What makes you tick?

What makes you tick?  When we as financial planners ask ourselves this question it usually comes down to making a difference to people’s lives. It is when we see our clients fundamentally change something in their lives for the better that we know we are having a real impact. We got an email last week from a client called Walter which got us thinking about the value we add to our clients. Please read on this “horsey” tale:

Walter’s Story

Walter was a corporate lawyer that came to us 2 years ago when he was made redundant. His reason for meeting was to get advice on managing his pension lump sum. Walter’s children were still in school and he had significant debt and other outgoings. However during our meeting the thing he enjoyed talking about most was horses. He had always dreamed of running a horse stable but never thought it would be possible due to his commitments.

We carried out our usual analysis of his finances and using our financial planning software we were able to show him a possible career path working part time as a lawyer while starting his horse business. Early last year after much discussion and double-checking of the numbers, Walter had sufficient confidence in the plan to use his redundancy fund to buy stables in Wexford.  His email last week was to update us on the success of the stables and how much fun he is having. While the business is still small and he is working harder than ever, he has none of the stress that he suffered from previously.

For Walter financial planning is no longer about “retirement”. He no longer thinks about managing his financial assets in order to allow him to stop working at some point in the future. Our financial planning meetings are about ensuring he is on track to continue doing what he loves doing for the rest of his life without the worry of ever running out of money.

Longevity

We are seeing more clients that are thinking like Walter. We think an important factor creating this change is increasing longevity. As a typical LHW client Walter has a very good chance of significantly beating the average life expectancy of 81.4 years.

Normally the debate about increasing longevity centres on the problems and challenges it presents. As financial planners however, we see the immense contribution that older workers make in business and society. We also see how beneficial it is to our client’s mental and physical well-being to pursue a career with passion into latter life. Dublin barrister Maurice Gaffney (pic below) who sadly passed away last month is an inspirational example.

He was still practising law right up to weeks before his death; aged 100. He often spoke of how on-going interaction with different generations every day in the law library kept him feeling young and mentally challenged all his life.

It has been long recognised that working in a career or a pursuit that you love is one of the keys to a long and happy life. An important first step is the sort of financial analysis that Walter did. This gave him the confidence to make the really important decisions in life.

Unfortunately most financial advisers are primarily distribution channels for life companies and funds.  The advice is normally not bad advice. Everything is normally compliant with Central Bank regulations but it doesn’t deal with the important goals and priorities of peoples lives. Thankfully Walter took the time to stop and think about what he wanted from life and we were able to help him put some shape on it.

If you would like to learn more about what real financial planning means, please drop us a line. We will send you a copy of a book we commissioned in conjunction with a number of other leading Irish & UK financial planners.  “Enough: How Much Money Do You Need?” was written for us by experienced financial planner and author, Paul Armson. We are very proud of the result as it reflects the different way we approach financial planning. We have a limited supply of this unique book available free of charge.

Come and talk to us to see if we can make a difference to you and your loved ones. We look forward to hearing from you.