Now perhaps more than ever, the path our lives will take is uncertain. Over the years, most of us will experience unexpected change – sometimes welcome, often not – in three big and important areas: in our working lives, in our personal and family lives and in the broader political, social and economic context which affects us so profoundly.
Consider a few facts and figures. In our working lives, the average executive role now lasts for 4.2 years. A career may consist of 10 to 15 different jobs, and on average you can expect to be made redundant from at least one of them. 37% of us will consider or work abroad at some time. When we stop working full time, our retirement may last as long as when we were working and earning.
And of course, all this going on in world that becomes more turbulent and volatile by the day. Post Brexit trade agreements? The invidious rise of Populism? The next financial crisis? The ramifications of the Global Climate Catastrophe?
Amidst all this, it can seem ridiculous to talk about establishing and maintaining a long-term financial plan – a plan that’s intended to take you to a defined destination at a defined point in your future. It would be surprising if it survived a year of real-life experience: surely even drawing up such a plan must be a waste of time?
We say exactly the opposite. We say that it’s precisely because of the volatility and turbulence of life that a plan is so vitally important. Without a plan, you truly are that proverbial cork tossed around on stormy seas. With a plan, every time one of those unexpected events deflects you, there’s a chance of getting back on course – or, perhaps more likely, a course that’s revised in the light of circumstances.
Provided, of course, that your plan is properly managed, not just written, filed away and forgotten. At least once a year, it needs revisiting. What has changed in your circumstances, both for better and for worse? Just as important, what has changed in your thinking? And how do we revisit your plan to adjust?
This is what we mean by a financial planning service at Druthers. We commit to working with you now, and then over the years for as long as you want us, to understand your intended destination and direction of travel, and ensure that your finances are best organised to help you succeed.
(The name, we should explain, is a real word, although not a common one. It means “your own way,” “your own choice or personal preference.” You could say that to get to your druthers, you’ll need a smart, flexible and personal plan.)
One more thing. This isn’t all about you. The complications and uncertainties of life are massively about other people, and especially the people closest to us – partners, children and parents and often others too. A plan that’s focused on you and ignores or side-lines them doesn’t stand a chance. At Druthers, we concern ourselves with their druthers too.
Nothing we’re saying here strikes us as particularly strange or controversial. We ourselves have experienced in our own lives many of the disruptions and volatilities that we help people cope with. Yet the fact is that you’ll have to go a long way to find another financial planning firm that thinks about what it does quite like we do.