For Ovation, 2016 will be the year of ‘Financial Wellbeing’. How to create a financial plan to make us happier, not just wealthier.

I have written a book on the subject which is being published in May. All profits will be going to the Penny Brohn cancer care centre. More on this in the new year!

Finance is one of the five areas of life that contribute towards our wellbeing (the others being career, social, community and physical).

Any financial planning should therefore focus on how to use your money to increase your wellbeing.

Having a clear path to identifiable goals, for example, is a key part of financial wellbeing. That’s two separate objectives – first to identify our goals and motivations. Only once we are clear of what we want from life can we begin to plot a path towards those objectives.

We use various tools, but especially cashflow modelling, to track and highlight this path.

Suppose a business owner is thinking of selling in 5 years’ time (why is it always 5 years’ time?!). Rather than wondering how much the business might sell for, why not think about how much you need from the sale?

What about the person planning to retire at 60. Can you afford to? Could you maybe afford to retire earlier? Why not find out?

Financial planning does need to look at investments, risk, pensions, tax, rebalancing, asset allocation, life time allowance, ISAs, repaying debt, protecting your family. All these things and more should considered and regularly reviewed.

But only once you have worked out what you want from your money. Now, and in the future.

This fits in very well with the Penny Brohn ‘Whole Person’ approach to fighting cancer. More information about their work can be found here.

We’ll be writing a lot more on this subject over the coming year, all with the intention to help our clients to become happier as well as wealthier.