Some people have clearly defined ambitions for the future and some struggle to really think about how they might like to spend their time once they stop working. Some can't even see a time when stopping work is an option.
From experience I have seen clients become more animated and enthusiastic about their planning when they have seen me practice what I preach.
We talk about fun lifestyle things going in the diary BEFORE work commitments and I make it clear that my "make the most of life" philosophy can work for them too. Clients have more confidence if they can see that you have your life organised in a way that they want to organise theirs.
This year I decided to take a 5 week winter break to New Zealand and Western Australia. While I was lying on the beach, I got to thinking about how I could help more people to be in a similar situation (if indeed they wanted to be.)
Many people have a "bucket list" but how many make real plans to pursue their dreams and "tick" them off the list? Well I do and the ones I have ticked off on this latest holiday are: skydiving: snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef and white water rafting.
In the past I have always focused on helping clients to create their own financial plan, but more recently I have spent much more time providing guidance, leadership and sometimes counselling to help people envisage how things might be in their perfect future life.
I know many people who are "stuck." They don't know if they can afford to stop working because they don't know what their future life will cost or in some cases what they even want it to look like!
These are the people I really want to talk to, to help them see the endless possibilities available to them once they start to think about the future, make plans and get organised.
My over-riding message to clients is that we are only on this earth once and my personal mission is to enjoy every day and spend some time providing guidance and leadership to those who would like to do the same.
You can read Julie Lord's column every month first in Financial Planning Today magazine.
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