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A Financial Strategy for Change

A Financial Strategy for Change

July 2, 2023

A strategy to make financial changes easier to implement, writes Peter Watson.

One of the strengths of humans is our ability to change. Yes, we have the ability, but it is often very difficult.

The strategy for change we are suggesting is to look ahead at the benefits of making changes that most likely will outweigh the hesitancy for making the decision to change.

We will consider an example.

A couple have a pattern of going out for dinner frequently and taking the odd impulse trip to New York City.

This gives them great pleasure but what they are really looking forward to is retiring one year earlier and spending that extra year travelling in Europe to visit family and friends. That is their dream.

Then reality set in during a meeting with their financial planner. To achieve their goal of traveling in Europe they had to make a change and reduce their excess spending.

That was going to be difficult and understandably so. How could they possibly adjust their lifestyle. There is a strategy. Reframe the required change.

Reducing their current spending would allow them to achieve the decade long plan to spend a year in Europe. They made a mental shift in their thinking.

They were not just giving up excess spending but building towards the goal of Europe. Forget the negatives and focus on the positives.

Sometimes you must prune and cut back certain spending, just like a gardener must prune back flowers and shrubs to get the desired results.

A key tool in this exercise for change was doing cashflow projections with their financial planner. That painted the picture of reducing spending to achieve the greater goal of Europe.

We hope the idea of shifting any change you make to the positive outcomes will make change easier.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through