Purpose – how to plan…

I have shelves of books about financial planning, investing and anything that helps me to improve how I do what I do and how to simplify, explain and address issues that actually matter to you our clients.

One of the lessons that I have learned over the last three decades is that planning for the future is often too far into the future to be meaningful. We all hope to have a rewarding, purposeful and enjoyable life, but thinking about the next thirty years (2052) often feels too distant from the present.


As I write, it is November 2022, and looking backwards is easier.  Three decades ago (November 1992) is the same distance backwards as it is forwards to 2052. Back in 1992 we had just had the ERM crisis, unemployment was 2.7m, Charles & Diana were still unhappily married. The same time traveller distance back to November 1962 and 007 premiered Dr No and Z-Cars was first aired. The Cuban Missile Crisis had just happened, and The Beatles had just released their first single ‘Love Me Do’.

Suffice to say thirty years is a long time and much changes, though most of it is barely noticed on a day-to-day basis. As humans we tend to have short memories, often having to relearn the same lessons.

The cashflow modelling that we have been using with you since it was available, suffers from the same problem, projecting decades out into the future. Of course, I remind you that “this is a version of the future that almost certainly will not happen, as life is not linear and stuff happens” or something along those lines.

On the one hand I need to extol the rationale, logic and purpose of having a long-term mindset, and on the other I am aware that we really cannot predict anything. The last five years were probably unthinkable to most of us decade ago.

So we focus on the gradual accumulation of small changes that all add up to a better future. Taking advantage of improvements in technology, lower charges and efficiencies. Yet I still find the daily use of pad and paper something that I am unlikely to give up easily. Even holding a printed document is better than a pdf.

Planning ahead for me means considering the year, quarters, weeks and days. I use a planner and despite all the workflows and tech, the planner is really my personal account and guide. This is really a place for my values and aspirations or goals both personally and for the business. The self-accounting enables me to not simply get things done, but to get the important things done… or at least progressed.

Quarterly planning is nothing to do with investment valuations or market conditions, but ensuring you are taking action to progress towards your goals whilst living out your own values consistently and authentically.  Planning with purpose.

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk