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Make Financial Planning Great Again!

Financial Consultant at SYS Group Daniel Nagle considers our attitude towards savings and investment in this blog post, with a special focus on ‘millennials’.

Why it is that today’s generation, my generation, don’t see the long game!? Why have we such clouded vision on the importance of long term financial planning? Since joining SYS late in 2020 I have become all too familiar with the age demographic that is “Millennials” from working with my colleague Keith Dundon – SYS Millennial Money Coach.

By definition Millennial’s are those of us born from approx. 1980-2000 and are currently entering full time employment or are coming to the peak of their careers in their 30’s. This may not be the first time you’ve heard it, but millennials aren’t saving enough for retirement. In fact, at the rate millennials are currently saving, some won’t be able to retire until well into their 70s. This is sometimes due to the fact that millennials were supposedly raised differently, or are less motivated to save. That is, in my opinion, not at all true, though as a millennial, I am clearly going to be biased. There are experts who would agree, and who would also suggest that there are many other reasons that millennials aren’t saving for retirement.

Financial education

The overall view among “Those in the know” (or those who think they are!), is that millennials are struggling to save for retirement because they are burdened with too many monthly payments to be able to put aside money for retirement. “Most millennials are strapped with debt, from student loans to credit cards and they are having a hard enough time covering their monthly repayment obligations and living expenses,”- Dave Alison, CFP.

The other reason, in Alison’s eyes, is that millennials are not getting the financial education they need, such that when they are faced with debt repayment and managing bills and credit cards, they aren’t sure what to do. “Our society has done a poor job at teaching people how to save,”.

I personally can’t see how this generation is any different to any other generation. There has always been expenses and burdens held by the young members of the workforce. Maybe it is because the “millennial” generation of workers is just flippant and not as prudent as our predecessors? Financial planning is not on the list of modern day obsessions such as Tiktok, Twitter and the promise of the return of pubs and clubs post COVID-19. Why is this? Who knows? For what it’s worth, I think it is because financial planning unlike the above trendy topics, is not seen as cool or possibly “Not as sexy” as the boom phrase goes, compared to the modern day fads.

The catch 22 situation with this for me however has left me scratching my head? Why is it that we Millennial’s are transfixed with health and fitness and have no hesitancy to call in the assistance of a personal trainer yet our financial health and wellbeing is shelved?

A financial template

One of my favourite speeches of all time was Mathew McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech for Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. Not to take every point from the speech but he states his success was based on having “something to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase”. McConaughey without doubt blazes his own trail, but for me the main point to take from his speech is that success is based on having a fundamental and structured plan or template. You must have something that gets you out of bed in the morning, something you’re chasing, something that makes your heart skip that one beat faster when you think about it. Financial planning should never make your heart skip a beat ideally. On the contrary it should put you at ease and remove the stress and anxiety that often comes hand in hand with it.

To summarize, financial planning for your retirement and your latter years may currently seem less important than the social fads but bear in mind, there is a lot to be said for a stress free retirement and more so stress free years in your 40’s & 50’s, not having to worry about how you’re not in position to retire until your 75 or later even. To power phrase and I suppose quote Mathew McConaughey, planning for your retirements in your 20s is “Alri Alri Alright!!”

To finish, if you have read this and it sparks your attention and you would like to find out more on the topic, I can offer two options! Firstly you can visit my staff profile or contact me directly at Alternatively you can continue to follow these series of blogs that will be on the SYS website.

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