“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” – Howard Huff 

It’s easy to plan around certainty. Unfortunately, life has a quirky sense of humour and likes to keep us guessing. Who amongst us woke up on the first of January and wrote off 2020 due to the global pandemic, economic meltdown, travel bans and decided not to book their summer holidays until 2021… or 2022?

Imagine knowing when life milestones will occur – for example getting married, having kids, retiring to an island paradise on the substantial inheritance from great Aunt Beattie (dream on)… Things would be a tad easier to plan for. We could have a lengthy philosophical debate about whether knowing your future in advance – with all its ups and downs, trials and victories – would be a good thing. Perhaps it’s just as well we don’t have the choice!

Planning in an unstable, uncertain environment requires full exploration of all possible scenarios, examining the range of outcomes for each and planning accordingly. There are instances where we can avoid future difficulties by making smart decisions, but there are also times where we must find a way through, rather than around situations.

We differentiate between plans and goals. The goal is the preferred outcome, the plan is the route map, or sat nav if you prefer. I often fall out with the sat nav. The announcement I hear most is ‘recalculating’. The one I look forward to most is ‘arriving at your destination’. In the end it’s getting there that matters more than the route you followed. But having some optional routes planned out is always worth it, just in case.

“If the plan doesn’t work out, change the plan not the goal.” – Anon 

One of the key reasons behind our Annual Planning Meetings is to check on progress. It lets us confirm your goal or destination and whether you are still on track to get there intact. If your circumstances have changed and a new route is required, we can ‘recalculate’ and take the most suitable alternative path.

Making sure that you enjoy your chosen lifestyle is a goal we work hard to achieve. We recognise collaboration as one of the most valuable and profitable activities a client and their advisers can commit to. It allows the planners to bring that little bit more certainty to the proceedings, by planning around potential life events, or finding ways to help you get through them and safely out the other side.

We want our regular meetings to be more than just a review of your financial progress. We genuinely look forward to hearing more about personal plans and developments such as new family members, skills, pastimes, and any travel adventures you have planned. It adds tone and texture to our picture of you and your families, making our conversations that little bit more informed and as a result, better. We have really missed the ‘human contact’ that for us is so important. Zoom has been a helpful gap-fill, but is no substitute for a smile, handshake, and great conversation over a decent cup of tea or coffee.

So, we look forward to our next conversation. Until then stay healthy, safe, and wise.