When we are planning for people, this is always based on their objectives. Now this may sound obvious but from previous experience of other companies this is far from the process followed by some in our industry. By being objective led it makes the job far more interesting as objectives are personal and inevitably change over time.
What we might think are our objectives today will change when we speak in the future as life isn’t as straight forwards as perhaps some would like. This is very apparent in a recent couple I have known for a number of years. We had built a solid plan around paying down debt, building a good asset base to draw income from and the eventual downsize which was always discussed but very loosely. Then out of the blue earlier this year the client called me to say that they had sold their house to their neighbour, and they now needed to find somewhere new to live.
All of our plans had been based on releasing some capital when they moved, but it soon became obvious that the types of property they wanted as their ‘forever home’ was actually going to be an upsize. Not in terms of square footage but in terms of cost. This sent me away to revisit our previous cash flow planning and look at affordability and we met to discuss what their budget actually could be. Pleasingly the result was a house almost a 1/3rd more expensive than the one they sold was affordable and off they went in search.
Earlier last week I travelled to see the results of our work and wow what a stunning property they have bought. Views you could lose yourself in and a finish that got my house hunting juices flowing. It was great that we were able to change tact so quickly and amend our long-standing plans to actually allow them to buy the dream house and not have to settle.
Also last week I met a potential client who had received some previous advice. This was very wordy and number driven and in our opinion lacked the flexibility to allow their objectives to change.
If this client had followed the initial advice and then had the same change of plans as the above couple it would have been very difficult for them to be able to achieve the same result.
Flexibility in our planning is key, being backed into a corner and having a lack of options is never a place we want our clients to be. It has been a great week and roll on the next one.
Thanks for reading and