12 December 2018

It’s a Wonderful Financial Life

With the nights getting darker and the winter chill beginning to bite, it is time for me, the Michael Bublé of financial planning, to prepare my seasonal Christmas blog.

Last year’s Christmas blog was based on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and this year I have looked towards James Stewart’s classic movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

In the original movie, our protagonist, George Bailey, lives in the small town of Bedford Falls with regret at all of the things he feels he’s missed out on – primarily, his repeated failed attempts to leave town and travel the world.

Following an unfortunate sequence of events, George contemplates suicide after coming to the upsetting conclusion that his greatest asset is his life assurance policy. At this point, Clarence (Angel Second Class) appears and shows George that all of his perceived sacrifices have been worth it and that he does in fact have… a wonderful life.

Now, short of comparing ourselves to Clarence the Angel, the act of building and establishing a financial plan is not a dissimilar journey for our clients.

Whether it be as simple as cutting back on non-essential expenditure, or more onerous financial commitments such as putting money towards long-term savings or meeting private education costs for your children, most of you will recognise the need to make financial sacrifices in the short-term to meet long-term financial goals. This will often, at some level, involve sacrificing the lifestyle you could have now.

As you approach retirement, the question of ‘do I have enough?’ looms large and can cause a great deal of anxiety and stress. At this point, it is worth taking stock and looking at all of the financial sacrifices you have made, both small and large, over your lifetime and checking your financial position in greater detail.

By going through a cashflow analysis and taking a detailed look at all of your financial assets, scope for further saving, plans in retirement and bucket list expenditure, a broad picture of your sacrifices can be drawn together and we can help you achieve a better financial life.

All of the planners at Carbon are able to recount stories of clients who came to us with concerns about their future retirement, and left feeling more confident about spending their money. By going through a detailed cashflow analysis and putting a financial plan in place, the stress of affording retirement can be alleviated and it may be possible to meet long-term goals that you previously thought were unachievable, such as travelling the world in the case of George Bailey.

Although we don’t have the powers of Clarence, the act of building a financial plan can allow you to measure the value of your short-term sacrifices and help you to put a strategy in place to achieve your ‘wonderful’ financial life.

If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss building a financial plan, or any other queries you may have, please contact us via the Contact Us page or send an email to And remember, every time we receive an email a paraplanner gets his wings.

Potential titles for next year’s Christmas blog: Home ‘Equity Release’ Alone; Frosty the Taxman; or, A Miracle on Manor Place.

Seasons greetings from all of us at the Carbon offices.

Jonathan Young is a paraplanner at Carbon. You can view Jonathan’s profile by clicking on his name, or contact Jonathan via email on

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