When should you start planning for a secure financial future?

Posted On 30/10/2023

For those who haven’t charted a course for a secure financial future, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news? Without at least some solid financial planning, retirement may come with more sacrifices than security. The good news? It’s never too late to start and you have a lot of company.

Some 40 percent of people polled described themselves as “Informal,” having a general sense of their goals and how to meet them, but no specific plan in place.

When it comes to financial planning most people say life gets in the way. Some 69 percent feel the pace of society makes it harder for them to stick with long-term goals. Twenty-six percent say they either often or always feel too busy to think about long-term goals. Ironically, many people who plan their meals, plan their travel, or plan their wardrobe, won’t spend as much time planning for their future.

The study shows that the problem isn’t that people don’t have enough time, they’re just not allocating enough time to the right things.

It’s a matter of setting priorities. We tend to get buried with decisions that have short term consequences. Long term for some people is ‘what am I doing this weekend.

People gain perspective when it comes to making a long-term financial plan. The idea: Peek ahead so you can plan ahead.

One technique we recommend is to mentally project yourself 10, 20 or 30 years into the future then ask ‘What decisions should I have made to secure my financial well being at this stage of my life?’

If you’re worried about your financial future, you’re not alone. Most people feel less financially prepared, especially as they consider the prospect of living longer. While 56 percent of those polled said they’re prepared to live to the age of 75, only 44 percent said they’re prepared to live to the age of 85, and just 35 percent said they’re prepared to live to the age of 95. Some 42 percent expect to be working into their 70s or 80s, the study said.

The bottom line: Make planning for the future a priority. If you’re not sure how, experts say consulting a professional financial advisor is a good place to start, no matter how far from retirement you are.