4 ways to improve the view of your day

Do you ever wake up and just lack energy, motivation and start to sink under the burden of the day ahead, worrying about everything which may or may not happen, and looking at everything with dread?

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s a virus – there are probably loads of labels or reasons you may add to justify it – but maybe, there is something far more positive you could do. Continue reading “4 ways to improve the view of your day”

What’s missing from financial planning?

Is financial planning just about numbers?

Anyone who has ever come into contact with a Serenity financial life planner will be more than aware of our passion for not just financial planning, but financial life planning.

Why is Financial Life Planning important?

That small four letter word ‘life’ may not seem that significant but it epitomises the whole point of all of us being here. The whole purpose of being on the planet is about life, and without that key element, perhaps there is no point, no purpose, and no logic.

In this article in Forbes, George Kinder, the founding father of Financial Life Planning explains the huge difference between financial planning and financial life planning.

What is the difference between Financial Planning and Financial Life Planning?

In short, one deals with people’s money, the other focuses on their lives and happiness first, then sets to work around the money part. In a way, it is comparing living to living life.

Surely investments and pensions matter most?

To quote one of our very great friends Andy Hart of Maven Adviser, ‘no adviser ever got a letter from a pension policy asking for help’.

Surely Financial Planning is no place for emotions

Emotion drives decisions, and decisions drive life, this is when we finally figure out that people’s emotions drive everything. To understand emotions, and ultimately our clients’ drivers through their lives, we need to listen to them, not project our opinions on how clever we think we are.

How does a Financial Life Planning relationship look?

It’s all about having a deep and meaningful relationship with our clients through their lives, not a synthetic relationship with their money for as long as it lasts. Without that deep relationship, we are just continually guessing at what may be best for our clients, guesses which may have a long term detrimental effect on their happiness.

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life

 

5 Holes in your Bucket list? – Here’s why…

Do I need a bucket list?

There is far more to life than just having the traditional ‘bucket list’  – here is why…

Don’t just have a tick list of things to do 

Take running a marathon, once that is done, do you stop running?  Once you have had the holiday of a lifetime, do you stop holidaying, once you have built or developed the ideal house, do you become complacent about it?  If you were to become a senior manager of where you worked, would the name badge be your goal?  Look beyond the tangible things in life. 

There are always reasons why you want to do things

Take running a marathon again, is it bragging rights you are after and to get a medal?  To have a focus to keep you training to improve your overall fitness, or to push yourself to the max?  Similarly, with travel, is visiting places just an opportunity to say ‘cross that one off your list Margaret’ or are the deeper experiences, memories, understanding and experiences to have?  What would that ideal house give you, more than a big house to look at, but perhaps a haven a home, the space for your family to just be. Finally, achievement at work – is the name badge and title really all that matters, or is it that you inspire and lead continually, rather than just puff your chest out feeling important all of a sudden. Once you know the WHAT you want to do, ask yourself WHY you want to do it, and what if you didn’t do it.

The people in your life are also part of this 

Your plan, your goals, your vision.  That’s all great, focus is a wonderful thing, but not to the detriment of all of those around you. Training for a marathon requires a lot of compromise and balance with your family.  The ideal holiday, has to be agreeable with everyone else, and then the key is not to lose sight that it is also their trip and experience as well. Just because it was on your list, does not mean that your view on what should happen is the only one which counts. The house – it’s again key to allow everyone to enjoy it, to find their own spaces, enjoyment, way of living.  Overall it is a home, and one for people to feel safe and loved in, not just a pile of building materials.  Pursuit of a career without recognition of everyone else leads to huge unhappiness in many families.  Leaving home at 7am, returning at 6pm – really, what quality of life is that, and sometimes, it is easy to kid ourselves that we are doing it for everyone else.  If you died today, guess what, your boss would replace you tomorrow! Always remember who will be by your bedside when you die.

The experience is fluid 

It is great to have an idea, a vision of what it may be like, but remember, that is in your head – it is your reality, but not anyone else’s.  A sub 4 hour marathon may need to become a 5 hour one,  the holiday may be slightly, or even very different from what you had imagined, the house may not be a new one, but a renovations, a different location, anything could change – what if it is a red door instead of the blue one you had dreamed of?  It’s just the portal to your haven – not the end of the world! What if you don’t become a director or senior manager of where you used to work, but rather found something very different elsewhere?  Not the pin-striped suited meeting in a glass clad office, full of ego and materialism, but a real influencer, someone who made a difference – to others not just the owners bank balances? Go with the flow, like a river, the twists and turns often bring the most unexpected joy and happiness.

Ultimately, life, and your plan is an ongoing journey

Life is an ongoing development, change, adaption, and experience.  Yes, of course it ends one day, but life as it is, is ongoing journey, something constantly changing. Take the marathon, maybe it is a shift to a healthier lifestyle which is the key, yes, the desire of a medal or running for 5 hours is the catalyst, but it is the shift which is the deeper aim. The travel may be to enjoy experiences, to enhance our understanding of the world, to create memories and to have happy times.  Picking destinations is the catalyst.  The house may be to create a safe haven a family hub, a place where you can all be together, and the career may well be to make a difference to others, which once we understand is not necessarily done with name badges, starts to release that attachment and ego. Life is not a list of achievements, it is a sense of feelings, of messages.

Life  is who you are being along the way. So when you compile your bucket list, 101 places etc, start to look examine the reasons and feelings – that’s and is why working with a professional financial life planner is very different from just saying  ‘cross that off your list Margaret’.

 

How easy is it to save money?

Is saving money just like losing weight?

Well there is a question – and in short, yes – the principle is the same, and here is why…

How do most people go about losing weight?

Generally, people start by getting good idea of how heavy they are, figuring out where they want to get to, and start to monitor their progress. The progress is made by changes to behaviour, an approach of what is consumed, and how much energy is spent.

Is saving and weight loss just about will-power?

A disciplined approach to weight-loss is something many of us recognise, and in a way, is no different to how perhaps you should approach a disciplined structure to money management.

Discipline and structure is how to save

By figuring out how much money is needed to be saved, how the budget needs to be trimmed, or a particular financial focus is needed, you have the equivalent of a weight-loss goal.

Awareness of consumption is important

Follow this up with a mindful and intentional structure and monitoring of expenditure, the spending behaviour may well change (just like by eating apples instead of cakes for example). Less money is consumed (like less food), and perhaps less is spent (or at least spent in a more intentional manner).

Do I need a support group or mentor?

A sustained, monitored and coached approach is of huge benefit for many people with regards their finances in order to avoid the monetary equivalent of yo-yo dieting, yet it doesn’t seem to be widespread.  People happily spend over £4 a day on take away coffee, and another £6 on lunch, yet many would baulk at the idea of paying to be coached around their money.

Do people pay for financial coaching?

A good number of our Serenity clients around the UK, although they have accumulated wealth, may have done so by accident (through an inheritance perhaps, or even having it retained within their business), yet still need significant ongoing support and coaching to retain their understanding and reality of money. This is the value our clients find in our relationship with them – and that is what it is, a relationship with our clients, not their money.

Do I need investments to have financial coaching?

In fact, more and more people are now paying for financial planning, coaching and support and not even having investments in place.  Instead, they see the real value in changing their habits and being supported on a regular basis to keep them moving towards their goals.

That is what matters most – people arriving at their goals, and sustaining them.

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life