Making your present part of your financial plan could enhance your life

As financial planners, we often talk about the importance of working towards long-term goals and security. As part of your financial plan, you might be putting money into a pension for retirement or building an emergency fund to safeguard your finances if you experience a shock.

Considering your long-term ambitions is often important for turning them into a reality. Yet, enjoying the present is just as essential. While it can be difficult to balance your lifestyle needs now with those of your future, it may help you get more out of life.

Overlooking the present could mean you miss out on experiences

Planning for the future is important, but you don’t know what’s around the corner. If you take today for granted or put off experiences until later in life you could end up missing out.

You might cut back now and pool all your money into a pension with the plan to travel extensively once you give up work. But if you suffered from ill health before you reached that point, you might not have the opportunity to visit bucket-list destinations or have experiences you’ve been looking forward to for years.

The Great British Retirement Survey 2023 revealed that almost a fifth of people aged between 56 and 65 have faced a major life event that has changed their retirement plans. The most common reason was ill health.

Similarly, a higher-paying job might offer the chance to save more for retirement. But if you’re family-oriented and want to strike a better work-life balance, a promotion that will lead to longer working hours or more responsibility might not be right for you when you weigh up the effect it could have on your family life.

For many people, balancing short- and long-term financial needs is important for living a fulfilling life.

Doing things now and so giving yourself fond memories to look back on could improve your sense of wellbeing. This could be something small like enjoying a nice meal out with friends, or a grander expense, such as planning a trip to hike Machu Picchu in Peru if you love to travel.

Not only could embracing today in your financial plan make you happier now, but it could motivate you to stay on track when you’re working towards long-term goals. Perhaps a holiday that allows you to relax and focus on the things you love will mean you’re more inclined to top up your pension so you can retire and enjoy a slower pace of life sooner.

An effective financial plan can help you balance the present and future

It can be difficult to balance your short- and long-term needs. One of the key challenges is understanding how much you need for your future, as well as considering the effect unexpected events might have. That’s why working with a financial planner could prove invaluable.

Cashflow forecasting is one tool we could use to help you assess how to strike the right balance. It offers a way to visualise how your wealth might change based on the decisions you make.

Let’s say you want to increase your disposable income, so you have the freedom to spend money on days out doing things you enjoy, such as going to the theatre, eating out, or visiting historical locations. To do this, you may need to reduce the amount you are allocating elsewhere, such as your monthly savings or investments. Cashflow forecasting could let you see the impact this decision would have on your future finances.

Armed with this information, you can start to understand how to balance your expenses now with your future goals. You might find your long-term finances would still provide the security you need even if you spent more now, so you feel comfortable adjusting your expenses. On the other hand, you may find a compromise if it could affect your long-term goals.

Having a clear financial plan could mean you’re able to enjoy the present more too.

Financial concerns can take the joy out of experiences you might otherwise have been looking forward to. So, knowing that you’ve taken steps to create long-term financial security may help you live in the moment and take in what life has to offer.

Get in touch to talk about a financial plan that balances your short- and long-term needs

If you’d like to create a financial plan that balances your lifestyle needs now with long-term goals, please get in touch. We’ll work with you to understand what’s important to you and how you might use your assets to create financial security that lets you enjoy your life now and in the future.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate cashflow planning.