Christmas is coming – a time to reflect

21 Nov 2014

By Chris Youssef

With the Christmas season fast approaching, most of us will be looking forward to spending quality time with our family, friends and loved ones. Throughout the year we often get caught up in our busy lives and can require occasions such as Christmas to bring everyone together.

At the end of the day, our family, friends and loved ones really are the most important things in our lives. So let's make sure that we are doing everything we can to help them achieve the things that are important to them.

One of the questions I often ask my clients is, 'What's important about money to you?' to gain a deeper understanding of their values. Obviously responses vary from person to person, however in most cases the underlying answers are usually the same.

The things you can't buy

Often the first response people give is that health is the most important thing to them. You can't buy health so there is no point in having all the money in the world if you don't have your health. While we can't control all aspects of our health, we can aim to live healthier lifestyles. This may include changes to our diet, regular exercise or simply reducing stress levels by not worrying about things that aren't important or that we can't control.

The things you can control

The other response I hear most frequently is that people want financial security - not only for themselves but also for their family to ensure that they will be provided for regardless of their circumstances. People want to ensure that they can maintain their current or desired lifestyle moving forward and not have to worry about money. This in turn allows them to focus on things that are more important than money.

So how are you tracking?

Most people don't know how they are tracking towards the things that are important to them. They don't know whether they have enough. They don't know if they are spending too much or could be spending more on those things that are important to them. There is no golden figure that can be applied to everyone. People have different lifestyles with various income requirements and life expectancies. The only way to understand how each person is positioned is to undertake a lifelong cash flow modelling exercise specifically tailored to them with all the relevant assumptions factored in. I have a saying: 'If you can't fault the assumptions, then it's logical to accept the conclusions'.

Having your financial affairs in order and a better understanding of how you are positioned financially will provide you with peace of mind. So perhaps the best gift you can give a loved one this Christmas is to provide them with peace of mind by introducing them to a professional financial adviser. Taking a genuine interest to ensure they and their finances are okay is usually greatly appreciated. After all, these are the people that are most important to you.​

To learn more about Chris, view his online profile.​​

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