Did you think that Financial Life Planning is either encouraging people to spend their money, or to save it for extravagant holidays. Certainly, a big challenge is enabling clients to find the freedom to spend their money (especially if it was inherited from parents who never spent), and helping them live to their means with an eye on the future. The real goal is happiness – being able to help people be at ease with their position, and helping them to enjoy life without the burden of worry (still of course with a responsible financial eye on the future).
People with a purpose tend to be happy (or less unhappy). Their purpose gives them a reason to get up in the morning, to go on fighting , to have an eye on the future. My client’s husband had a purpose, which was to help others, raise funds for charity, and unknown to him, leave massive imprint on many peoples lives.
There is no way of dressing this up nicely. After suffering through PTSD, depression, and work-place bullying, Del found that he could no longer face life, he was no use to anyone, and the best thing he could do to help others (again being completely selfless, which was his nature) was to end his own life. Just look at that smile, of course he was of use to others, he saved lives, he made people feel better, he kept people going. He may not have been able to save the whole world, but he saved some people’s world.
When Nel (Del’s wife) came to me after his death, she was of course in a completely different place. No purpose, no point, no reason to do anything. Although she was filled with energy, it was anger, hate and resentment (and rightly so) at those who had literally caused Del to go over the edge. Together, we had to find away (amongst sorting out her financial situation which had changed dramatically) to give Nel her purpose back and find her mission.
Nel is one of the most determined, resolute, and strongest people I know. Over the years, she has focused her intense energy into helping others. From raising money for Cancer Charities, she created Thinking of Del, to thank Cornwall Search and Rescue Team (who searched for Del’s body for 2 weeks). In 2016, whilst doing some work with Nel, we came up with the idea of a spectacular fund raiser – the purpose, to raise more funds for CSART (to help alleviate the angst of those who had lost a loved one on the cliffs), and also for MIND – to see if some way or other, we can stop just one more person taking that last step.
Nel had her purpose, her direction and a reason to go on fighting. In the past 5 years, she has been instrumental in raising over £30,000 in Del’s memory, and passionately speaks out regarding mental health.
Life planning isn’t just about holidays, a comfortable lifestyle, and being healthy. Often, it is about working with people in a very dark place in their life, and helping them to find a reason and purpose to carry on.