40 years ago when my brother and I were young children my parents had on the face of it a typical and standard domestic and financial set up.
My father worked 9 to 5 in the city and my mother was a housewife managing the house and looking after the two of us.
My father worked for the same company for many many years and we all lived in the same house from birth to the point where my parents still reside in the same house all these years later.
Whilst never huge earners my parents economic position was fairly simple.
One property, one mortgage, company pensions working away in the background and a few insurance and savings policies kicking about here and there.
It was a reasonably relaxed and comfortable position that didn’t consume us with any undue stress or anxiety.
When my brother and I went to University that was the biggest expense that my parents had to face and this was dealt with by remortgaging the family home.
Back then in a rising market this wasn’t a problem and was satisfied upon my father’s retirement by an endowment policy that actually paid out more than expected.
Funnily enough, that good news story didn’t make the headlines……..
They both retired around the year 2000 and are comfortably off, not having to worry about any financial concerns.
This situation at least for the time being is no longer the reality and in my business I see this every single day.
Our organisation utilises property investment as a financial planning vehicle.
40 years ago this method would have been unthinkable.
Now, this type of dare I say it alternative financial planning is becoming increasingly normal.
This is largely because families can no longer rely on remortgaging the family home on an interest only mortgage to manage their cash flow.
Final Salary pensions are rapidly becoming a thing of the past and committed to the history books.
This leaves normal every day people looking for other ways to manage.
Property investment, though not without its headaches and pitfalls is one such way that the future of finance is changing.
The reason that I mention this is because there is an additional benefit to this approach.
Whilst the romantic vision of my parents past is a fond one, the harsh reality of modern living means that many of our clients are now learning business skills that they would otherwise never have been exposed to.
They now look at their own personal financial planning as if they are running a business without emotion and making decisions based on what they have learned from us and their own research.
I now have a sense of wonder as some of these people become empowered to transfer their newly honed skills in business across to something else.
Perhaps they will feel sufficiently empowered to give up the day job and start a business or maybe cut their hours down to 3 days a week.
I guess the point here is that out of a startling position comes opportunity to thrive!