Your Family Story
What do you want to be remembered for long after you’re gone? Take a moment to think about it right now.
Do you want your family to share that you always gave it your best, by working endlessly hard to provide a comfortable living and a great education, and then leave it at that?
Or would you also like them to touch on your later years or the second phase of your life? A time which could potentially be very notable. A stage of life where you could find and pursue your passion, give back to the community and connect to and inspire others to follow in your footsteps.
A time which isn’t noted by old age and incapacity, but rather a time where you enjoyed a good mental and physical health allowing you to make the most of your final years?
Now, which of these two versions do you prefer? It’s up to you to decide – it’s your eulogy after all!
Your Real Life Goals
You’re not alone in wanting to maximize your financial wellbeing in order to help you enjoy your life right now. We all want that.
We also all want to have a sense of purpose and reason to get out of bed in the morning, a reason that inspires us to find new passions, stay fit and healthy, form new friendships and inspire others to do the same.
We all want to be prepared for the many different phases of retirement and life itself and use them as a way to reconnect with our past and find meaning in what we do and to not simply begin a long gradual process of physical and mental decline. After all, the alternative would be retiring from life!
We want to plan for our life transitions with foresight, including retirement, so that we are ready for whatever life throws at us and also to make sure the next step or transition is the right one for us in advance of making the leap.
We want to be able to find balance between life and wealth and achieve financial harmony.
And above all else, we all want to be able to pursue our life’s passion and lead a complete and purpose-driven life with the end goal of leaving a lasting legacy.
Again, you’re not alone in wanting these things.
Financial Goal Setting
Despite these goals being common among us all, they’re not easy to achieve with the current financial planning model or advice from other money centred professionals.
You see, the financial planning as a profession has emerged from a transaction-orientated background of the sale of insurance or superannuation products for commission.
Those working in this profession are dominated by financial institutions whose main goal has been and still is to maximise shareholders’ wealth and to achieve sales targets.
Unfortunately, because of this, most financial advisors focus on money centred financial goals such as getting assets under management as quickly as possible or selling insurance products rather than prioritizing sharing sound financial advice that appeals to our human side and is applicable long-term.
Financial planning is now an industry that has been dogged by scandals of people investing in tax driven investment schemes that maximise the financial wealth of the financial institutions and as a result the industry is now heavily compliance focussed.
The cherry on top of all of this is that there has been traditionally low barriers to entry to become a financial planner, which has resulted in a large number of financial advisors without the required technical background in accounting, taxation, and succession legislation, let alone the ability to undertake a human approach to end of life matters and overall human purpose and happiness.
Problems with Money Centred Advice
As a result of the history and the current situation of the financial planning profession, many of us are choosing to not get advice. Alternatively, if we do decide to enlist a financial planner’s services, it is often transaction and money centred.
The problem with the above scenario is that it doesn’t answer many of our burning heart centred questions, uncertainties that have us internally grappling with various fears and anxieties. Questions like:
- Who will support me when I undertake the uncomfortable task of discussing my will with my family?
- Why won’t my advisors talk about other topics around retirement, why are they all just money-centred, and what about my happiness?
- Why are my advisors focussed on the technicalities rather than trying to understand what I really want to achieve out of life?
- What about if I lose my social connections and sense of purpose through retiring?
- Why is my succession planning business focussed on maximising wealth and not focussed on what’s next for the business owners?
- How is this supposed to help me ensure wealth stays in my family for multiple generations?
- Some of my children need more financial assistance than others. How will I make sure my assets are split accordingly?
- Something’s missing. What if there’s still something more I need to achieve? Will I be financially able to even though I don’t know what my task is yet?
Unfortunately, these concerns and anxieties are just the tip of the iceberg, and what is even more concerning is that these fears may have you wanting to put retirement off all together.
But ask yourself, do you really want to work until you die? Do you really want to miss out on all the time you could dedicate towards engaging in things that bring you joy, the things you have never had time for before?
Heart Centred Financial Planning
Don’t worry, you don’t need to fall victim to the previously discussed scenarios, as long as we take this moment, right now, change the way we think about financial planning!
This means thinking about financial planning in a way that sheds light on its current downfalls in order to come up with a better picture, a more wholesome real life solution, that encompasses making provisions for one’s life’s happiness and fulfillment, no matter how unpredictable the issues surrounding them may be!
So, what exactly does this more wholesome financial planning picture look like? Well, it looks something like this: A world where….
- Your financial advisor is able to understand our mental and emotional goals along with our financial ones.
- Time is devoted towards uncovering your life’s story, what influenced you, how you have arrived at your beliefs in order to understand how it will all impact your future.
- Advice considers your financial well-being and over all happiness and sense of fulfilment right now and well into the future.
- Your advisor is able to plan for many life events that may or may not happen, thereby providing both insight and foresight.
- In a world like this, your financial advisor is able to provide you with advice through the lens of understanding your complex legal and accounting structures whilst understanding your emotional and life concerns and goals and dreams.
Real Life Financial Planning
From the above, it’s clear that effective, “real life” financial planning encompasses a whole lot more than just crunching the numbers. In fact, consider our anxieties and concerns around our family’s wellbeing as well as the ability to achieve our own life’s purpose and fulfillment.
Along with our anxieties, it also considers who we are at our core in order to better formulate a plan that enables us to get the most joy out of each of life’s stages as well as leave a lasting legacy.
Unlike traditional financial planning, even when our life has come to a close, that doesn’t necessarily mean our plan is complete. Why? Well, because true financial planning also considers the legacy you wish to leave to the greater community as well as your family, through things like generational wealth.
In addition to the above, this form of financial planning also encourages you to engage with what brings you joy from right now rather than putting it off for later years. Because like every stage of life, there’s a level of unpredictability, meaning that nothing is truly guaranteed.
So, what have you been putting off for years? Are you ready to start enjoying it right now with the help of an advisor that understands the matters of the heart along with the all-important numbers and is able to make them work in unison?
The Real Life Financial Planner
Now, you should be motivated to get started on living an enjoyable and purposeful life right now, not just from retirement age.
So, are you ready to get started? Well, then Subscribe to the Real Life Financial Planner podcast, the ultimate destination for discovering everything there is to know on how to plan for (and get started on living for) your financially harmonious, long and happy life. Through a humanistic lens of course – no number robots allowed here!
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General Advice Warning: Any advice on this site is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. It does not represent legal, tax, or personal advice and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making any decisions.