How to avoid regrets through financial planning – Balance: Wealth

avoid regrets through financial planning

Often, it’s not until we reach old age or when we’re faced with a crisis like a terminal illness that we reflect on our lives. Knowing how to avoid regrets through financial planning can offer a much-needed layer of security and a buffer for difficult times. Let’s explore the different ways you can make meaningful financial goals so you can enjoy your life.

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” Harriet Beecher Stowe, 19th-century author and abolitionist 

When faced with your own mortality, whether through age or illness, it’s natural for your perspective to change. This shift may allow you to consider those things you wished you’d done in your life or done differently. If you’re terminally ill, your aims and aspirations may change even further.

When time is of the essence, you might decide to focus on achieving your bucket-list as soon as possible. You could even decide to live the remainder of your life in a completely different way. So, what’s the best approach to balance your aims and tackle your financial milestones?

Set meaningful goals

Some of our clients diagnosed with terminal illnesses found that goal-based planning helped them to reduce certain deathbed regrets. When time is limited, people want to make the most of their remaining days, ideally free from any money worries. One of the most common regrets is not having any goals at all, so it’s important to reflect on what you want out of life.

Below are some goal-setting tips:

  • Write down your list of goals – if you already have a list, review these goals and weigh up whether they are as important to you as they were before.
  • Be honest and true to yourself – check that your goals are those that you have chosen to fulfil your aims and not ones defined by other’s wishes.
  • Consider whether your goals will make you happy – before you can allocate any money to achieving your goals, they need to be right for you.
  • Think about who you want to spend your time with – for example, if you have a family member living in a different country, one goal might be to join them.
  • Create a realistic plan – once you have a solid list of meaningful goals, we can help you translate these into a sensible financial plan so you can achieve them.

For inspiration, please read our blog on How to live life to the fullest and avoid regrets.

Manage cash flow

Once you have a list of goals, one key element of financial planning is to help you manage your cash flow. The last thing you’ll want is to run out of money when you have specific objectives to achieve.

If you are terminally ill, it’s important to create a stable cash flow for your family’s sake so they can manage without you. A cash-flow planning exercise can help you get your financial affairs in order. You won’t want to spend your last days worrying about what will happen to your family when you are gone. Protection is also a crucial part of a financial plan.

Some insurance policies pay out a lump sum for specific illnesses and life cover pays out when you have died. These types of policies can provide financial support to help your partner manage cash flow, as well as paying the mortgage and household bills.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

Mark Twain, author 

Financial Planner, Nottingham and Lincoln

Nobody can see into the future and know how their lives will unfold. No matter what age or state of health, it’s essential to make sure you have some level of financial planning in place. This will not only help you to avoid regrets, but it’ll give you the chance to enjoy a fulfilling life. It could also give you a legacy to pass down to the next generation.

Through cash-flow planning, our financial planners will help you model your finances. Exploring various scenarios, you’ll be provided with a Lifetime Wealth Forecast, which can provide clarity at any stage of life. Our team will show you different possibilities and outcomes, so you can make more informed life decisions.

If you are interested in having a financial review, get in touch to speak to our financial planning team.