“Did some last minute financial planning & it looks like I can retire at 62 and live comfortably for about eleven minutes”
If you’re not already seriously planning your finances, then the above scenario might be more of a reality than a joke.
Just like when we plan an exotic vacation, we start months in advance zeroing in on the best hotels, the cheapest flights and an itinerary that gives us the finest experiences of the city.
How well we’ve planned eventually decides whether we’ve embarked on the adventure of a lifetime or a nightmare full of bad memories. Similarly, how we live tomorrow depends on how we invest today.
Your wardrobe may match the job, your degree may match the dream, but a financial goal without a plan is just as good as wishing on a shooting star.
In other words, financial mapping can help you understand where you are now, where you want to be and how to get there.
To help you map your financial requirements, I aim to steer you away from the usual to-do lists and debunk the 4 biggest myths that will help you achieve clarity and the desired results.
Myth 1: I’m Too Young & Don’t Have Enough Wealth to Start Financial Planning
It’s a common myth that financial planning is only for people in a certain income bracket or age group. Like the best-selling author, Robert Kiyosaki famously said:
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”
No matter what your social standing or age, it is important that you understand your requirement for money and when you’re most likely to need it.
In fact, answering simple questions like – Why? How much? & By when? – will help attain financial stability in the long run.
Myth 2: Financial Planning Is the Same as Investing
Financial planning goes beyond investments. The few investments you make like FD’s, Mutual Funds and recurring deposits doesn’t mean that you’ve got the job done.
Choosing a short-term solution to satisfy a long-term requirement will not help you achieve what you desire. For that, one needs a sound plan in place.
Financial planning refers to how much money must be invested, why it needs to be invested and till what time the money should be invested.
Your financial needs and goals are unique and should be treated as such.
Myth 3: All You Need to Do Is to Plan Your Finances Once & Then Forget About It.
While your goals and ambitions might remain the same, there are various external factors that could impact how your investments are performing.
Government Policies, changes in taxation laws, a sudden loss of job, the unexpected death of a spouse – one or all of these could seriously put a road bump in your financial plans. The concept of Fill it, Shut it, Forget it – only works in 2-wheeler advertisements.
In financial planning, periodic reviews are critical and will help you stay on track in the long-run. You can decide whether your goals are simple and a yearly review suffices or whether your goals are complex and would require a monthly evaluation.
Myth 4: Buying a Life Insurance Policy Is Not Financial Planning
American business magnate and investor, Warren Buffett famously said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”.
Buying Insurance is planning. No matter your time frame of requirement, I would strongly advise you to always consider a Life Insurance Plan when you’re planning your finances.
Life insurance is the only financial instrument that allows for long-term savings whilst helping you retain adequate flexibility. Furthermore, it ensures that your ‘financial plan’ is intact irrespective of whether you are around or not.
While this is an overview of how you can evaluate your financial plans, it is advisable for you to consult a life insurance / financial expert before taking any decisions.
They will be able to facilitate selection of a customized financial solution as per your individual requirement.
To end, I’d like to use the words of Zig Ziglar, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
Therefore, make sure you invest wisely and plan securely.