Planning beyond the here and now
Mark recently attends a wedding where he gets into a very interesting conversation with some of the other guests after disclosing his job as a lifestyle Financial Planner.
Prescription in Financial Well-being
Take, for example, a friend of mine, who was experiencing some troubling medical symptoms. Typing his symptoms into a search engine led to an evening of research and mounting worry. By the end of the night, the vast quantity of unfiltered information led him to conclude that something was seriously wrong.
One of the key characteristics that distinguishes an expert is their ability to filter information and make increasingly refined distinctions about the situation at hand.
In many of our articles we have deliberately described FFP’s approach to investing as ‘real financial planning’. Unfortunately, although most financial advisers describe themselves as financial planners, very few are.
Setting Financial Goals
As we begin the New Year, many of us start thinking about the year ahead and setting goals for the future. Regardless of what age you are, you are likely to have some short and long term personal financial goals. Setting tangible and realistic goals, following them, and tracking your progress is the key to being successful and achieving those goals.
Planning for Christmas
It’s that time of year again, one minute we’re enjoying the sunshine and our summer holidays and then before we know it, Halloween has been and gone and the shelves are filling up ready for Christmas.
What is a financial planner worth to you or your family?
I speak to many different people of different ages and at different stages in their lives. I have noticed that there appears to be a common trend that life is getting busier and busier and there are always so many things to deal with and decisions to make.
The number of retirees is rising rapidly; many investors have both taxable and non-taxable investments and recent budget changes have increased the financial options open to the recently retired. Significant extra value can be obtained by ensuring that post-retirement spending is undertaken as tax-efficiently as possible.
School and University Fees
At this time of year many parents are preparing for the next chapter in their children’s lives, whether it’s starting school in September or heading off to University. Private School fees and University fees are increasing at a faster rate than inflation and for many people the cost of putting your child through school and university is a daunting one!
The average cost for a day pupil is in the region of £18,000 per annum and over £30,000 for a boarder. Source: Independent Schools Council
Although this looks frightening, especially if you have more than one child, with sensible planning it can be achievable without ending up with a huge mortgage or stopping the family holidays for the next 15 years.
Budgeting for a better lifestyle
Many people will have started the year thinking about their money and asking themselves questions like, did we spend too much on Christmas? Where does all our money go? How can we start saving money? We really need to start thinking about our future and how will we ever afford to stop work?
Real Financial Planning
At its simplest, Real Financial Planning is identifying how much money you really need for the rest of your life and then identifying the steps that need to be taken to make sure that your money will last as long as you! The fact is the majority of people have no idea where they are heading financially. They may have assets, investments, and/or high levels of income, but most people have no idea what it all means, or what sort of financial future awaits them.
Sailing into the Future
Most of us will start the year with some New Year’s resolutions. I’m sure that getting healthier by going to the gym is probably highest on most people’s lists but financial goals are also a popular choice. Whether it’s saving for something important, reducing credit card debt or being more careful about what we spend.
Do you feel financially well organised?
Many people that come to see us have been busy living life, buying houses, bringing up the children, changing jobs and then suddenly find themselves with numerous bank and savings accounts, ISAs, life assurance policies and Pensions.
How easy is it to stick to a plan?
It’s often said that the secret of success in achieving a goal or plan is “stickability”, a person's ability to persevere with something; staying power. But success also depends on having goals or plans you can actually stick with. Managing that tension is what a good coach, mentor or adviser does.