What exactly is a lifetime cashflow forecast? Many people feel they may have a good, solid financial foundation. They save and invest their money regularly and have built up a reasonable amount of wealth over their careers. Perhaps they have recently come into money through an inheritance of the sale of a business or shares. They have a good idea of where they are and how they got there, but until they begin to set out their goals for the future; what they want to achieve and how and when they want to achieve it, do they really have a plan?
Life is complex and there are often lots of plates spinning above our heads. We all have unanswered questions, goals we haven’t achieved yet, fear and anxiety of the unknown. How much will I need to invest for the future? When will I have enough to retire? Can I afford the children’s university fees? Will we ever take that once in a lifetime trip? How do I tie all these things together in a tax-efficient way?
Beyond the numbers
These feelings and emotions play a huge part in our financial lives. One could even argue, and I certainly would, that our feelings and emotions ultimately play the biggest role in whether we achieve our desired financial outcomes, rather than any clever tax planning or investment strategy.
The best financial planners go to great lengths to find out what matters most in people’s lives, before guiding them through the collaborative process of creating a real-life financial plan focused on their individual needs and aspirations. By doing this, we provide a visual representation of your ideal life in the future and present a pathway towards achieving it.
A breath of fresh air
Let’s face it, the prospect of sitting down with someone and ‘crunching the numbers’ can feel like a bit of an ordeal. Lots of information or ‘hard facts’ need to be gathered to assess, analyse and advise on someone’s financial situation, while a lot of complex calculations and technical wizardry happens in the background.
Using something as visually compelling as modern cashflow planning software brings clients closer to the work we do as financial planners and, ultimately, more in sync with their financial lives. It allows people to see, in real time, the impact certain decisions may have on their financial future and steps that can be taken to make their dreams a reality. This process breathes life into our interactions and provides an altogether more enjoyable, worthwhile experience.
There is a big difference between having a financial plan and experiencing an ongoing financial planning service. Building the initial plan is just the start, and it’s ultimately wrong two seconds later (unless your personal and financial circumstances never, ever change from that point onwards, sans inflation, tax rules and legislation). It is a best guess about the future, based on what we know today.
The real magic happens in the collaborative work throughout the years with your financial planner, exploring different scenarios, reviewing plans, adjusting expectations, and achieving objectives. This is where the value lies and why we develop close, meaningful, long-term relationships where success is measured on what matters most in life.