Do you have a vision of your ideal self? Of course you do…even if it is uncomfortable to think about. This ideal, this ”best version” of you often differs from the financial version of yourself. In fact, these distinct versions are usually engaged in war with each other. We witness this every day in our work with affluent individuals.
As we discuss quite often, choices that you make, some routine and some more substantive, either move you in the direction of your goals (your ideal self) or further away from these goals. Personal financial planning should be more concerned with personal and human elements since these ultimately determine how close you come to achieving your goals. Identifying what motivates you to take action towards your goals trumps almost everything else.
Life isn’t linear….it usually does not follow a precise and pretty path. Sometimes, because of others that you have responsibility for , “normal” life cycles are pulled apart and you are pushed in another direction. The chapters of life consist of high points, low points, and turning points. The traditional financial life model (work/accumulate followed by retire/distribute) may no longer be applicable. Life stages and life functions are often all jumbled up.
Research by Riedel Strategy, a social sciences research firm isolated three top fears of affluent individuals. These concerns are: 1. Illness that uses up your accumulated savings 2. Outliving your money and 3. Seeing inflation erode the value of your savings. Numbers 2 and 3 are the central focus of our work with most clients. These concerns are why we place emphasis on an evidence based investment strategy instead of more flashy alternatives. Maintaining your lifestyle throughout retirement while not running out of money can be a very tall order for many. That’s why we exist. We call this “financial life management”.
Barnaby B. Riedel, Ph.D whose firm conducted the research mentioned above says “people seek financial guidance when they have someone else to worry about.” Very well said. Ready for a real conversation?