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Diary of a Life Planner: Dreams can come true

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Diary of a Life Planner: Dreams can come true

‘Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of created effort’

Franklin D Roosevelt, 1882-1945

A couple of months ago, I met couple Bob and Jenny. He was aged 60 and she 55. Bob had recently taken early retirement from a career that involved him travelling the world and the couple spent much of his working life apart.

I asked Bob what he wanted to do with his retirement. He said: ‘I would like to sail my boat around the world for about 18 months.’

Jenny sat bolt upright in her chair, crossed her arms firmly in front of her and said: ‘Well I don’t!’

She said she loved horses and riding, and for many years had dreamt of riding in great cities around the world.

After she had spoken with great passion about her dream, I asked them both what it would be like if they could live their respective dreams and share them with each other. They looked at me incredulously. 

Creating a dream come true

Although Jenny had no intention of boarding Bob’s boat, she totally supported his wish to go sailing around the world. 

I painted a picture of Bob sailing his boat for about four weeks at a time, travelling from port to port, and when he arrived Jenny would be waiting for him. They would spend a couple of weeks together and then he would set sail again.

Before or after his arrival, Jenny would seek out the local riding school and would spend a week or so riding in some of the great cities and ports of the world. 

Initially, I think they thought I was mad and struggled to understand how it could be achieved logistically and financially.

However, the more we talked about the possibilities, the more they began to realise they could achieve both their dreams.

Sorting out the practicalities

It will require a lot of planning, financial mapping and the building of a detailed lifetime cashflow and wealth model, but the couple have come to believe it is achievable over an 18-month to two-year period.

They have now gone away to think long and hard about the practicalities of what they discussed together, and plan to come back to me in the first quarter of next year.

Chris Mellor is financial life planning director at Succession Group

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