If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, brilliant quote by Benjamin Franklin. It is a phrase at the back of my mind used nearly every day, not just within my business. For example going away on holiday, we all write list of things to take, check list of things we need to do and then plan things we will be doing whilst away.
But what I find is so many people I meet fail to plan their financial future. They seem to leave it to chance. WHY? I have yet to hear a logical response. The main ones are – “well I am not sure how things will pan out” – “I don’t have a crystal ball”. What shocks me is many of the people I meet are very successful in business or have successful careers, but for some reason they seem to leave their financial future security to chance. Why do they want to FAIL?
Then I come across others who have a go at planning. They have a collection of spreadsheets, which they freely admit are hard to keep up to date. Fantastic they have made a start. The common issue I hear is – “but they are just numbers on a sheet – we really struggle to see what it looks like”.
My clients are fortunate – they have access to some brilliant software which helps me help them plan. Then visually they can see how things look.
This software helps me answer the THREE CORE QUESTIONS my clients regularly have in their minds
Will we be alright?
Have we enough money ? (can we afford to do ….. ?)
What happens if?
Question 2 comes in a variety of forms. For example, can we afford to retire? Will we have enough money in the future? Can we afford to do the things we want to do?
With question 3 it is all about those what happens if? What happens if we have a serious health problem? What happens if we sell up and downsize? What happens if our money does not grow or we suffer a stock market disruption like in 2008?
This sort of software helps people have a clearer picture of what their financial future could look like by putting into place some sort of strategy. Seeing how what they have already accumulated will work for them and how best they could improve things.
It helps them visually see the plan, rather than a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s a start which can then be regularly reviewed.
Financial Planning for your future should not be about trying to work out which is the best pension or investment plan to buy. It should first of all be about understanding what you want for your future, then planning how best you can achieve the things you want, having contingencies just in case the “what if” happens, but ensuring you can afford to do the things you want to do. We suggest you ensure you use an adviser who adopts this approach, because if you do not plan, then you are planning to fail.