April 2013 Issue 81

Financial planning and why we’re open for business

B2B Editor1 April 2013

David Rae has been advising clients on their insurance and investment needs for the last 14 years but lately his focus hasstarted to change. His starting point with clients is to understand what is important to them.

Goal Setting and What is Important to You?
“I’ve been spending more time recently talking with clients not just about their goals but the question of – what is really important to them?” David says.
I was reminded recently again just how important this is.Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse has worked with patients in the final months of their lives. She has recorded her experience with patients in a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
The top five regrets she saw were:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Like many professionals and small business owners, the regret of “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard” strikes a chord. I guess I’m lucky in that I love what I am doing. I genuinely feel like I am improving people’s lives and not always just in a financial sense.
Having said that I’m also mindful of making sure work isn’t at the expense of spending time with the most important people in my life. In no time at all my 6 and 8 year old daughters who think Dad is fun and great to spend time with, will be teenagers and then on their way. I won’t get this time back.
It takes some deeper thinking to look at each aspect of your life and ask – what is important to you? But it is so worth while.
Take Control of Your Cashflow
David believes that taking control of your cashflow is the key to financial success. “So often we see people who don’t think they spend too much but at the same time don’t actually know how much they spend in a year.
It is easy to get by another weeks or month and everything gets paidbut there is nothing left over.
At Beames and Associates we work out exactly how much moneycame in and out of a client’s personal bank accounts and credit cards inthe last 12 months. In nearly every case it proves to be an enlightening experience for them! What we find is that spending is usually given priority over saving and debt repayment.
Knowing exactly how much is being spent and where has a huge impact on clients. It makes them more focussed on what they want toachieve but more importantly it modifies their behaviour to help keep them on track.
We’re finding this approach is striking a chord with clients – theylove it! The financial strategies and investments remain a critical part ofthe process but they are dependent on knowing what is important and understanding the cashflow.