Do you want to take control of your financial future? Do you feel as though you would benefit from an objective view on your current financial plan? Great! But… Are you worried about what you might hear? or are you concerned that once you’ve seen a financial planner that they will tell you to invest all of your hard earned money into a ‘boring’ pension plan or that they’ll tell you to stop spending money now so that you might be able to spend some more when you are older? Not Great! However….. This is very a common misconception and so I’d like to set your mind at ease. To highlight the point, I would like to take you back a few years. I was in my mid-twenties and I had recently grown as a person. Not in a cool, new age, finding myself kind of way but in a very literal way. I had grown at least two waist sizes in a relatively short period of time and I had put on about 2 stone in weight, I’d also started to feel unhealthy. I wasn’t eating particularly well. My diet consisted mostly of convenient ‘fast food’ and very little fruit and veg, and I wasn’t exercising much. Then came a pain point. I saw a photo of myself walking out of the sea whilst on holiday in the US (a great place to visit if you like fast food!). In my mind I looked like Daniel Craig in THAT scene from James Bond, but the photo didn’t quite match that perception. You have heard the saying ‘the camera adds 10 pounds’, well judging by this photo I must have had a few cameras on me that day! Anyway, to the point. I was unhappy with how I looked and I wanted to lose weight. So I took some action. I reluctantly decided to seek some advice from a personal trainer. She suggested an exercise regime (which included a few runs each week) coupled with a better diet that included healthy and nutritious food. I knew what I needed to do and had no excuses as to why not to do it. It just seemed easier to not do something than to do it, despite the obvious benefits. The main barrier was the fact that I thought I really liked fast food and it had become part of my lifestyle. I didn’t much like the healthy alternatives that I knew would help me lose weight, and I was afraid that the lifestyle changes I needed to make wouldn’t work. I also didn’t particularly enjoy running, I played football and enjoyed that but the thought of going for a run for no other reason than to end up back where I started, just hotter, sweatier and out of breath, didn’t appeal. The reality was though, that if I didn’t take the advice on board, (why take it if you aren’t going to act on it, right?) if I didn’t lose weight, not only would my health not get better, it would get progressively worse, at some point in the future when getting out of the sea, I could imagine lots of people trying to roll me back in! I knew I would regret not changing my behaviour and the pain of that regret would have been worse and lasted far longer than any perceived pain of the discipline needed to implement my new lifestyle. So I started to get fit, I lost weight and started to enjoy a balanced diet. I also started to enjoy running and little did I know at the time but it laid the foundation of me then going on to run the London Marathon in my early thirties. The added benefit is that I could still enjoy the occasional burger just without the guilt! I saw the seeking (and taking) of advice as a ‘brake’ on my behaviour, something that would stop me doing the things I enjoyed and replacing it with things I didn’t like doing. Instead it became an enabler. It enabled me to live a better lifestyle, a more active lifestyle and a more enjoyable lifestyle. This is very important to me, especially now that I am a Dad to two beautiful and very active little girls. Our approach to financial planning and financial advice is far more likely to be an enabler than a ‘brake’ on your behaviour. Life is not a rehearsal and it is important to do the things that we enjoy doing. Having a secure financial future, with a plan in place can act as an enabler. It can free your mind of worry about whether you are saving enough, it can give you ‘permission’ to live life on your terms. Whilst implementing a plan may involve changes to your lifestyle, by working with us there will be as much focus on getting the best out of today as there is on getting the best possible future for you and those closest to you. The pain of regret of not taking positive action with your finances is likely to be far worse and last far longer than the ‘pain’ of discipline needed to implement a financial plan. Just like a personal trainer a good financial planner will be by your side to offer continuing encouragement and guidance on your journey and help you to get to where you want to be, unlike a personal trainer though our solutions very rarely involve physical pain! Don’t wait for the pain of regret to strike, take control of your financial future today, we’d love to help you to do so.