Financial Advisors

Revisiting Big Life Choices and Making Them Sustainable

In these tumultuous times, conversations have steered away from discussions about how business is going and more toward inquiries like, “how are you managing the lockdown or what have you been spending your time on during the pandemic?”

That is, both my personal and business conversations have found me focusing more on how this may well be the season of some kind of re-positioning. A time of re-structuring for the better, you might say, although it’s tough to articulate what that actually looks like.

Is now the time to make living a meaningful quality life a reality? Clearly, many think it is. But how do you shift from a lifetime of setting financial goals solely to build wealth, assets and increase income to a more holistic approach to life?

It could be argued that wealth creation should always have been predominately about leading a quality life, but we know that not to be the case.

So, what is a quality life? And how do you plan for it? Undoubtedly, it’s subjective but there are important essential factors that form the basis of a quality life. Good health, financial security, relationships, safety, recreation and community involvement to name but a few. But I suspect it goes much deeper than that.

Being in flux helps refine focus

The world has changed in so many unexpected ways over the past 6-plus months. In light of this, many of us are examining how we are “doing life” right now. We are talking about our values, our quality of the life, and how we are making and spending our money.

It’s as though we need to be setting a totally new vision for our life. It’s at least an opportunity to do so.

Unquestionably, there is far more talk about how to serve the world we live in rather than just take from it. This is where the sustainability conversations are coming in, followed with more focus on diversity and inclusion.

What makes a quality life?

On a practical level I believe leading a quality life begins with defining how you would rate your life quality now in 5 key areas:

  1. Are you able to articulate your life purpose?
  2. Do you feel a sense of balance in the key areas of your life?
  3. Are you living with purpose and intention?
  4. Are you meeting all of your needs and a lot of your more meaningful wants?
  5. Do you have a plan for giving back to the community?

As I took time to ask myself these questions and to consider who I needed to include (outside of my family) in this refocusing, I designed for myself a flow chart to provide a better directional understanding. For me, as a strategic thinker, this deep self-audit needs to be addressed very intentionally.

After much consideration, it’s clear that to achieve a quality life I need to review my current life and financial goals.

Sustainable planning for building a quality life

Looping in your advisor

It was interesting meeting with my financial advisor, bearing in mind he was not aware of my metamorphosis life stage moment until our meeting. For a short time, he seemed to think my financial EQ (emotional intelligence) was in doubt, but as the conversation progressed, we soon found ourselves on the same page.

Our conversation inspired him to look for more investment opportunities to begin the adjustment I needed in order to commit to leading a sustainable quality life which were focused on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the coming months, I will continue to unpack my journey into the importance of understanding how having a clear quality life purpose and plan can lead to significant “money confidence.” I hope you will join me on this journey that continues to be both introspective and collaborative.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Hugh Massie

As a Behavioral Finance Insights Pioneer and Identity Trailblazer, Hugh Massie empowers advisers, business leaders, families and individuals to unlock their identity in order to accelerate dramatic change and discover how unknown behaviors – which intensify through un-managed differences, money attitudes, pressure and emotions – derail performance.

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