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Planning ahead

Planning for your financial future has lots of benefits – relieving stress, helping you achieve your goals and creating better opportunities later in life.

But, it’s sometimes easier to avoid thinking about our future than to confront it and take action, even though we know it’s good for us.

In this guide, we look at:

Why do we avoid planning ahead?

Why it’s good to talk about money

3 strategies for your financial future

Why do we avoid planning ahead?

We’re not programmed to plan

In many ways, it’s in our biology to want things now and focus on the present moment, rather than plan for the future.

If there’s a delicious meal in front of us, our instincts tell us to eat as much as we can, in case we don’t have food again for a while. But, in the modern world, we have to fight some of those instincts and think ahead about things like our health.

It’s the same for our finances. We don’t get cravings to save money or stop spending – it’s not instinctive behaviour. So, we have to take conscious steps to make things happen.

It’s harder than ever

The modern world of the internet and social media only makes things harder – particularly for younger generations who’ve grown up with technology in their lives.

There’s social pressure to compare our lives to our friends and celebrities that we follow on social media. Usually, the things people flaunt revolve around spending money on:

  • holidays and travelling
  • expensive phones, cameras and tech
  • designer clothes
  • sports cars
  • luxury houses

And with interest rates having been generally low over the last decade, there hasn’t been much incentive to put money away in savings accounts.

This ‘want it now’ lifestyle can even be seen in the investing habits of the younger generation, with high-risk, volatile assets like cryptocurrencies gaining popularity.

It gets emotional

Our finances are personal, and it’s normal for money to affect our emotions because it’s so important to us. But this can also hold us back from managing it properly.

You might feel:

  • shame – thinking your peers are doing better than you financially and are happier because of it
  • disconnected – not properly acknowledging the effects of your current spending on your later life
  • a fear of change – feeling threatened by new opportunities instead of excited

It’s not always that we don’t have the information or education to make the right decisions – we have it at our fingertips through the internet – but it’s our human nature that can sometimes get in the way.

Why it's good to talk about money

Because money is so personal, it can feel difficult to talk about. It can be seen as taboo to talk about your salary, or how much you’ve invested, with your colleagues and friends.

But it’s an important step to take. And when you do talk about money, there are plenty of benefits:

Learning from others

Whether it’s learning about investment accounts or getting tips on how to budget, talking to others about your finances can help you get perspective on your own situation.

You might learn that your colleague, who earns the same amount as you, is saving twice as much. Or perhaps you have a much higher interest rate on your mortgage than your friends, and you need to shop around for a new deal.

The more you talk about money and share your experiences, the more you’ll learn.

Peace of mind

When you deliberately avoid thinking and talking about something, it creates pressure that could build into stress and anxiety.

The thought of your finances might pop into your head, but you may find yourself forcing it out and thinking about something else – and this isn’t healthy.

Even if things aren’t going great financially now, getting it out in the open and talking about it will be a huge stress-relief, and you can then start to take steps towards positive change.

Reach your goals

The ultimate benefit of having conversations about your financial health, is the goals you can achieve by doing so.

Whether it’s saving for a holiday, putting money aside for retirement, or saving for a down payment on your first home, talking about where you are now, and where you’re going next, is the first step.

Explore: Registered Retirement Savings Plans[@tax-advice2]

3 strategies for your financial future

1. Embrace technology

Nowadays, there’s a bucket load of technology, apps and tools to help you manage your money more efficiently.

For example, if you’re concerned about how much you’ll need for retirement, check out our Retirement Planner[@retirementplannerdisclaimer].

Or use our investment calculator tool [@retirementplannerdisclaimer] to visualise the difference investing your money could have on your financial future.

2. Create your investment plan

Planning ahead makes achieving your goals simpler and easier to keep track of.

Depending on what stage of life you’re at, you’ll have different goals and steps to start taking. But regardless of whether you’re just starting your professional career or approaching retirement, a financial plan has lots of benefits.

You can ask us about our integrated approach to goal planning and set a course to reaching your retirement goals so you can plan for the future you’ve always dreamed of. Goal planning is an exclusive service we offer to our HSBC Premier[@premierwealth] clients. Your HSBC Premier Relationship Manager will help you take a holistic view of your financial needs and develop a customized goal plan unique to your situation.

Explore: What you could be doing now, depending on your age

3. Consider financial advice

If making financial decisions – such as choosing whether to save or invest – feels overwhelming, you might benefit from professional advice.

Talking to a professional can give you comfort that you’re making the best financial decisions. So, you don’t have to worry about making a mistake or being inefficient with your own planning.

Explore more

Learn how goal planning can help you prioritize what you want from your financial future.
What you need to think about when planning your retirement fund.
It’s never too early, or too late, to start saving for your future – and pensions are often the best place to start.

Additional information

Review important information related to Funds Information, Regulatory Reports, and more on our Investor information page.

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