Why Money is the Last Thing Your Financial Adviser Should Talk About
September 14, 2021 - 4 minutes read
Posted by Claire Parker
When considering how to manage and invest wealth, most people have two main priorities.
- Protecting the money so that it doesn’t disappear, and;
- Putting the money to work, so that it delivers a healthy return.
However, great financial advice isn’t just about helping you identify the investments that will yield the highest return. For us, it begins with a clear understanding of how much is ‘enough’ for you. And this means getting clear on your priorities and the lifestyle you want to enjoy – your ‘inspired vision’. Once we (and you) get clear on what is truly important to you, how to structure your finances becomes clear.
The Important Questions
WealthPlan™ is our unique way of calculating how much money you need so you can know when you have enough and do what you want with your life before it’s too late.
The first step on your WealthPlan™ journey is to ask some big questions to help you realise what’s important to you. As an example of how this works, let’s take a look at three questions derived by George Kinder (founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning):
- Imagine that money is no object. You have all the money in the world to pursue your dreams and do whatever you want without ever running out. How would you live your life? What would you do differently?
- Imagine that you’re given 10 years to live. You won’t feel ill during this time but one day within the next 10 years you will die. You will have no prior notice of the exact moment of your death. What would you do with the time you have remaining? Would you change anything?
- Now imagine that you’re given 24 hours to live. What regrets immediately come to you? What do you wish you’d done? Who do you wish you’d spent more time with? What did you waste too much time doing?
When you arrive at this third question, the answers become difficult and more emotionally loaded. But this is where you identify what’s truly important to you. Thinking about this third question in detail will help you realise what you want to be doing now so when you do near the end of your journey, you’re not left with a mountain of regrets.
People are often surprised at how much time we spend helping them answer these questions but the value in this exercise soon becomes apparent.
As Paul Armson says in Enough? (download your copy here): “…when we get caught in the ‘if, when, then’ trap. ‘When I have more money…’, ‘When the kids grow up…’, ‘When I have more time…’, ‘When I’ve retired…’ – then it’s too late and we’re dead in a box with our name on it.”
“Life is for living! Yet both you and I have seen way too many people die, or succumb to illness, without having experienced life to the full.”
“This book is about waking up to the inevitable fact that we are here for the blink of an eye. It’s not about being the wealthiest man or woman in the graveyard. It IS about lying on your deathbed with a mischievous grin on your face, while you giggle to yourself: ‘That was so much fun!”
Lifestyle Financial Planning
After you’ve got a clear vision of what you want to be doing, it’s time to review your finances to see how they compare with your goals. Life is short. So understanding your financial position as soon as possible gives you the opportunity to properly structure your finances so your money works for you, not the other way around.
- Have you got enough? If so, each time a money worry pops into your mind, you can ignore it!
- Don’t have enough? Get a clear picture of how big a gap there is between what you have and what you need and do something about it. Knowledge is power!
- Got too much? Use it to do good for others and enjoy the benefits for your own state of mind too.
Interestingly, some of the clients who benefit the most from our WealthPlan™ process are those who simply come to us for traditional financial advice: perhaps they have wealth that needs to be invested, or they don’t know what pension arrangements to make. All of these decisions are much easier to make once you understand your lifestyle priorities, so it’s well worth spending the time getting a clear picture of your lifestyle priorities and financial goals.
“When it comes to planning your financial future, THE most important factor is the cost of your current and future desired lifestyle. That’s what makes – or breaks – any financial plan. Yet it is the one factor most often overlooked…” (Enough? – Paul Armson)
How Can We Help?
In the meantime, please do download or request a copy of Enough? Enjoy!