This article first appeared on fundMyLife.
We all know the importance of financial planning. Why then, do so many people hate it and go to great lengths to avoid doing it?
1. Important, yes. Urgent, no?
Work, family, groceries, random chores – there are just so many things screaming at us that demand our immediate attention. So when we get that rare downtime, all you want is some ‘me’ time. Financial planning gets thrown into a corner, tucked deep into the recesses of our minds. It somehow always falls into one of those “important, but not urgent” quadrants of things in our lives.
Its not all your fault though. No one wakes up in the morning thinking “I should increase my life insurance coverage.” Amid our busy schedules, if starting the conversation about personal finances requires arranging a long, grueling session after work or on the weekends, then its no wonder we tend to put it off. But does it always have to be this way?
2. I am too poor
It’s hard to survive on a monthly salary. A chunk of it goes to bills, followed by loans, debts, and more bills. After those mandatory deductions, it can feel quite painful to part with even more cash.
If you are like the rest of us who never seem to have enough money, but believe that financial planning is only for the rich – you can’t be more wrong. In fact, precisely because you do not have loads of cash to spend inefficiently, you are precisely the group of people who need financial planning the most. You cannot afford not to.
3. Bad impression and distrust of financial planners
A friend you haven’t heard from in a while calls you up for coffee. Puzzled, you go for it. Lo and behold, it turns out that your friend has just started their financial planning career and thought they could help you out with your finances. You’re upset because it wasn’t a sincere catch up and left awkwardly, muttering something about feeding the dog, even though do not have a dog.
For most of us, this is probably one of our earliest recollection of what financial planning is – which left a bad taste in our mouths.
You know that they make money off commissions, which means that they’re incentivised to sell you something you may or may not need simply due to the commissions they’ll receive. You don’t know if you could trust them to do the best thing for your financial needs. How can you tell if they’re selling a product because you genuinely need it, or because their company wants them to push it? It also doesn’t help that the media more often than not portrays them in a bad light.
4. Awkward and intrusive financial consultation process
The general feeling out there is that financial planners will only meet up with you if they see you as a potential customer. And if you decide not to buy anything at the meeting… cue embarrassed exit. Plus how do you tell them that you’re not ready, can’t afford it at the moment or would rather buy from someone else?
You don’t want to feel bad saying no, because let’s face it – rejecting someone (or being rejected) is an unpleasant thing. You don’t want to waste everyone’s time, so guess it’s just easier not to meet with a financial planner.
Does it have to be this way?
With the reasons stated above, it’s no surprise we hate financial planning; the mere thought of it sends shudders down our backs.
The list of reasons goes on. We’re sure you can definitely add a couple more reasons why you hate financial planning. However, it is important to remember the purpose and value of financial planning. We would even venture to say that it is essential.
What we don’t like is the way the financial planning process is done. The truth, we’re shortchanging ourselves by not taking measures to take care of our needs and prepare for our future. Let’s take back control, one baby step at a time.
That’s what fundMyLife seeks to enable you to do. fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower the average Singaporean to make financial decisions confidently.
With fundMyLife, can ask all your burning finance-related questions for free and get answers from qualified, vetted personal finance professionals. Your contact information is in your control – you decide who your contact details get released to, when you are actually ready to meet-up.
Give the platform a try and let us know what you think. Ask away and let’s fall in love with financial planning again.