Financial planning and life planning are inextricably linked. After all, the purpose of having money is so we can live the life we want. The starting point of a financial plan is always to ask, ‘What are your goals?’ The art of financial planning is to work with people to draw out their individual approach to life rather than applying a standard template.
There are people who strongly resist goal setting and planning. For such people, planning is too rigid and assumes that in order to get what you want later, you have to give up what you want now. Planning means you have to stick to a predetermined course of action and make sacrifices in order to be successful in the end. People who don’t like planning like their life to be unpredictable, with the thrill of the unknown and being caught up in adventure. It is all about the purpose and the journey and less about the end result. They argue that plans don’t work, that life is far too chaotic to plan and that most good things in life, such as friendships, relationships and job opportunities, happen without a plan.
So if you are one of those people who can’t, or won’t plan, how do you get some semblance of control over your life? The answer is ALBA – Act, Learn, Build, Again (i.e. repeat). This is planning in micro steps. Take action, see what if feels like, build on it if it feels right, then start again by taking a different action and so on. It’s a way of moving forward while still being able to respond to opportunities in the present. The challenge for financial planners is to be able to come up with solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to a range of future scenarios.