Effective Personal Financial Planning Guide

Effective Personal Financial Planning Guide


Neglecting to take good care of your financial planning is as irresponsible as having a haphazard attitude to family planning. Both can have a dramatic negative impact on your life.

I am passionate about trying to help people achieve their due rewards in life, and relentless in my efforts to try to educate, and therefore protect, as many people as possible from suffering financially when they reach their retirement years. The key is to get your priorities right from the outset.

Enjoying your golden years

What is the point of working hard all your life if you cannot enjoy your retirement? It is even more important to be financially independent so that you can make choices in your remaining working years. It’s not retirement but financial independence that gives you the ability to do so.

It’s not easy to predict the future.But we should never stop ourselves from thinking about what lies ahead and dreaming about the things we’d like to do.

A formula for success

My formula for success applies to everyone. If you are in your 20s, add 30 years. If you are in your 30s, add 20,if you are in your 40s, then add 10 and so on.

Whatever your age, you need to step out of your present situation and take a mental photograph of yourself at age 50.Take a long hard look at that snapshot and ask yourself as many questions about your circumstances as you can.

Ask Yourself these questions:

  • What will I look like at that time?
  • What will my family look like? 
  • How many children will I have? 
  • Where do I want to live at that time?
  • What if I’m divorced? 
  • What happens if I lose my spouse?
  • Will I want to have my own business by then?
  • What if my financial circumstances are so undernourished that I’m unable to even consider the possibility of being financially independent.
  • We are all different and have different concerns about our later years – and believe me, 50 is not so far away. I always thought that I would remain in my 20s and 30s forever, but time does indeed fly.

It’s about ambition

By now you will have realised that I am really referring to ambition. Most of us will admit that without ambition we find it very difficult to function properly and effectively. It’s what keeps our lives on track.

Once you have a clear understanding of what your ambitions are, where you want to be and what your broad surroundings will look like, you need to take positive action and start along the path that will enable you to achieve your ambitions. But, take heed.

Realise Your goals

To achieve your goals you have to be disciplined and you will need to stop and check your compass at least once a year to ensure that you have not deviated. You will also need a financial advisor with whom you have an open, trustworthy and long-term relationship.

Your financial advisor must be the one person who has the knowledge, the experience and the interest to see that you arrive at your financial destination well on time.

Bryan Hirsch
BRYAN HIRSCH has been in the financial services industry for 47 years and is a director of Bryan Hirsch Colley & Associates. He has written two books, the first Bryan Hirsch’s Guide to Personal Finance and more recently, Steps to Financial Freedom. Bryan has written for many of South Africa’s top financial and business publications, has been a weekly guest on Radio SAFM for 18 years, and has his own weekly TV show You & Your Money on Summit TV.