David Edwards is a partner with Brighton law firm Burt Brill & Cardens. Here he shares with us some thoughts about why planning for the future pays off.
Future thinking is a very specific type of thinking – making conscious decisions based on larger, long-term prospects isn’t always easy to do, but in many aspects of our life it really does pay off, especially as we get older.
The daily personal decisions we make are always linked to bigger projects and higher ambitions. In this article, we look at some reasons not to settle for a mediocre future – and some things you can do in the short term that dramatically improve not only your future plans but your quality of life in the short term.
1. Thrive in any Circumstance
Learning to thrive in any environment or circumstance means you are better prepared to adapt to the future. It goes beyond ‘making the best of a situation’ – one reason you should plan for the future is so you can actively be the best person you can in the moment – you don’t have to worry about what’s coming next.
2. Think about the Past Rather than the Future
If things have happened in the past there’s a good chance they’ll happen again. If you worry too much about what’s going to happen in the future, you’ll be blind to what has already happened and what you can learn from it. Thinking about the past and learning from it is the only way to plan for a perfect future – know what needs to happen before it actually does!
3. Use the ability to think abstractly to let you focus on future rewards
Sometimes the answers to problems in life aren’t the most straightforward or immediately obvious. Looking at longer goals or thinking laterally about issues mean future rewards are likely to be both easier to come by, and a lot more satisfying.
4. You really never know how quickly things can change
Putting plans into action for the future can be dependable and fixed – and with busy lifestyles that can change so quickly, you really never know what’s around the next corner. It might be a cliché, but part of seizing every moment of life is making sure there’s something there for you and your loved ones. You can then embrace change and go wherever life takes you – as you know there’s always going to be something to look forward to.
5. Your Future can be Achievable
You can’t change the past, but the one good thing about making provisions for the future is that it hasn’t happened yet – you are completely in control of where your assets go, what you do and what goals you want to achieve. Planning for the future in these terms pays off because the earlier you start planning, the more control you’ll have.
6. Long Term Living Needs Aren’t Necessarily Age Dependent
We tend to think about future planning as an age related thing. The older we get, the more we will be dependent on the needs of others and the plans we’ve made in the past. While that’s often the case, the truth is you never really know when you’re going to need to provisions put aside. There are many factors to be aware of, and the sooner you make sure you are aware of the potential need for future plans the better they’ll be.
7. Everyone should leave a legacy
We’ve all got something we’ve created that makes us intrinsically who we are – whether that’s a business, the home we live in or something else we’ve created. Everyone wants to leave a legacy and part of planning your perfect future involves making sure that everything is in place to do just that – creating a Will as early as possible and employing the right Wills and probate solicitor is a vital aspect of this process.
8. Focussing on the Future Can Get You Through the Today
If you’re struggling in certain aspects of your day-to-day life, it is likely to pay off thinking about the future and looking ahead. Disconnecting yourself from the present and putting into place achievable goals is a great way forward – leave nostalgia behind and take a moment each day not to think of what can’t be undone but to think about where you’re heading.
9. It’ll keep you More Determined for Longer
How often have you continued down a route of doing something only to find reasons to stop or quit? Imagining yourself where you want to be in the future will act as the perfect motivation –planning for the future will enable you to teach yourself to think differently about the time you’re investing in projects.
10. Having a New Vision
It’s rare in life that the path we set out on is the one on which we end up. Sometimes, listening to your future plans and modifying your ideal vision of life is the best way to end up, ultimately, with your perfect future. Adapt your vision of how you want your life to be and how you see yourself getting there.
Sometimes one of the most important things about planning for the future is making sure the basic fundamentals of life admin are in place. Creating a Will, talking to your loved ones and communicating why planning for the future is important are vital aspects of life – and with a huge wealth of travel and experience to be had as you get older, putting plans in place for a perfect future is both valuable and rewarding.
David Edwards has put together an easy to read, downloadable Guide which explains how to make a will, how to make sure it is legal and how to choose someone to manage your affairs. There is also some useful advice about trusts and tax planning. The Guide is FREE to readers of The Future Perfect Company Blog and can be downloaded HERE