Money isn’t important.
What IS important is what money does for us and WHY.
Do you have a foreign currency jar at home? With random notes and coins from countries you’ll probably never go to again? It sits there staring at you utterly worthless until such a time as Italy brings back the Lira or you go back to Bhutan. That jar is not important.
Why is that jar different to your other assets?
I suspect your other money and assets give you more. Your house is a home and it gives you security and sanctuary. But what about your pension, your ISA, your cash or your buy to let properties? Why are they important?
Do they give you security? Might your money give you the freedom to do things you enjoy?Is it more a status symbol for you? Would having ‘enough’ to live comfortably whilst knowing that there would always be something to pass onto the next generation be your idea of success and contentment?
Understanding why money is important is vital. It is vital in answering how much will be enough to do everything we want to do and not worry about money.
How much is enough will differ from individual to individual and will change throughout our lifetimes as personal circumstances change, such buying a first property, having children, funding university, etc.
Working out our ‘why’ and our ‘enough’ are two fundamental steps on the road to planning our financial future.
Of course, it’s easy to say that everyone wants enough money to pay for their house and be able to retire early, but if you love your job and the thought of retiring just isn’t for you, your enough will be different. You might want to pay off your mortgage, keep working and have enough spare income to help your children get on the property ladder whilst also being able to go on the holidays you love several times a year.
So,it’s essential that you’ve thought about what’s important to you, worked out your priorities and built a plan as to achieve these from a financial perspective.This is where talking to a Financial Planner is crucial.
The first thing a Financial Planner should do for you is not to speak too much!They should listen to what you want and ask probing questions to clarify exactly what your why is. For many of us, really thinking about where we want to be during certain parts of our lives is something we’ve never done before. A good Financial Planner should be able to guide you through this thought process and help you come up with a realistic and achievable plan of action.
Only once our goals have been established, financial planning can begin.
Jon Doyle is Founder and Financial Planner at Juniper Wealth Management. Advising clients since 2008 he has guided clients through good time, bad times and the ugly. With a clear vision on how advice should be delivered and strong opinions on how we should be investing money in order to live the life we want to live free from money worry.