The real value of advice and it's not what you think
As a dad of 3 kids (7 and under) I have walked a mile in your shoes...
The sleep deprivation. The child care & after school care runs. The debt conundrum, fun crazy times and trying to provide for my little crew whilst balancing life's little pleasures and trying to get ahead.
If you are struggling to get ahead, paying down debt only to go backwards again or don't know where to start when setting goals and saving for the future - I need to tell you something.
I help families understand what they really want, what's most important to you and sometimes, its not what you thought you wanted.
A good financial adviser understands you are consumed by the everyday living and helps you reconnect and articulate what your ideal life looks like and how to take the appropriate steps to making that a reality.
This is the surprising and really fulfilling part of the wealth management and financial advice process for both me and my clients. I help you connect on a deeper level to understand your core values, set goals and appreciate what your ideal lifestyle looks like.
Goals and values are two different things & these are the surprising aspects of financial planning that can get forgotten.
Values are how you want to live your life and why. A goal is measurable target or something you would like to achieve with a specific time frame.
A trip to Italy in 2 years costing $15,000 is a goal. Saving for a deposit is a goal. Travelling and flexibility, experiences or security - they are values.
When catching up with new clients, it is very common to hear they would like to buy an investment property or buy a big house. When I ask them why - the response id often "Because our friend Dave did this" or "We heard there is really great returns". After talking some more I find regular annual overseas travel is important to them and they value new experiences, travel, freedom
In this example, achieving your goal would leave you no happier or more satisfied than before. Why? You would have more debt or a bigger mortgage with less disposable income to pursue those hings that add most value and joy to your life.
Aligning your goals with your values is also useful to help separate the important from unimportant, drive us in a positive direction and often as goals changes, values are consistent.
The most common things I hear when meeting with 30s, 40s and families is:
" We earn good money, but we don't know where it's going or if we are moving forward"
"We have never sat down properly and given any time to thinking about our future".
"I don't know if we will be any better off returning to work or not; what is better?"
The value of advice for 30s, 40s and families is practical advice. Debt reduction advice, return to work and childcare advice. Navigating the childcare assistance minefield. Setting up a family budget. Identifying habits and behaviuors with money. Reviewing your money management system, savings and banking structure and helping you save better. Setting up long-term investments for the kids. Protecting your family, income and lifestyle.
The value of financial advice is not fancy investments or market leading returns. The most technical or savvy investment strategies are near useless if the right behaviours, attitudes and habits are not present to support those goals.
Real financial advice for 30s 40s and families is about understanding what to keep doing, stop doing and start doing to create a plan to achieve future goals and enjoy your ideal lifestyle. That is what helps bring real satisfaction and happiness.
You’ll be surprised about what a positive experience this can be – when you can get clear about the lifestyle you want both now and longer term and discover the steps required to get there…
Dylan Martin is a director of local financial advice firm Feel So Good Wealth Management and is passionate about helping young families use their money better.
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General advice disclaimer - this article contains general advice, It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a Financial Adviser before making a financial decision. This is not personal financial advice.