Why Planning Never Ends

Many people think that once they do a financial plan, it’s over. All they need to do is follow the saving, spending, paying off debt requirements, and it will all work. Sadly the nicely bound 50-page document with the coloured pie chart in the desk drawer is sterile. It doesn’t make things happen and it doesn’t know anything about how things change.

Change is the only constant

And even change  changes. You can get a sense of it if you look back at your life a decade at a time. What similarities are there as you go from one to another. There will be some. Your values don’t change a lot although some of your duties will.

The plans you made at 25 have not exactly changed but the emphasis and the priorities have. Emphasis and priority is how you relate to your ever changing environment. Sometimes it is gradual, like working your way up in business; sometimes chaotic and quick like how the Covid-19 problem affected you. The economy changes as politicians manipulate it to their advantage. Laws change in an effort to make them match society. To that end notice that in Ontario, The Family Law Reform Act is being updated and changes will appear 1 May 2021. An important one is that the courts may have the ability to amend a defective will when needed. In some other provinces that ability has existed for some time.

You might want to be sure your will is not defective. That solves a lot of future problems.

No plan survives first contact with reality

Every plan requires maintenance. Build it into the plan. A plan with no clear method of keeping it up to date will eventually miss something important and failure will ensue.

Over the years I have found two thoughts that address this. They point to the value of you addressing your context as it really is.

“I feel older and clearer than I ever did—though at the same time more irretrievable isolated in the huge dream of the world… Whatever I want, I still am not what I wanted to be, none of the many kinds of things I wanted to be—and perhaps will not. The opening of eyes goes on.” Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg, The Letters

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be” Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Why it matters

Life is like driving in the fog. We only see a little of the road at a time. To succeed we must learn as we go and adapt to circumstances we may not, more probably could not, have anticipated. How we deal with those circumstances teaches us about ourselves and about the world and what we mean by success.

For most, success as they define it later in life is quite different than they would have defined it as they began their career. As we grow older we learn to value the journey as well as the closer proximity of our destination. We learn to value the idea of having enough, rather than having it all.

Pay attention to how you fit. Notice changes. Be curious.

Enjoy the trip.

I help people have more income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call or email don@moneyfyi.com in Canada 705-927-4770

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