For anyone looking to make the most out of life for themselves, their families or, if they are a business, their clients, EML advocates the importance of balancing six different aspects of life. But where did this come from, how can you be sure that these really are ‘what’s important’?

EML started on the back of a comment from an Oxford academic who suggested that HSBC, where I worked at the time, had ‘got it wrong’ with their Future of Retirement study. In hindsight HSBC’s work wasn’t wrong, just incomplete. Future of Retirement recognized that globally humans were living longer – much longer – and that this would have huge implications for the financial aspects of retirement. The point the academic was making was that financing old age was just one of a range of issues emerging from a longer life.

Once we started determining the others areas was relatively straightforward. Performance coaches tell you that life is cyclical and that changes in one area will impact others. Finding the others was a matter of identifying areas where money, or lack of it, impacted quality of life. To do this we studied a group of octogenarians – selected because they were available but mostly because they are the ‘path-finders’.  Many in our focus group found themselves were dealing with a stage of life they had never anticipated. Inevitably some did it well and others ‘not so’.

What emerged were our six areas – Managing money, Maintaining Relationships, Keeping active, Valuing possessions, Optimizing health and Embracing change. Further investigation highlighted existing research into each area, but missing was the holistic overview – an understanding of the impact of areas on each other, and the evolutionary impact – what is changed over time by us all living longer.

This is where EML adds value.