When talking about the future with clients is it easier to talk in terms of stages ie retirement, moving into a home etc or in terms of years from now. Which is more helpful in that many of us find the future a hard concept to accept will ever come?
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Today’s lifestyle is very full and active. We aim for the next target but quite often do not look beyond that. As a consequence, we don’t seem to make the necessary time to reflect or imagine our future life.
I have found that most clients will have a “gut-feel” future vision but not have thought the steps to get there. This is where we are able to provide a framework that helps our client visualise the steps.
For example, rather than simply talking about the future, we would look to segment the timeline. Such as:
1. Married - life before children
2. Young family – before school
3. Family – school years
4. Family – grown up children
5. Working life after kids
Once sitting within a single stage, clients are better placed to think through the detail of their vision ie. Owning a home OR renting, dropping back to one income OR child care, public OR private schooling etc.
The framework promotes discussion on decisions that otherwise may have been deferred or placed in the too hard basket. Once the preferences / decisions are made and the milestones put down on paper, the roadmap provides a wonderful clarity for our clients. They are then empowered to approach their future with real purpose.
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