Wealth management can be considered as hanging on to what we’ve got but in a constructive way - using careful planning, budgeting and wise spending.
Do you remember the lines of the song "Let's hang on to what we've got, don't let go girl we gotta lot"? This was a love song and most of us would agree that people in love are wealthy in an intangible way.
Young people too, although they usually don’t have much money, are wealthy in other ways; they are rich in youth, energy and human potential.
As we develop our potential we gradually accrue material assets and money. It's a building stage and for many, a time for raising children. This is expensive and time consuming as we help to develop the potential of the next generation.
When we approach retirement, we have a pretty clear idea of what we’ve managed to accumulate and what we have to work with going forward. We probably aren't as determined to attain material assets anymore. Perhaps our commitment to dependents has reduced a lot and the kind of retirement lifestyle we can expect will become clearer to us.
The time has come to develop a strategy for preserving what we’ve got; a little growth by investing, continuously monitoring future financial requirements and some well planned spending. It's also a time for consolidation as we contemplate what we'll do in the third phase of our lives and as we try to estimate how long that is likely to be.
Many people will continue in the work force for a variety of reasons. However, it probably won’t be as driven and hectic as the middle career years and will tend to be on a more casual basis.
Those fortunate enough to have generous work pensions will not need to worry too much about carefully guarding their capital. Many of us, however, will need to concentrate on a little growth.
Some will continue managing their own money if they have been successful at it in the past. Some will stay with the same investing arrangements using the same methods and advisers they have always used during their careers.
Others will switch to wealth management companies who, for a set annual fee, usually have the discretionary power to manage portfolios for their clients based on their risk tolerances and needs.
And some, wanting more certainty, may choose to set their yearly income to clearly predictable numbers, for example - an annuity with, perhaps, a cost of living index.
Like life itself, wealth management is a form of forging ahead whilst hanging on. If we rise to the challenge with determination and enthusiasm, there’s no reason why it can’t be as invigorating as Franky Valli’s rousing song "Let’s Hang on to what we’ve got.......hang on, hang on, hang on"!
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