Let me start this post with some questions:

  1. Do you have lifestyle goals?
  2. Do you have a financial plan?
  3. Do you have a financial plan that is aligned with fulfilling your lifestyle goals?

I’ve written previous blog posts about the advice my father gave me as I was about to leave our home in a small country town to start a new life in Sydney. He said “Work hard, put your money in the bank, pay cash for everything, and stay out of debt.” I’ve also shared with you that after working all of his life and following his own advice, my dad retired on the government pension.

Liz and I have always approached life with the philosophy ‘if we are not an expert in a certain area of our lives, we seek out the experts for advice.’

Money Can… and Money Can’t buy you happiness!

Depending on what research study you refer to, money can and can’t buy you happiness (the debate is beyond what I want to discuss in this post). Scientific study aside however, I’m sure you’ll agree that the practical reality is we need money to exist, and the way we think about, earn, spend and invest our money will impact on us living happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.

You can find information on what to do with your financial situation everywhere. Sadly, it’s just that… information. Friends, family and work colleagues will all have their own thoughts and philosophy about what you should do with your money and financial situation.

My advice to you is don’t listen to them (unless their area of expertise is as a professional financial adviser).

Liz and I have benefited from professional financial advice for the majority of our married life and I am certainly an advocate for others to seek professional unbiased financial advice as well.

I’m convinced that many Australians do not seek financial advice because they think they do not earn enough or don’t have enough money saved. And sadly, the cause of this is the image, marketing and positioning of the financial advice industry where they are continually talking about Retirement as opposed to lifestyle choices, and alienate and disengage potential clients by using ‘Required Investment/Saving’ figures.

A REALITY SLAP

In a current advertisement on Television we see Mark Bouris, Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management, informing Australians that we need one million dollars invested in superannuation by the time they are 65 years of age, to live a comfortable retirement.

I’ve posted previously how I do like the idea of Australians needing a SLAP to wake them up to the importance of having a financial plan, the problem is the real value of financial planning is being missed.

While I’m not saying the saving and investment strategies aren’t important, of course they are, but the real value you get from a professional financial adviser is in their process of helping you to define clearly what your current lifestyle situation is, and what your short, medium and long term desired lifestyle is. And of equal importance, they also help you clarify any gap in your desired and potential lifestyle goals.

Why Intentionomics Is Aligned With The Real Value of Financial Planning

From an Intentionomics Blueprint perspective, it’s this clarification process that the truly professional financial advisers follow that helps their clients to achieve Inescapable Truth #1 of the Intentionomics Blueprint – Define a prosperous life.

(By the way, if you’re a financial adviser reading this post, and want to better articulate your value to your existing and potential clients, buy them copies of Intentionomics to make a practical alignment with lifestyle (living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life) and financial planning/advice).

What concerns me is the required reality SLAP of needing one million invested in superannuation by age 65 for many baby-boomers who are fast approaching that age may simply create an apathetic response of “Well I’m never going to get to that amount, so why bother trying!”

A Challenger Retirement Income Research Paper (April 2012) on how much superannuation Australian’s really have, shows the following:

So we’re falling a long way short of the required one million invested. However, that oughtn’t stop us from applying the 2nd Inescapable Truth of the Intentionomics Blueprint, which is to Take Stock Of Your Truth.

Wherever you fall on the above table, whether by age, sex, or by amount of super invested, if you haven’t already done so, today is a great day to make some enquiries about seeking professional financial advice so that regardless of your level of income or current savings, investments or superannuation, start from today in giving yourself the best opportunity to align a financial plan with your lifestyle goals.

That is the real value of a financial plan… it’s a starting place for you to have the best opportunity possible, within your practical reality, to align a financial plan with your lifestyle goals to live a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.

In Australia, two places to start your investigation are the  Financial Planning Association (FPA) website and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) website