Five years ago, I left my corporate job which I have been working for over a decade to pursue my journey as a Licensed Financial Planner. To date, I have never regretted this important decision.
I had participated in the Malaysia Financial Planner of the Year 2020 (MFPYA) competition and I am so privileged to be selected as one of the winners. Through the competition, my work was scrutinized, and peer-reviewed. The quality of my work was validated and ascertained that I am providing the best possible financial advice and solutions to my clients. I also received the constructive feedback from the judges on the areas that I could improve on. This experience propels me to continue developing my skills and enhance my advisory capability.
Since then, many have asked me what a Financial Plan is and how does it help individual and family. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts based on my experience over these years.
What is Lifestyle Financial Planning?
Have you ever wondered, why some people seem to have the ability to live the life of dreams, whilst some are living from paycheck to paycheck, even though both share the same starting point many years back? You may say that everyone’s circumstances are different, however, there is a significant difference between those who have a guideline on how to reach their financial success compared to those without having one.
Many people enjoy spending their hard-earned money on lifestyle. I am also a believer in ‘money does not spend on you or your loved ones does not belong to you’. This is exceptionally true to the older generations who have worked very hard their entire life, but they feel guilty when comes to spend a little bit extra on themselves. However, I will put a caveat on those who spend without limitation not knowing their current financial situation.
Generally, when comes to financial planning, people thought the financial planners only trying to calculate how much money is ‘Enough’, ‘enough for what’ and ‘for how long’. It is purely numerical. But is it so?
Lifestyle financial planning encompasses more than the numerical/logical perspective. It is a financial plan that is built around the lifestyle you want now and, in the future, rather than just buying financial products. For example, you would like to bring the family for a 1-month holiday every year, your lifestyle financial plan would enable you to do this.
This is an unconventional way of doing planning for a client whereby it moves away from traditional modular planning, which is only focusing on one area, e.g., insurance, or investment. The planning process is focusing on what you seriously intend to achieve in your life, understanding your motivations and values, your state of wellbeing, and what you intend to do in the next 5, 10, 20 or more years. Besides this, we must also delve deeper about your relationship with money before we can design a plan to help you achieve and maintain your desired lifestyle. It is a plan which takes into consideration of emotions and logical perspective. We need to achieve a fine balance between what you desire versus the resources you prepare to put in and resources which will be available to you.
Your lifestyle financial plan
We use award-winning sophisticated financial planning tool to generate illustrations and scenarios which reflect how long your current financial position can last and devise a plan to fill any gaps to help you achieve your goals.
Based on my experience, along the journey, the client has more clarity in their financial situation, and they feel more empowered to make the right financial decisions. They are empowered to make sound financial decisions, for example having a longer holiday without guilt, or some may need to save more or cut expenses so that they can accumulate wealth effectively.
Once embarked on the implementation of the recommendations, the ability to stick to the plan is very important. This plays a very important role so that the plan does not detour. Another important key is to regular review, making sure the plan keeps up with the uncontrollable changes over time.
Our involvement does not stop at a written plan. The plan is only part of the overall financial planning process. The whole journey is extremely rewarding to me, whereby I am honoured to be part of people’s long-term plans, seeing them realizing their lifelong ambitions.
The REAL Benefits
Lifestyle financial planning brings clarity to your current and future financial situation. It provides you with guidance on what you need to do now to allow you to maintain and achieve your desired lifestyle until you expired. It takes away the fear of ever running out of money. At the end of the day, you have so much clarity and peace of mind once you finally know that you are using your finances to deliver things that matter to you, and to the one you matter most.
Talk to us if you would like to explore further.