It is understandable for you to see your financial plan simply as a means to provide you and your loved ones with financial security by growing your wealth. 

While this is true to an extent, and issues such as your retirement fund and other investments are key parts of your plan, it is also important to take the issues of your future happiness and wellbeing into account. 

Yes, financial planning is about ensuring you reach your financial goals, but it is more important than just that. It is wise to ensure that your plans align with your lifestyle aspirations as well as your financial needs. 

With the International Day of Happiness falling on 20 March, this is a very topical issue. So, read on to find out more about financial planning and happiness, and four key steps to take as part of your plan to ensure you prioritise happiness as a key outcome. 

Financial planning can offer immense support in your search for happiness

Money does not buy happiness. In fact, according to the Aegon financial wellbeing index, 1 in 3 top earners still worry about money, despite having more than enough to provide for themselves and their families.

When you are managing your finances and looking to grow your wealth, it is important to reflect on what your end goal is in terms of what you want to do with your money, rather than accumulating wealth for the sake of it.

For example, you may want to travel widely in retirement, or are even hoping to retire early to give you more time to do the things you have looked forward to throughout your working life.

In those instances, your happiness becomes a key deliverable of your financial planning and can often make it easier to help you focus on hitting your savings and investment targets. 

Here are four steps you can take to make your happiness the focus of your financial plan.

1. Take time to appreciate what really makes you happy 

As part of your plan, having a firm idea of what is important to you will help your financial decision-making. Without that picture in your head, you may well end up making choices that are not necessarily right for you. 

So, take some time to consider your day-to-day life, and what gives you and your family purpose and makes you happy. 

It is also worth thinking about previous events and circumstances that have brought you happiness before. Having those thoughts in mind can give you an incentive to repeat them, and you can then weave a desire for these into your plan. 

2. Make sure you have clear objectives

Setting out financial objectives with your happiness clearly at the forefront can be helpful. 

Such objectives can be both long-term aspirations, or over a much shorter timescale. For example, there may be a particular activity you have not had time to do justice to while you have been working, so you could consider factoring in the cost of this as part of your plan.

As you have already read, you may be looking forward to your retirement so much that actually retiring earlier than you had previously thought possible would give you a massive boost in wellbeing and happiness. Given that, why would you not plan to do just that?

Effectively, this will mean that you are working backwards. You will be deciding where you want to get to, which will then make it easier to put plans in place to help you get there. 

3. Make sure you understand what “enough” is

While having financial goals can be a positive thing, it is easy to end up in a cycle of continual achievement and then dissatisfaction if you are never fully content with what you have.

Clearly, always looking for the next step or challenge and not resting on your laurels can be a positive trait, but it is easy for wealth accumulation to become all-consuming.

A lot of this can come from your mindset. You may decide you want a new car simply because a neighbour has one, or need an expensive holiday because a work colleague is going on a world cruise costing thousands of pounds. 

In reality, focusing on your own goals and aspirations, and understanding how much is enough when it comes to being able to afford them, will help boost your long-term happiness and keep you out of the potentially debilitating cycle of constantly needing more to keep you satisfied.

4. Form a financial plan around your objectives

With your objectives set out, you can then start to think about how to achieve them through your financial plan.

By doing so, you will create a better mindset for yourself and concentrate on what makes you happy first, then what you need to achieve that happiness.

Working with an experienced financial adviser can be powerful here, as you will benefit from having someone with a wealth of experience helping you put your plans together. 

They will then regularly review your plan as you go through your financial journey, checking it is still fit for purpose and making any changes required as your circumstances and plans shift over time.

Get in touch

If you would like to talk about your financial plan, then please do get in touch with us at DBL Asset Management.

Email or call 01625 529 499 to speak to us today.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.