Financial Life Planing - that incredible blend of working with people's buried desires, hidden dreams, forgotten passions, most important aspirations, and mixing it with a good robust financial architecture to help these things become reality.
Five years ago, I set off on this journey, not knowing the profound outcome and change it would bring about. There are many changes which have happened in the past 5 years, all of which will be outlined in time, however as you sit and read this today, something incredible is happening, something we only ever imagined, something which will give us memories for ever!
At Serenity Financial Planning, a key part of our discussions with clients centers around George Kinder's famous three questions, which are :
1. Imagine that you are financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. The question is ... how would you live your life? Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don't hold back on your dreams. Describe a life that is complete, that is richly yours.
2, You visit your doctor who tells you that you have only 5-10 years left to live. The good part is that you won't ever feel sick. The bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in the time you have remaining to live? Will you change your life and how will you do it?
3. Your doctor shocks you with the news that you have only one day left to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself: What did I miss? Who did I not get to be? What did I not get to do?
Now, each of these are profound, exploratory, thought provoking and deeply personal and unique to every client. For me, one constant theme arose, to take our daughters to Lapland.
There are many other key things surrounding my own journey, both professionally and personally, however today marks that very special day, which, as you are reading this, we are on our way, flying to northern Finland to meet Father Christmas, and yes, we are all a little bit excited.
Key to Financial Life Planning is building a structure for the plan (obviously). At the time I completed the exercises for the first time, I had no idea of cost, of how we would pay for it, all I knew was the year (2016 being when our daughters are 8 and 4) and where we wanted to go. Through working with my good friend Phil Piggins, we worked through this plan, overcame the obstacles, put in place a plan, and now, see it come to fruition. Certainty, excitement, anticipation, relaxation, free of worry, are all things which the planning has brought about for us, knowing that, if we just followed the plan, the outcome would be that this once in a lifetime opportunity would happen.
As it happens, this trip was actually one of the more straightforward aspects of my own life plan, which has seen so many personal and professional changes along the way, feeling confident in letting go of things I clung on to through habit, pushing my expected norm, and embracing change in a big way.
And now, it is time to make a snowman, throw snowballs, create snow angels, and meet Father Christmas - and it is all thanks to the very many great Financial Life Planners who have influenced and shaped my journey over the past 5 years, along with my ever patient and loving wife who absorbs and embraces my ever growing enthusiasm for this most wonderful way of working with clients.
The video which inspired a change of life...