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How to afford your vacation
Middle income families have so many demands on their money, it sometimes doesn't stretch to cover a vacation. If, after paying down debt and investing, there is not enough money to take your family on vacation, you need to revisit your financial plan. Everyone should live for today as well as for their future. You and your family need relaxation time together.

The same advisor who helped you develop your insurance and retirement plans can also help you build an annual vacation into your financial plan. In fact, reviewing your debt and investment patterns with a financial advisor may reveal a few extra dollars to set aside for your vacation.

Save now for next year
A little planning now will set you up for next year's vacation. Start thinking about what kind of vacation you would enjoy and estimate the cost. If you wait until you have cash on hand, you'll never go! The most effective way to save is to put aside $100 to $200 per month in a bank account. Going into debt to have a vacation just adds to your stress level – this little nestegg will help you enjoy yourself guilt-free.

Saving for a vacation is as important as your insurance or retirement planning - so use the same disciplined savings approach. If your budget is very tight, you may be able to give up a magazine subscription or meals out in order to free up $100 a month. If you have a good income, but find it difficult to save, your advisor can help you rethink your spending habits.

Research ahead of time
Then begin shopping for a vacation that will fit your budget. Advance planning can help you save money. Watch for bargain airfares and consider accommodation alternatives like home-swapping, time-shares and camping. Involve the children in researching things to do at your destination. Then go ahead and have fun.

“What wise men do in the beginning, fools do in the end.”

Raymond E. Jackson

Simon J. Jackson, CFP, CPCA
Senior Financial Advisor,
Life Insurance Advisor
Manulife Securities Incorporated,
Manulife Securities Insurance Inc.

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Stocks, bonds and mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Incorporated. Jackson Financial Planning Group is a trade name used for dealer business only. Insurance products and services are offered through Manulife Securities Insurance Inc. Banking products and services are offered by referral arrangements through our related company Manulife Bank of Canada, additional disclosure information will be provided upon referral.

* Manulife Securities related companies are 100% owned by The Manufactures Life Insurance Company (MLI) which is 100% owned by the Manulife Financial Corporation a publicly traded company. Details regarding all affiliated companies of MLI can be found on the Manulife Securities website www.manulifesecurities.ca. Please confirm with your advisor which company you are dealing with for each of your products and services.