Financial Planning is Not Just About Long Term Goals

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Financial Planning is Not Just About Long Term Goals

An archetypal financial planning starts with long term financial goals like retirement planning. Then there are other financial goals like children’s college education planning, marriage planning, buying a dream home etc. So the focus is on setting long term financial goals and emphasis on investments for the long term time horizon. Setting the stage for long term investments also gives the advisor a ready excuse for short term volatility as he/she can always defend- oh I told you the market could be volatile in the short term. 

But, should we just be preoccupied with only long term goals? What about living and enjoying our lives here and now? How long should we keep sacrificing our present life for those presumed important long term goals? Can there be a balance between addressing our long term goals yet living our present dreams? The answer is unequivocal yes!

If we remain alert, we could find a great many ways to fulfil our passions without waiting for getting retired. It requires busting some myths, getting psychologically ready and being ready to utilise the opportunities, present day technology and mobility present.

Most of us want to move around the world. But there is a huge psychological barrier in terms of our perception of squandering our time and money for fleeting memories. We calculate that there are many pressing financial needs which must take precedence over the luxury of traveling. This stems from the perception that traveling requires a huge amount of money and this may compromise our long term goals. Then there is apprehension of managing our time away from our job/business. Also, there is a lurking doubt whether my investments in that trip will be value for money or not. What if it turns out to be a bad trip? Some people also fret venturing into unknown territory and would rather prefer to remain in their familiar territory i.e. home.

So, the first thing is to get over this psychological barrier. Travelling to the unknown is not only fabulously enjoyable, it is greatly spiritual as well, If you are open minded and love to know about different people, about their lives & cultures apart from enjoying the sight-seeing and adventures, then the visit would become an outstanding experience to cherish lifelong. Traveling would not only flourish you with rejuvenation but teach you immensely as well. Also the skills you will learn in your tours will keep you in good stead in terms of your new learnings and fitness. Who knows these experiences will also help you in developing something unique which the market out there is waiting for !

With regards to financing your trips, on most occasions, it is not as expensive as most people think. Do some advance planning taking the entire family on board, cut down unnecessary expenses for bigger cause, channel the savings into right investments  and make some arrangements in respect of keeping your work going on in your physical absence. You may first start your outings regularly within India. When you plan a visit and make the announcement your family, the excitement of the journey starts from that day itself. You start knowing about the place, people, weather, site seeing places etc. You then bump into people who have already visited that place and they start sharing information or they may marvel at your decision to visit what they consider an unique destination. 

Also, when you plan your air tickets and hotel bookings well in advance, you can make some solid bargains. Further, why plan the trip in the peak season only? Off season trips will be great financially along with the fact that less crowd will boost your experience. You can also plan to live with the locals which would add to your enjoyment besides increasing awareness of that place. 

The other day, I was thinking about the purpose of financial planning and investments and I realised that most people don’t have much clarity or motivation as to why they are investing in the first place. Many start their investments half-heartedly and that shows in their overall savings as well. But when the purpose is not to become crorepati but to live our lives to the fullest, the real enthusiasm for investment begins. And then the real potential of savings and investments unleashed.

I am not for a second, advocating to abandon your retirement planning or compromise with your children’s higher education. All I am saying is not to forget living your life here and now instead of focusing only on the future. Because when the future comes, it comes as “now” only. But by then, you would not only have lost the precious part of your life but also your motivation to challenge yourselves to go out of your comfort zone.

Start living your life here and now.

Manoj Pandey