Financial Planning for a Life Well-Lived

Over my 35-year financial planning career, the most common question I’ve been asked is, “Christine, how can I save more for my retirement?”.

Many of my clients believed they’d outlive their super and worked flat-out saving as much as they could for their futures. Initially, I supported their commitment, but then I realised they were so focused on working extra hours or taking second jobs, that they’d forgotten to live for the now.

Which is why I was intrigued when I heard about a book with the tantalising title, Die With Zero by Bill Perkins.

In his book, Perkins suggests that we are products of our journey through life, where experiences, choices and life-lessons shape who we are. His message is simple: if you die with zero dollars left, you’ve lived the richest, most fulfilled life you possibly can.

This resonated with me, so I started thinking about how I could help my clients begin living now – seizing the moment, if you will – because financial well-being, like life, is a journey – not simply a destination.

It’s about balance, a genuine work/life balance, where I can help my clients establish a strategy to achieve their financial goals, whether they’re saving for a home, kids’ education, retirement, etc., while supporting an enriching lifestyle.

Why is this important? Well, no one can deny the benefits of a life well-lived. Life experiences contribute to our emotional well-being through:

  • enhanced relationships,
  • recognising opportunities and making the most of them,
  • improving quality of life, leading to better health, personal growth and happiness.

I’m not suggesting we live entirely in the moment letting the future take care of itself; retirement savings form the foundation of our financial security in later life. They offer the freedom to live as we choose, with peace of mind and independence.

Rather, it’s about remembering to balance all stages of our life; early adulthood, middle age, as well as retirement.

It’s about what brings us joy, our priorities and financial goals as they evolve during our entire life journey.

Strategies that can assist in balancing financial security with lifestyle start with:

  1. Identifying financial goals and aligning them with lifestyle and personal values.
  2. Developing a budget that fosters a savings habit while allocating funds towards fulfilling experiences. For example, automated savings plans encourage consistent super and non-super savings.
  3. Spending mindfully, evaluating the long-term impact of purchases, and deciding whether the expense is necessary and aligns with the overall strategy.

Bill Perkins’ wisdom reminds us that the memories we accumulate become the fabric of our lives. Providing for your retirement is vital, but investing in life experiences adds depth, joy and enrichment.

As my dad always said, “No one ever died regretting the good times”.

As with all financial decisions, it’s wise to seek professional advice, and when discussing your goals, though retirement may be 5, 10, 20 years away, remember that there’s a lot of life to be lived.

Your adviser can create a strategy for you to retire with a sense of purpose, financial security, and a hoard of cherished memories.

Now, that’s what I call being truly rich!

Christine Swanson is qualified professional adviser who specialises in retirement planning – click here to start making smarter financial decisions now!

Share This

Related Posts