Read it again – it does make sense!
There is a historic view of financial advice that it’s all about picking funds, selling pensions, and generally keeping busy trying to be a broker of some variety with the finger on the pulse of world markets.
Whilst that might have had some validity many years ago (although I have my doubts), as financial advice has professionalised, what we do has become much more valuable to clients.
These days a good financial planner focuses on the client; looking at your goals, your fears, and your plans for the future. It is more than a little like coaching when done well, and will challenge your views around money, and your relationship with it.
One of the key strategies we use is lifestyle cashflow modelling, and if you don’t know what that is, or have never tried it, then you should. Most of us can build a spreadsheet and get some comfort from projecting forward our current situation into the future, but the benefit of a dedicated tool is that tax, inflation, investment returns, and changes to our circumstances can all be modelled using a simple graphical interface that brings your future to life.
Having the ability to ask in simple terms ‘what about if I retire two years early’, and getting an answer immediately, so you know what impact it has on your lifestyle in retirement, on those you care for, and on your beneficiaries is hugely powerful.
Being able to compare two scenarios side by side, working out what compromises are right for you and then being able to do that again and again, with every idle thought you’ve ever had all the way to buying that holiday pad you’ve dreamed of, can give huge comfort that the decades of work you’ve put in to build a secure financial future for your family was worthwhile, and on track to ensure that you and those you care for are going to be OK.
Of course, not every plan is set in stone, and things change. The world will change even if you don’t, and so being able to easily update things, and revisit your plan on an annual basis is a key component of any good cashflow modelling system. For those clients who we build models for it is often a key part of their annual review.
If you’re not doing that now with your adviser, ask them, or if you don’t have it available within your stable of modelling solutions, ask us and we’ll be happy to showcase what it can do for you.