When reading about financial planning, we often hear that you need to cut back on life’s pleasures, and invest those savings - ideally ending in a huge fortune being amassed over your lifetime. But who wants to go through life having no pleasures? Clearly, this is not a feasible option and will not work.
Where we need to begin is by deciding what you ultimately want your life to look like. Writing this down is a good idea, as it can be referred back to. This does not mean detailing every action or asset, but rather looking at what you would be satisfied with if you at the end of your life, looking back.
We now have a “destination” to aim for. It’s the same as going on holiday - you start with the destination and work out your trip from there. This helps to illustrate whether each action or decision will enhance or diminish your chances of reaching that destination. As each action has a consequence, we are now more likely to consider that action - and so we become masters of our lives and finances, and not victims of fate. We are now able to decide which activities we want to participate in, what do we really enjoy, what adds value etc. instead of the consistent pressure to keep up or get ahead. Together, we’ll figure out what your ideal future looks like, because once you’ve figured out how you’d like to spend your days, helping you to make your financial decisions become easier - because we’ll plan and prioritise your spending.
We can break this down even further and decide on specific goals with definite time frames. Each goal will have a defined date and cost, allowing us to design a plan for each one. Some goals will not be self-funded, but rather funded on credit; these may include property or vehicles. If these are planned with a clear end date and monthly cost, it will all be in order.
Psychologically, you are more able to buy into your investment plan if you are emotionally tied to the result. This will allow you to endure some sacrifice along the way to achieve the end goal, and it allows us to tailor the investment portfolio to the timeframe and appropriate risk profile.
Often, the thing that is most neglected within a financial plan is that most people can increase their earning capacity - with a bit of discipline. Therefore, if you have clearly defined goals and the desire and willpower to achieve them. You may be able to improve your education or change careers, or you could also move towards doing a job that you love and that provides flexibility to your lifestyle.
This holistic form of planning allows you to enjoy life now, without having to steal from your future self.
Another benefit of planning your life and finances in this way is that you can have a happy retirement. By this, I don’t mean simply having enough to live out your retirement, but rather that you know what your ideal retirement looks like, and knowing that you’ll get it. Too often, people retire with no clear plan, and even though they are financially comfortable they are unhappy. There are only so many times you can play golf or go to a restaurant, after all.
With NFB Private Wealth Management, your picture-perfect future doesn’t have to stay a picture. Together, we’ll help you plan what that future looks like, and how to get there. Let’s plan our lives and our finances so that we can enjoy the journey and the destination - and maybe help someone along the way!
Connect via LinkedIn or contact me at NFB Private Wealth Management Port Elizabeth