The language we use in financial planning can be somewhat foreboding. Take the word ‘retirement’, for example. It brings with it images of a gold watch and being put out to grass. It sounds like no longer being wanted and getting old.
The word ‘pension’ is even worse. You might as well tell a young person to put their money into a locked box; the key to which will be given to them far, far into the future, and only then if they don’t die first.
So mention ‘retirement planning’ to most people under 35 and their eyes will glaze over, never mind suggesting that they ‘start a pension’.
Let’s change the language we use when thinking about the future. Let’s speak in terms that will shift the focus from one of ‘planning for retirement’ to gaining an understanding of what we want from our lives, now and in the future, and then plotting a path which can give as much of this as possible.
Financial planning with wellbeing as its primary aim.
I heard a story once about a man who was a biker. Hairy fella he was, looked terrifying but was actually a sweetie. Now this chap decided at the age of 21 to start working permanently on the nightshift. He worked nights six days a week, and planned to do so for fifteen years. He could not spend much money because he was working all the time. He basically put his life on hold.
At the end of the fifteen years, he stopped working, got on his bike, and went off round the world. When the lady who told me this story met the biker he was 8 years into his travels, and planned to continue travelling for another 7 years. Then his travel fund would run out and he would have to go home.
The biker had worked out what he wanted from his life, and had created a – fairly extreme! – plan to get there. No life for fifteen years, then the greatest life he could imagine for the next fifteen years.
Now THAT’S financial planning!
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