A note about your journey: there is no end!
‘Your journey’ is the obvious metaphor used within your financial planning to describe your route through life.
Your journey can take in all sorts of things. You might break up your ‘travels’ for a while by deciding to take a sabbatical from work. During our lifetime it is a sad fact that many of us will experience illness, either ourselves or of close family members. Unfortunately, this could interrupt your journey for a time. When you’re ‘back on the road’ you might come to a fork at some point; do you purchase that second home abroad you’ve always wanted or save more to have a better quality of life here in the UK?
Your journey is personal to you. It’s how you explore and live your life, and financial planning is about making sure that you get to those things and everything else that is important to you, using your money in the most appropriate and effective way possible.
But there’s something else important to realise about your journey. It never ends!
You might think, when you start your financial planning, that your journey ends when you finish paying your mortgage and become, more or less, ‘financially free’. But it does not.
You might think that your journey ends at retirement, when you are free from work. But it does not end here either.
You might look further ahead and think that your journey ends when you have planned to pass on your assets to your family. But this still isn’t the end of your journey.
This is because your journey is ever changing, ever continuing in lines both curved and straight. You will find new priorities that you want to plan for as your life changes, new things that you want to do, grandchildren that arrive and that you want to help, experiences you did not realise that you wanted.
It is tempting to think that we can plan for everything but life, our journey, is not always like that.
That’s why a good financial plan both allows for the ‘now’, the current roadmap you’re using, and allows for the future, the forks in the road you reach, the unexpected you encounter, the pleasant surprises along the way.
Financial planning is not about reaching an absolute destination. It’s about giving you the ability to enjoy the ever-changing journey, safe in the knowledge that you’re moving along it in the right way.
It’s a nice thought: the end never really needs to be in sight, no matter how close to it we think we might be!