Motivated Financial Action

“Wherever people feel safe (…) they will be indifferent.” – Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag was a political activist, writer, filmmaker, philosopher, and teacher. Much of her work has been strongly criticized, but I think this thought holds true.

If the present works

If the present works, people feel safe and the future is therefore less important. The world is filled with the idea of live for today. Even young children buy into the idea, “Life is short; eat dessert first.”

Life may indeed be short so you cannot ignore the needs of your future self. Your future self will have needs and may not have the resources to meet those needs unless you have made provision for them now. The success of your present self may never be available to your future self.

Empathy for your future self

Planning works best when you step away from your present self and feel the needs of the future self. It is all well and good to know about the need for insurance and deferred income plans. These are tactical and have little emotional content. They are a means to an end, and the end is what will motivate, not the means.

Motivated decisions are based on emotion, not on details. Facts have never yet changed anyone’s worldview. Facts don’t matter except to understand and define an emotionally motivated decision.

Learn to see the emotional side.

Life insurance, pension plans, savings, and profolios are not about the product that delivers the benefit, although they are usually presented that way. People are not motivated by packages.

People are motivated by what a package does, not what it is.

All of these packages deliver future lifestyle. Some for you, some for those who survive you. People connect to lifestyle, now and in the future. Think of the packages in terms of that lifestyle. Think about predictability. In this context predictability includes “Margin for error.”

Presenting the need for planning

People don’t think about the packages in productive ways. They are tactical and the tactic has the responsibility to deliver. Tactics never motivate.

Instead of portfolios and deferred income plans, think about deferred groceries, deferred recreation and travel, deferred car expenses, and deferred health care.

You will work out numbers, goals, interim targets and methods, to provide these values, but these numbers cannot dominate the discussion. Golf fees, dinners out, and visiting children and grandchildren motivate more than any number. Even a number with a dollar sign in front of it.

People must understand the strategic layer in their planning. It motivates. Keep the goal in lifestyle terms and you will have more success than if you present products with little emotional value.

I help business owners, and professionals understand and manage risk and other financial issues. To help them achieve their goals, I use tax efficiencies and design advantages to acquire more efficient income and larger, more liquid estates.

Please be in touch if I can help you. 705-927-4770

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