16 May 2019

It’s a Wonderful Financial Life

When people think of financial planners the pop-culture references that come up most tend to be either Michael Douglas’ infamous portrayal of Gordon ‘greed is good’ Gekko or, for those of a more modern persuasion, Martin Scorsese’s ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and all of the negative connotations that come by association.

If I could choose the pop-culture reference that financial planners were more readily associated with I would opt for, the slightly less glamourous, Clarence Odbody from Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

In the movie, our protagonist, George Bailey, lives in the small town of Bedford Falls with regret at all 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 2nd Class) appears and shows George that all 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 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 to gain get a better understanding of where you actually stand.

All the planners at Carbon can recount various stories of clients who came to us with concerns about their future retirement. 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 additional queries you may have, please contact us via our website or by sending an email to ….. and remember every time we receive an email a paraplanner gets his wings.

The value of investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back what you invest.

This communication is for general information only and is not intended to be individual advice. It represents our understanding of law and HM Revenue & Customs practice. You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking any action.

Tax and Estate Planning Services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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