At various points in your life you will transcend from one stage to another, this can be a natural progression based on age, or driven by life events.
The fundamental principles of financial planning remain consistent throughout.
However, the practical applications, in other words the things you need to attend to, and the implementation steps that follow – will change.
Priorities shift, as do your needs and this leads to a constant re-evaluation of what you want to do depending where you are in the life stage cycle, which can vary from person to person, situation to situation.
What you do matters
Also, what you do in your life makes a big difference. Your job and your employment type (e.g. business owner/director/employee/self-employed) can alter your planning.
As an example, if you run your own business you won’t have access to an employee benefit package as you might in an employed position. This means you would have to provide those extra benefits, such as a pension or work-related life assurance, for yourself.
On the other hand, someone in an employed position has a rigid tax and national insurance arrangement, whereas business owners and company directors can legally organise their remuneration efficiently to reduce taxes.
Your wishes and desires matter just as much
Your stage and your position are “matters of fact” but beyond this is the nature of what you want in life, what your ambitions are, the lifestyle you desire, what you enjoy and so on.
These are crucial to how you go about arranging your finances. It is easy to look at the core facts of where you are, what you do and construct your plans from there, but if you do this and ignore your wishes and desires you may find you succeed in financial management but don’t really get what you want from your life. The bigger picture formed by your ambitions for yourself and for your family can alter the practical steps you need to take.
Combining everything together
All factors make up a situation where you can describe your “I am” – which is a way of combining who you are and what you desire. If we were each of us to sit down and think about what we would describe under this heading, it produces a framework for the financial planning, unlike any other.
Ultimately, when we think about it, what we want from life is the most important thing, our finances are simply are a function of this. No-one wants to be money rich, but life poor. No-one wants a champagne lifestyle, but to be miserable inside. So, we have to ensure that we are supporting something else when we consider the financial steps we need to take, at all stages. That something else is our wishes and desires, and our happiness. We have to be able to define that within our financial planning, as much as anything else.
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