For Tom and Barbara Good, ‘The Good Life’ meant ditching the corporate world and working towards a self-sufficient lifestyle. Over 40 years after the sitcom originally aired, people across the globe are still searching for a better way of living. However, the definition has shifted toward personal fulfilment, and away from the dream of leaving the office behind.
Everybody has a different image of their ideal life, so there is no set definition or vision for it. However, a study has asked people which factors were important in ‘the life they would like to have’ and financial security ranked second among both UK and worldwide respondents.
The top 10 factors in the UK
The research, which looks at the priorities of adults worldwide, shows that, for people living in the UK, the top 10 factors are:
- Being in good health (82%)
- Financial security (75%)
- Spare time (68%)
- Owning your own home (62%)
- Being happily married (61%)
- Travelling and holidays (59%)
- Freedom and control over life decisions (55%)
- An interesting job (50%)
- Having children (49%)
- A nice garden, lawn or yard (38%)
Second only to personal wellness, financial stability is more important to UK adults than travel, free time and even the ability to control one’s own decisions.
Top 10 factors worldwide
The research included studies of a further 16 countries, with financial stability ranking second to health universally.
Worldwide, the primary factors for quality of life are similar to those in the UK, apart from home ownership ranking lower than a happy marriage and the opportunity for travel. Which confirms the UK’s obsession with owning property.
Why is financial stability so important?
Financial stability is the knowledge that your income and capital are sufficient to: cover your essential costs, work toward your financial goals and live comfortably. Of course, financial stability will look different to each person and your definition will be personal to you.
Financial stability has an impact on most areas of life. A lack of it can harm your mental wellbeing through stress and may even lead to ill health if you cannot afford the necessary products, food or medication.
This gives you the financial freedom to deal with unexpected costs or emergencies, without having to worry about whether you can afford to pay your bills or buy food, for example.
Achieving financial stability
Financial planning is the key to achieving financial stability (whatever that means to you) and the quality of life you desire.
Everyone has a different definition of what a ‘good life’ means to them. Which is why financial planners work on a one-to-one basis, following a process which first aims to discover and understand your goals, aspirations and objectives, then:
- Analyses your current financial and lifestyle situation
- Creates a financial plan, taking you from where you are now, to where you want to be
- Regularly reviews your financial circumstances to suggest adjustments which will keep you on track
Do you need a financial plan to become financially stable?
Whilst it is possible to ‘go it alone’, working with a financial planner has some significant benefits. The most common excuses for avoiding financial advice include:
- “I can’t afford it”
- “It won’t do any good”
- “I don’t need it”
- “Advisers are scary”
Fortunately, these are based on myth and a misunderstanding of the role financial planning plays in achieving financial stability.
Research shows that those who take financial advice save an average of £98 per month, leading to an additional £3,654 in annual retirement income for later life.
That alone would increase the likelihood of financial security.
However, the added peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have access to up-to-date knowledge through experienced and qualified professionals, is invaluable.
Living the ‘good life’
Financial security is just one factor influencing your quality of life. But, many other aspects rely on the availability of money to support them. For example:
- Owning your own home
- Travelling for pleasure
- Raising children
All have their own associated costs, and are much easier to accomplish when you are already financial secure.
So, it seems that financial planning really could lead you to ‘the good life’. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.