Financial wellbeing – it’s what we all want, isn’t it?

What do you worry about? Your job? The family? Health? Money? The chances are money worries will rear their head at some stage in your life. But careful and clever planning can reduce those anxieties, help you sleep better and night and reduce your sense of financial angst.

Money’s too tight to mention

You may not listen to modern pop music. But, if you do, you might be struck by the obsession with wealth, materialism and status.

It’s a far cry from the songs of my youth. From Mick Hucknall crooning, “Money’s too tight to mention,” to Gwen Guthrie’s, “Ain’t nothing going on but the rent,” singers simply wanted enough to get by.

Whatever the soundtrack to your life, it all goes to show that few people go through life untroubled by financial anxiety.

So I wasn’t at all surprised when I recently saw research saying money worries keep 88% of people awake at night. [1]

I see this in real life almost every day. No matter what my client’s job title, current account balance or income level, one of the main questions they ask me is, “Will we have enough?”

Perfect. This is almost always the best place to start the grand plan – and tackle those worries.

The power of planning

Planning matters in life.

An influential report on workplace culture says that 91% of employees who have a financial plan are confident they will achieve their goals versus only 60% who don’t. The research goes on to say such confidence levels tend to decline a little with age. [2]

This chimes with my experience over the years. The more you plan, the greater certainty you have. The greater certainty, the more confident you are. The more confident, the less financially anxious you’ll be. And less anxiety means better mental health … and sleep.

So when people ask me, “Will we have enough?” or, “Am I going to be okay?” I fire up my laptop and say, “Let’s build your grand plan and make sure.”

Trade offs

A grand plan is perhaps the most important route to financial wellbeing.

First, we meet you, listen to your ideas, and discuss your hopes and aspirations.

Then, as we consider tax liabilities and your appetite for investment risk, we use financial modelling to show your direction of travel. This shows if you’re on track or not.

It can be hugely empowering to clear this financial fog. With a better understanding of your situation, you have a much better picture of what you need to do financially to meet your goals.

And this can mean trade-offs. It’s where you have enough … but perhaps not quite enough to do everything.

For example, I was talking to a client the other day. He has a senior global role for a large corporation. Big job, big personality. But he might need to make compromises. Does he sacrifice some income in retirement to help his kids onto the property ladder? Does he sell his house, downsize and release equity? What about future holidays?

Of course, the earlier you start to save, the earlier the grand plan gets to work … and the less money you need to divert into savings and investments over a lifetime. So, you can strike an elegant balance between spending and enjoying your money now and saving for the future, rather than having to choose one or the other.

After all, life can be short and bad luck will surely visit at some stage. But, with careful planning, you can have what you need plus the things you really value.

Lightbulb moment

Getting the plan right, clearing the financial fog, and working through those trade-offs almost always leads to a lightbulb moment.
Those are some of the most satisfying moments in my job.

It’s when a client realises that, yes, they are going to be okay. Or, at the very least, has crystal clarity on the big decisions they need to take to get there, and that they maybe should be enjoying more of their money now.

That realisation, and the sense of wellbeing it unleashes, are why good financial planning exists. We’re here to help you feel good about your money, give you clarity and perhaps sleep better at night.

[1] Source.
[2] Source.

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