Financial planning minimalism

Financial plans are necessarily complicated things. They need to take into account your goals and desires in the first instance, but then also factor in your attitude to risk and the individual events that you plan on happening throughout your life.

From there, things can get even more complicated. There’s your tax position to consider, investment suitability to analyse, pension contributions, ISAs, paying off your mortgage and other financial factors to bear in mind. There are frequent reviews of your situation to complete and, of course, the unexpected will always happen, so your plans could change at any moment.

What if you get close to the pension lifetime allowance? How will the additional pension of the new automatic enrolment system affect you? Should you use a Junior ISA to plan for your children’s future, or another vehicle?

With all of those ideas and tasks to complete, it can be easy to lose focus. Of course the detail is important (it’s why we do what we do!), but it’s the bigger picture, and sometimes the smaller steps, that matter most.

Of course you should care about the pension lifetime allowance but of more importance is what you plan to do with the pension you have saved and making sure that there’s enough in the pot to cover those activities.

Automatic enrolment is a big change and being enrolled into a workplace pension could benefit you in the long run (there are also ways it can have a detrimental effect!), but what really matters is that you work for as long as you want to, in a good environment that suits you and then retire at the point you choose.

Junior ISAs are one of several very efficient ways of saving for your children’s future, but choosing which one of those methods is right for you and your family is almost a moot point: what matters really is having the peace of mind that they’ll get a great start in life and be looked after long into the future.

The detail in financial planning will always be there, and we will always look after it for you, but what really matters is where that detail leads you to. You could call it ‘financial planning minimalism’: the really quite small things that will make a difference to you and your family, now and in the future. With all of the factors to look into, it’s worth taking a few moments every so often to remember exactly where it is you want to be heading and what you want to do when you get there!