different, but the structure of them is. We use a combination of Best Rate GIC’s and market-based investments for growth. We set up your portfolio so that you never have to worry about your income changing even in a market downturn. You also never have to worry when the low GIC rates cannot keep pace with inflation.

How often do we meet?

In your retirement years it is no longer buy and hold and see your advisor once in a while. You have a set schedule for meetings based on your needs and your portfolio requirements. We will meet at least once a year based on a set schedule, and more often if required.

How long does it take?

The whole process from the first meeting to portfolio set up is usually only a few weeks. Each meeting is about one hour long and it usually takes three meetings to position your portfolio correctly and ensure you are comfortable with your retirement income stream.

What if I have money somewhere else, can I move it over to you?

Most clients have been working with an advisor that specializes in the accumulations years. If you choose to work with SunStone as your Retirement Specialist, we can move your assets over to us. We try to do this in the least costly way to you and will even cover some of the transfer fees charged from your current advisor.

What does your investment strategy look like?

We call it the SunStone Way. It’s about keeping your fixed income secure so that you always have money coming in, while allowing the growth part of your portfolio to earn interest. We use the interest earned on your growth investments to buy new secure income, creating a self-replenishing well. The benefit of the SunStone Way is that you don’t have to worry about how the market is performing. Your income is secure and set up for many years in advance. Your Best Rate GICs are for security and when GIC rates are not at their best, it’s okay because this part of your portfolio is not about growth but rather security. You get the best of both worlds.

What makes SunStone different from all the rest?

Not only does SunStone Retirement Specialists focus on clients that are close to retirement age, but Tanya Herman-Vanthuyne also holds a CPCA designation. This stands for Certified Professional Consultant on Aging. This education echelon means that she been trained, tested and certified as a preeminent age-friendly business organization. It means she understands the physical, emotional and financial changes you are going through. It means that she is obligated to treat you with respect, to market SunStone’s services to you in an ethical manner and that she understands the consequences if she doesn’t adhere to these requirements.

Above all it means that the people of SunStone Retirement Specialists care. We care about you and we care about understanding your needs. We provide the highest quality of service and care possible by making the experiences for people who are 50 years of age or older — exceptional.

What happens if I ever decide to move my assets elsewhere?

We believe your money is your money and that should you wish to move it elsewhere, you should have the freedom to do it. And because SunStone Retirement Specialists doesn’t believe in locking you in, or charging early withdrawal fees, it is a relatively simple process.